Coming off of a weekend in which the Red women’s hockey team picked up its second ECACHL victory of the year with a 3-1 upset of first-place Brown, the squad will look to make a push for the post-season when it plays a pair of games this weekend at Union (3-16-1, 0-12-0 ECACHL), on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, respectively. This pair of games wraps up a six-game road swing for the Red, which hasn’t taken the ice at Lynah Rink since Jan. 14.
The resurgent Red (6-14-0, 2-12-0) offense is spearheaded by sophomore Caeliegh Beerworth, who leads the team in scoring with five goals and 11 assists, for a total of 16 points. Beerworth’s 11 assists tie her for the team lead with fellow sophomore Brianne Schmidt, who is second on the team in overall points with three goals to go along with her own 11 assists. Junior Halina Kristalyn is third, with eight goals and five assists for 13 points. Much of the Red’s success is dependent on the play of these three scorers. In the victory over Brown last weekend, which put a halt to a six-game losing streak, both Schmidt and Kristalyn scored for the Red, and Beerworth added an assist on a goal by sophomore Brittany Forgues.
However, while Beerworth, Schmidt, and Kristalyn may lead the team in scoring, the rest of their teammates realize that every player on the ice is crucial to the Red’s success.
“Yeah, there are people who lead in scoring, and they are really important to the team, but right now, approaching the playoffs, everyone is key,” senior captain Jen Munhofen said. “Everyone has to play their best.”
While the Red has recently seen a noticeable improvement in the offensive zone, the stellar play of its goaltenders has, in large part, gone without comment. That is, until this week, when junior goaltender Beth Baronick won the ECACHL Goalie of the Week honor. Baronick turned in two strong performances last weekend, stopping 26 shots and allowing only one goal in the victory against Brown. She also made 25 saves in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Yale. She finished the weekend with a 1.52 goals against average and a .944 save percentage. For the season, Baronick has a 3.36 goals against average and a .893 save percentage. Baronick’s nod as Goalie of the Week was the first weekly award for the Red women’s hockey team.
“Beth’s progressed every week and her hard work has paid off,” Munhofen said. “As a goalie you need to stay focused all the time, as opposed to playing in shifts, and I’m just very impressed with how she maintains that focus. She’s really growing into her own, and I’m looking forward to what she can provide the team down the stretch, and next year when she is a senior.”
Union enters the weekend with a 3-16-1 overall record, and a winless 0-12-0 in the ECACHL. The Dutchwomen are coming off a pair of shutout losses to Dartmouth and are trying to snap their own four-game slide. The last time Union recorded a win came in a non-conference game against Robert Morris on Jan. 15, when they escaped with a 3-2 overtime victory. The win against the Colonials snapped another losing streak, this one a nine-game slide.
Junior Elise Nichols is the team’s leader. She is tied for first in goals with five, leads the team in assists with six, and is the team leader in overall points with 11. It was Nichols’ power-play goal 2:03 into overtime that gave the Dutchwomen their victory over Robert Morris two weeks ago. Freshman Suzy Pocock is second on the team with five goals and three assists, for a total of eight points.
Cornell and Union first met in women’s hockey during the 2003-04 season. The Red leads the all-time series 3-1-0, having swept last year’s series and gone 1-1 the year before. Union’s last victory over Cornell came on Feb. 28, 2004, when the Dutchwomen prevailed 3-1. As such, the Red is going into this game with a sense of confidence but also with a sense of urgency.
“These are critical games for us, in terms of going to the playoffs,” Munhofen said. “In fact, these games right now, at the end of the season, these are the playoffs for us. They start now.”
Archived article by Jacob Lieberman Sun Staff Writer