The women’s hockey squad (0-3-1, 0-3-1 ECAC) will face off against Brown (2-3-1, 1-1-0) tonight in Providence, R.I. Tomorrow, the Red heads over to Cambridge to face the Crimson (3-1-0, 2-0-0) in a much less publicized female version of tonight’s men’s hockey matchup.
The Red has struggled as of late, after losing to Dartmouth and receiving a frustrating tie against the UVM Catamounts last weekend. Both Brown and Harvard have very strong women’s hockey programs. Harvard is currently number two on the USA Today hockey poll, while Brown is ranked sixth and just tied number one ranked Minnesota this past weekend.
The game against Brown will be very difficult for the Red. Brown’s senior goalkeeper, Pam Dreyer, was recently named ECAC goalkeeper of the week. Despite having a weaker-than-expected 2-2-1 record, Dreyer has a .920 save percentage in five games this season.
In addition, the Bears currently have two players who average a point per game, sophomores Jessica Link and Kerry Nugent. Link was the team’s second leading scorer last year, despite only being a freshman. However, Brown suffered the loss of leading scorer Kristy Zamora to graduation, which has certainly weakened the squad.
No. 2 Harvard will be a much bigger problem for Cornell, however. Senior Jennifer Botterill, arguably the best women’s hockey player in the nation, has been a one woman scoring machine. Botterill has 16 points in four games this season; that is six more points than the entire Red squad has overall.
The one weakness that the Crimson may have is its goaltending. Harvard lost its top goaltender, Alison Kuusisto, to graduation this past season.
The Crimson’s replacement goalie, Jessica Ruddock, has posted a less than impressive .881 save percentage, and her GAA of 1.92 is less laudable when one realizes that Ruddock has only had to face 59 shots in four games.
Needless to say, the Red has its work cut out for it. Cornell has yet to find its first win of the season, and opponents have outscored the icers 16-4 in the four-game-old season. Cornell will have to figure out a way to break out of its current scoring slump to have a chance at winning either game against these two tough squads.
Archived article by Michael Pandolfini