With wins in three of its last four conference games, the women’s hockey team (3-4-1, 3-3-0 ECACHL) will attempt to continue its climb up the ECACHL standings when traveling to conference foes Yale and Princeton this weekend.
Sweeping Union in its first home conference games of the season three weeks ago and then adding a victory over Vermont a week later, the Red has already matched its overall conference point total from last year.
However, gaining more ground in the ECACHL standings this week will be no easy task for the Red. The Bulldogs and Tigers enter the weekend ranked 12th and ninth in the nation, respectively.
Riding a four game winning streak, Yale (7-3-0, 5-2-0 ECACHL) will enter tonight’s contest with Cornell having laid claim to sole possession of third place in the league. Featuring several experienced offensive weapons and the sharp goaltending of junior Sarah Love (2.27 GAA), the Bulldogs are strong at both ends of the ice.
Leading the Yale attack is senior Erin Duggan, who has managed to collect an average of 1.2 points per game as a defender. Other offensive contributors include sophomore Jenna Spring — second on the team with five goals — and junior Deena Caplette, who has been the team’s leading playmaker with seven assists.
Meanwhile, Princeton (6-4-1, 2-3-0 ECACHL) should offer the Red an equally tough match-up in tomorrow afternoon’s game.
Though the Tigers have struggled on offense at times, Princeton still ranks among the top defensive teams in the nation, holding opponents to 1.82 goals per game. Junior goalie Roxanne Gaudiel has been the catalyst for this stingy defense, starting every game for the Tigers while earning a .928 save percentage and two shutouts.
However, even with defense as Princeton’s forte, the Red must not forget to keep tabs on the Tigers’ trio of outstanding sophomore forwards — Laura Watt, Liz Keady and Kim Pearce. The three have carried the team’s offense through the early season, combining to score 13 of the team’s 22 goals.
On the contrary, Cornell’s offense has been revitalized through the utilization of a balanced attack. With seven players having already recorded four points, the team’s goals scored per game average has risen almost a complete goal from a season ago.
Junior Jen Munhofen (one goal, five assists) and sophomore Halina Kristalyn (three goals, 3 assists) are again among the point leaders after leading the team in that category last year. Meanwhile, freshman forward Brianne Schmidt has emerged as one of the team’s premier offensive threats, leading the Red with four goals.
On the other end of the pond, the play of junior netminder Flora Vineberg has been the bright spot for the defense. Compiling a 2.45 GAA and .905 save percentage, she has run her record to 2-1-1 this season.
The Red will be trying to bounce back from last weekend’s series at Wayne State, where it managed a 2-2 tie in the opening game, before getting shutout, 5-0, in the second match-up between the two teams.
Archived article by Scott Reich
Sun Staff Writer