March 8, 2004

Women's Icers Make Playoffs

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In spite of the men’s hockey team’s absence, a sequel for Miracle could still have been made at Lynah this weekend.

The lady icers came away with a victory for the ages, defeating Vermont with just 18 seconds remaining in overtime yesterday to clinch the 8th and final spot in the ECAC playoffs.

The Red came into the contest with a 2-15-0 record in conference — the Catamounts were 2-14-1 — meaning that just a tie would have ended Cornell’s season.

“Every person had the mentality that this wasn’t going to be the final time all 19 of us suited up together as a team,” senior captain Briana Jentner said.

The squad’s determination showed as the Red dominated the overtime period, outshooting Vermont 7-0 and coming away with a goal with 18 seconds left and an empty net at its back.

The goal was recorded by sophomore Vicki Hodkinson with assists from junior Pearle Nerenberg and sophomore Caitlin Warren.

The Red was forced to come from behind as the Catamounts jumped out to an early 1-0 lead behind a Jessie Beniot power-play goal at 13:54 in the first period. Then the Red tied the game up at one as freshman Halina Kristalyn netted her team-leading ninth goal of the season on an assist from classmate Caroline Scott just after the midpoint of the second period.

“The freshman, though small in numbers, have had a huge impact,” said Jentner.

The goal was a big momentum shift for the Red as it controlled play from then on, inevitably tallying the game-winner to earn not only the victory, but a playoff berth as well.

Sophomore Flora Vineberg was solid in net, stopping 31 Catamount shots, including 11 in the pressure-packed third period.

The Red’s victory over the Catamounts came after a 5-1 loss to No. 2 Dartmouth Saturday afternoon at Lynah.

The lone goal for the Red, which came on a power-play, was scored by Jentner with assists from senior Anita Khar and Kristalyn, to give Cornell a 1-0 lead early in the second period.

Yet the Green proved to be too much for the Red as it scored five unanswered goals beginning with a Meagan Walton tally just two minutes after the Red goal.

Vineberg, who was tested early and often by the Dartmouth offense, made 34 saves on 39 shots.

After the weekend split, the Red ended its regular season at 7-19-2 overall and 3-15-0 in ECAC play. More importantly, the Red finished a point above Vermont to give it a spot in the opening round of next weekend’s ECAC playoffs.

The Red will take on the ECAC champions, No. 3 Harvard, in the first round of the tournament for the second time in as many years. Last season the Crimson swept Cornell by a combined score of 20-1 at the Bright Hockey Center.

“We have nothing to lose next weekend,” said Jentner, “We know we are going in as the underdog, but we’re going to go into their house and give them everything we’ve got.”

Archived article by Chris Mascaro