February 25, 2005

Women's Hockey Hosts Clarkson

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Despite its recent elimination from playoff contention, the women’s hockey team will still be looking to finish its season strong this weekend when the Red hosts Clarkson tonight and No. 5 St. Lawrence tomorrow at Lynah Rink.

Clarkson (12-14-6, 6-11- 1 ECACHL) earned the final ECACHL playoff spot last week with a win over Brown. The victory eliminated Cornell (3-20-3, 3-14-1 ECACHL) from the postseason race.

The Golden Knights damaged the Red’s playoff chances back in late January, when Clarkson earned a 2-0 win over Cornell. The teams were tied in the conference standings before that match.

“The Clarkson game for us was a tremendous blow that really hurt our playoff chances,” said head coach Melody Davidson. “We’re going to focus on our game, [but] we can’t lose focus that this team took our playoff spot.”

The Golden Knights are led by sophomore forward Jill Nolan, who has scored 14 goals and seven assists this year.

Clarkson features three goalies, although sophomore Kira McDonald has seen most of the action. She has compiled a .919 save percentage and a 2.17 goals against average. Her teammate, Stephanie Hansen, has earned .932 save percentage in roughly 20 percent of the squad’s games.

Clarkson defeated the Red on Jan. 29 with a strong defensive performance. The Golden Knights scored early in the first period and were then able to keep Cornell off the scoreboard for the rest of the contest.

Clarkson also scored early in the second period. The Red eventually settled into a strong defensive game of its own, and the teams were generally even after Clarkson’s scores. The Red, however, could not salvage a goal of its own and lost the critical game in Potsdam, N.Y.

“We’ve got something to prove — [that] we can take the win from Clarkson this time around,” Davidson said.

Cornell will end its season on Saturday against St. Lawrence (23-5-4, 13-3-2 ECACHL). It will be the last collegiate game for seniors Maryann Nowak, Jamie Ramenofsky, Pearle Nerenberg and Lara Kelly.

“In the three years I’ve been with the senior class, they have always had the best interest of the team at heart,” said Davidson, who joined the team in 2002. “I can’t say enough about them.”

The Saints play a well-balanced game, and have strengths on every line. St. Lawrence averages 3.28 goals per game, while its defense allows less than two goals per game, on average.

St. Lawrence is led by forward Rebecca Russell, who has scored 26 goals and compiled thirty assists this year. Her total of 56 points is second-best in the conference.

The Saints have three goalies, with freshman Meaghan Guckian getting the most playing time this season. She has a 2.16 goals against average, and a .927 save percentage.

However, Cornell played against goalie Jess Moffat, when the teams met on Jan. 28. Moffat had 12 saves in the Saints’ 2-0 win.

The puck will drop at 7 p.m tonight and tomorrow’s game against St. Lawrence will begin at 4 p.m. At the end of Saturday’s contest, a ceremony will be held in honor of the departing Cornell seniors.

Archived article by Ted Nyman
Sun Staff Writer