February 11, 2005

Women's Hockey Looks For Wins

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The women’s hockey team will look to keep its playoff hopes alive tonight and tomorrow, with games against Princeton and Yale at Lynah Rink.

The Red is currently two points behind Clarkson for the eighth and final ECACHL playoff spot with only four conference games remaining.

“The mood on the team is positive and prepared,” said junior goaltender Flora Vineberg. “We are all fully aware of the importance of these next two games and feel confident that we have the tools to pull out some wins.”

No. 9 Princeton and Yale will not make things easy, however. The Tigers (12-6-4, 6-5-2 ECACHL) have the league’s stingiest defense, allowing only 1.73 goals per game. Goalie Roxanne Gaudiel has compiled an outstanding .934 save percentage.

Meanwhile, Yale (11-12-1, 9-5-1 ECACHL) is in the middle of a banner year, having already won the most conference games in program history. The Bulldogs are one of the league’s most well-balanced teams, led by All-Ivy defender Erin Duggan.

Cornell (3-16-3, 3-12-1 ECACHL) played both Yale and Princeton in December, losing 2-1 against the Bulldogs and 2-0 against the Tigers.

“We expect both teams to come out hard against us,” Vineberg said.

She also noted the importance of Cornell staying out of the penalty box this weekend against two physical teams. The Red is averaging 11.3 penalty minutes a game, second-best in the league.

After an offensive slump in late January, Cornell has taken 83 shots in its last three games, scoring six times. Last weekend, the Red lost two close contests against non-conference opponent Niagara.

“We’ve been creating many chances and scoring opportunities. Our goal for this weekend will be to capitalize on each one we create,” Vineberg said.

Freshman Brianne Schmidt leads the Red in points with 14 — compiling eight goals and six assists. Junior forwards Vicki Hodgkinson and Jen Munhofen each have nine points on the year.

Princeton’s offense is led by sophomore forwards Kim Pierce and Laura Watt, who are tied for the team lead in points with 19.

Yale meanwhile has a deep and talented offense, which includes eight different players with 10 or more points. Duggan has earned 22 points, while forward Jenna Spring has 10 goals and 11 assists.

Junior Sarah Love will be in goal for the Bulldogs. She has a .901 saves percentage, and a 2.89 goals against average.

Both Yale and Princeton would like to move up in the conference standings. The Bulldogs are currently in fourth place, while Princeton is in sixth. The top four teams in the league have home-ice advantage in the playoff quarterfinals.

Cornell will need to play its very best in both games — especially on the penalty kill. “The team has been focusing on many things, some of which include power play and penalty kill units, defensive zone coverage, and aggressive offensive systems,” Vineberg said.

Tonight’s game against Princeton is set for 7 p.m, while the puck will drop at 4 p.m tomorrow.

Archived article by Ted Nyman
Sun Staff Writer