February 2, 2005

Women's Hockey Starts Playoff Push at Colgate

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With just five ECACHL games remaining, it’s clear what the women’s hockey team needs to do — win conference games. Cornell will have a chance to do just that tonight, when the Red travels to meet Colgate in an important rematch for both teams.

Cornell (3-13-3, 3-11-1 ECACHL) is currently in ninth place in the conference — two points below Clarkson, and three points below Colgate (10-12-2, 4-7-2 ECACHL). The top eight teams in the league advance to the playoffs.

“We have only five conference games left,” said head coach Melody Davidson. “We need to play with a sense of desperation.”

Cornell tied the Raiders at Lynah Rink on Jan. 14. The Red was up 3-0 in the first period, but Colgate — “a good, physical team,” according to Davidson — came back with three goals of its own, including one late in the third period. Neither team could generate much offense in overtime, and the game ended 3-3. Junior forward Vicki Hodgkinson had two goals for the Red, and freshman forward Brianne Schmidt added another. Colgate outshot Cornell, 38-14.

The Red is coming off a tough weekend, losing 2-0 to both No. 5 St. Lawrence, and Clarkson. Cornell had some strong defensive play in both games, but the Red could not find the net. The Red managed only 12 shots against St. Lawrence, and had 22 against the Golden Knights. Cornell has given up nine goals over its last four games, while scoring only once.

“It’s up to the skaters to start putting the pucks in the net,” Davidson said.

Sophomore Beth Baronick had 44 saves against St. Lawrence Friday — the most any goalie has had against the Saints at Appleton Arena all year. Baronick left the game late in the third period with an injury.

Junior Flora Vineberg had 24 saves against Clarkson on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Colgate also traveled north last weekend, earning a 3-1 win over Clarkson, while losing, 4-1, to St. Lawrence. Colgate is led by forwards Becky Irvine and Amanda Barre. Irvine has 11 goals and 14 assists this year, while Barre has 10 goals and 12 helpers.

The Raiders have been on something of a hot streak of late, going 3-2-1 over their last six games. Colgate has scored 16 goals over that period, with Barre earning five goals, and Allison Paiano adding another four.

The Raiders have a couple of strong goalies — senior Rebecca Lahar, and sophomore Brook Wheeler. Lahar has been in goal for the Raiders during the last five games, compiling .921 saves percentage over that time. The preseason ECACHL Goaltender of the Year has earned a 2.29 goals against average on the season.

However, it was Wheeler that Cornell faced last month. The Red was able to get three goals past her early. But she recovered, and kept Cornell scoreless in the final 45 minutes. Wheeler has a .926 save percentage for the year.

The puck will drop at 7 p.m. tonight, at Starr Rink in Hamilton, NY.

Archived article by Ted Nyman
Sun Staff Writer