When the announcer typically states the name Moulson at Lynah Rink, it is done to the roars of hundreds of Cornell hockey fans.
However, this past weekend, that name proved disastrous for the women’s hockey team. Of course, this Moulson was not the junior assistant captain of the men’s team. Instead, it belonged to his little sister, Niagara freshman Shannon Moulson, whose hat trick in Friday night’s game and key assist in Saturday afternoon’s contest sparked the Purple Eagles (10-11-2) to a pair of tough fought victories over the Red (3-15-3).
“We played with so much heart,” said Cornell junior Jen Munhofen. “We play that way throughout the season, but we did it especially this weekend. All our players gave 110 percent.”
Moulson struck early in the first contest of the weekend, a 3-2 loss for the Red, taking advantage of a screen on Cornell goalie Beth Baronick to find the back of the net at just 7:36 of the opening period. She then extended the Eagles’ lead less than six minutes into the second period on a slap shot from the blue line.
Later in the second, Cornell cut Niagara’s lead in half as freshman Brittany Forgues deflected the puck off a Niagara player and into the net. However, the single goal deficit didn’t last long as Moulson picked up her third goal of the night — her seventh on the season — to give the Eagles another two-goal lead.
Cornell controlled the puck for much of the third period, finally connecting on sophomore Caroline Scott’s one-timer from senior Pearle Nerenberg, which found its way past Niagara netminder Allison Rutledge.
With under four minutes to play, the Red would get one more prime opportunity to tie the score as Brianne Schmidt handled the puck past the Eagles’ defense. Rutledge, however, just got a piece of the shot and sent it harmlessly over the net, preserving the victory.
Despite the excitement of Cornell’s near-comeback on Friday, it was the second contest between the Red and Niagara, a 2-1 Eagle’s win in overtime, that held even more heroics.
Similar to the first game, Niagara got on the board first as Chelsea Donovan fired on a slap shot past Cornell goalie Flora Vineberg midway through the first period. From there, however, thanks to some quality goaltending from Vineberg and Eagles’ netminder Nikki Rudy, each team was held scoreless until late in the third period.
With 1:19 to play in the game, Cornell coach Melody Davidson called a timeout and pulled Vineberg off the ice for the extra attacker.
“The coach always has a strategy in her mind,” said Munhofen. “During that timeout she put out the players she thought could get the job done.”
The Red won the ensuing faceoff in Niagara’s end and senior captain Jamie Ramenofsky sent a slap shot on net.
Rudy made the initial save but Jen Munhofen slammed home the rebound to tie the score. Both Ramenofsky and freshman scoring leader Brianne Schmidt picked up assists on the play.
“Everyone had a job and did what they had to do on that play,” said Munhofen. “We won the draw and [the defense] put a shot on net. There was a scrum in front of the goal and I was able put the puck in.”
In overtime, the teams traded scoring opportunities before the Red’s Beth Dibella was sent to the penalty box for holding 4:33 into the extra period.
The Red were able to clear the puck off the following faceoff. However, Moulson led a Niagara rush up the ice that Chard Hoyle-Levy topped off by sending the puck into the Cornell net with just 5.8 seconds remaining in overtime.
Following the pair of non-conference games, the Red now returns to its ECACHL schedule as the team tries to make its final push to get into the league’s playoff picture over its last six games.
“Next weekend is huge for us,” said Munhofen. “We need three wins to get into the playoffs. Also, we want to finish the season on a good note and play hard for the seniors.”
Archived article by Scott Reich
Sun Staff Writer