February 4, 2005

Women's Hockey Returns Home to Face Niagara

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Home has have never looked so good for the women’s hockey team.

After enduring a winless five game road trip, the Red will finally return home to face Niagara in a pair of non-conference contests beginning tonight. The pair of games will conclude a stretch in which the Red will have played five games in just nine days.

Cornell struggled on the road against a slate of ECACHL foes, dropping the games by a combined score of 17-4. Nevertheless, there may be signs of improvement for the Red’s offense that has acted as the team’s achilles heal for much of the season.

In Wednesday’s 8-3 loss at Colgate, the Red controlled the puck for much of the second period, keeping consistent pressure on the Raiders’ goal. The three-goal outburst tied the team’s most productive offensive effort in its last nine games, as well as broke a team scoreless streak that had lasted over 10 periods.

“It was great to get a few goals yesterday,” said senior captain Jamie Ramenofsky. “I’m hoping the team can rack up some more points this weekend. It would be a huge confidence boost.”

Cornell must also figure out how to get out of the gate faster. Colgate’s four goal first period in the game two days ago marked the third straight game that the Red has fallen behind in the initial frame and been unable to erase the deficit.

“Our offense is a huge factor to our success,” Ramenofsky said. “We need to score in the first [period]. That’s definitely a key for us.”

Getting off to a quick start against Niagara will not be easy for Cornell, as the Purple Eagles feature a strong defensive unit.

“I expect to see a team very similar to ours,” Ramenofsky said. “They are a gritty, hard-working team.”

In net, Niagara features a pair of netminders with goal against averages under 2.30. Sophomore Allison Rutledge has 2.25 GAA while freshman Nikki Rudy carries a 2.28 GAA.

Like the Purple Eagles, the Red also feature a duo of netminders that share playing time. Junior Flora Vineberg has seen the bulk of time in the goal, earning a 3.40 GAA. Meanwhile, sophomore Beth Baronick, coming off a stellar performance at St. Lawrence a week ago, owns a 4.07 GAA and .890 save percentage.

“We need solid goaltending and defense this weekend,” Ramenofsky said.

Archived article by Scott Reich
Sun Staff Writer