March 7, 2003

W. Icers Face No. 1 Harvard in Playoffs

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The women’s hockey team (4-19-2, 2-12-2 ECAC) will face No. 1 Harvard in the first round of the ECAC playoffs tomorrow night. In the Red’s two games against the Crimson this season, the Red lost 8-0 and 7-1. The Crimson has three Olympians on its first line including Jennifer Botterill, who is rapidly approaching the Division I scoring record and is arguably the best women’s hockey player in the country.

“We have to take advantage of our chances and see where the puck bounces,” explained Cornell head coach Melody Davidson.

The Red will have to do more than that, however. After playing one of its best games of the season last Friday against Harvard, Cornell still lost, 7-1. Despite this, the Red was at least able to get a good look at what it would be matched up against. In an effort to learn who would have the top spot for the playoffs, Davidson allowed each goaltender to play one period.

“We broke the [one] game into three games, and each goalie got a start,” said Davidson. “We got better every ‘game.'”

Indeed, the Red was able to hold its own in the third period, surprisingly the one when freshman goaltender Flo Vineberg was in net. Harvard only won the third period by a goal. The Red will have to show that kind of intensity again this weekend.

“We [have to] play as physical and as confident as we did in the third period and the latter part of the second period,” Davidson said.

Harvard is both the ECAC and Ivy League champion, and is a force to be reckoned with. The Crimson has the best defense in the country, giving up 1.21 goals per game. Botterill leads the ECAC and her team in points with 88.

But when the puck drops tomorrow, none of that really matters.

“The regular season’s all aside,” said Davidson. “You just take it one period at a time.”

Archived article by Michael Pandolfini