January 21, 2005

W. Hockey Travels North to Dartmouth, Vermont

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The women’s hockey team heads into tonight’s ECACHL game on the road against a perennial national powerhouse Dartmouth, with a 3-9-3 overall record, including a 3-7-1 mark against other conference opponents. Cornell will then play one of the bottom-feeders in the league Saturday, when the Red faces off against Vermont, in Burlington, Vt.

Cornell’s last match against No. 2 Dartmouth (17-1-0, 10-0-0 ECACHL) is one that the Red (3-9-3, 3-7-1 ECACHL) would probably like to forget. The Green, led by junior Cherie Piper’s five-point game, defeated Cornell, 8-2, back in November.

Dartmouth leads the ECACHL in goals this year, with 107. The team has an impressive tandem of forwards — including Piper, who leads the league in points with 44. The team’s offense also features juniors Katie Weatherston, Tiffany Hagge, and Gillian Apps. All three forwards have scored more than 10 goals this year.

But the Green has much more than just a strong frontline. Its defense ranks among the best in the nation. Dartmouth has allowed only 33 goals this season, and the team’s goalkeepers have a combined .926 save percentage. In its last four games, the Green has scored 32 goals, while giving up just six.

Meanwhile, Vermont (2-17-3, 0-8-0 ECACHL) has not won since beating Sacred Heart in late October. The Catamounts have had great difficulty scoring this year, earning only eight goals in their last 10 games.

Vermont returned home last weekend, after playing 10 of its last 11 games on the road. But the home ice proved to be little help, as the team was defeated by both St. Lawrence and Clarkson.

The Red defeated the Catamounts, 4-2, at Lynah Rink, earlier in the season. Sophomore forward Halina Kristalyn had two goals in the game.

Despite the win, Vermont actually took more shots than the Red — a situation Cornell has found itself in many times this year, and a situation the team is focused on correcting.

Indeed, the Red has worked a great deal on its offensive play this year, especially since the team had difficulty scoring last season. So far, the Red has earned 37 goals in 15 games — about average in the ECACHL. However, Cornell has also given up 58 goals, for a 3.87 goals against average. In the league, only Union has a worse percentage.

The Red went 0-3-2 over winter break, including a tie against Colgate last week. Cornell played a strong first period, highlighted by two goals from junior forward Vicki Hodgkinson, and another goal from freshman Brianne Schmidt. But the Red was unable to stop the Raiders’ comeback effort, and Colgate scored three unanswered goals to send the game into overtime. However, neither team could find the net in the extra period, and the game ended in a 3-3 tie.

Although Cornell went winless over the break, the Red was competitive in almost every game. Among those games was a hard-fought battle against No. 5 Harvard, at Lynah Rink. Cornell was down by only one goal in the third period, and the icers were looking to tie. However, the Crimson’s Nicole Corriero was able put the game away, with a power-play goal at 14:04 in the third period.

Archived article by Ted Nyman
Sun Staff Writer