February 27, 2006

W. Icers Tie No. 7 Mercyhurst to Close Season

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In what was certainly a bittersweet weekend, the Red women’s hockey program said goodbye to seven of its most familiar faces during a two-game series with No. 7 Mercyhurst in Lynah Rink, which culminated in Senior Day on Saturday afternoon.

Those members of the squad partaking in their final game were seniors Jen Munhofen, Flora Vineberg, Vicki Hodgkinson, Emily Cabral, Becky Fisher, Caitlin Warren and Andrea Skinner. However, the Red was unable to efficiently channel the emotional intensity of the weekend, losing 5-2 on Friday and finishing Saturday’s game knotted at 2-2. With the tie on Saturday afternoon, the Red closed out the season with a 9-18-1 record (5-15-0 ECACHL), a significant improvement over last season’s mark of 3-22-3, while the Lakers improved to 19-7-6.

When it appeared that the Red had run out of gas much earlier in Saturday’s contest, a tripping penalty by Mercyhurst breathed new life into the squad at 11:49 of the third period, with the Red facing a 2-1 deficit.

Freshman Emma Chipman was able to capitalize on the penalty, scoring her second goal of the weekend at the 13:18 mark of the third period to pull Cornell even. Sophomore Brianne Schmidt had scored in the second period to give Cornell a 1-0 lead, but two goals from Colizza set up the game-tying goal by Chipman. While on the power-play, Munhofen took a slap shot from the point, which Mercyhurst goaltender Courtney Drennen stopped. The puck bounced around in front of the Laker net before Chipman corralled it and proceeded to light the lamp and send Lynah into a frenzy.

“I was very pleased with getting a tie out of it,” said head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. “[Mercyhurst] is ranked seventh in the country, and I felt the effort was there and I felt we played our game very well. Obviously we would have liked the win, but I’m really proud of the overall effort we gave.”

If Chipman’s goal was the culmination of a Red rejuvenation, Vineberg’s goaltending was the reason Chipman and her teammates were in a position to mount an offensive surge. Mercyhurst dominated the first period, as the Lakers got off 21 shots on Vineberg.

In the second period, Vineberg stopped another 19 of the Lakers’ shots, including a sprawling glove save that left Vineberg on her back. By the time the buzzer sounded at the end of overtime, Vineberg had turned away 53 Mercyhurst shots. Even more staggering than the save total was the fact that Mercyhurst attempted over 100 shots, with the rest of the unscored shots either blocked by Red defensemen or shot wide of the net.

“I think this year was a bit of a trying time for [Vineberg] and I was very proud of the effort she put in and the result that she came out with in our final game,” said Derraugh. “I was especially proud of the fact that even though [junior] Beth Baronick got some games down the stretch, [Vineberg] always practiced hard and performed when she was in the spotlight.”

Friday night’s contest did not differ much from Saturday’s, in that Mercyhurst dominated play on both ends of the ice. After taking an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Hodgkinson at the 9:29 mark of the first period, the Red looked as if they were poised to pull off a major upset. The squad was able to keep up with Mercyhurst and seemed to have an unusual amount of energy.

However, just 1:24 after Hodgkinson’s goal the wind was knocked out of Cornell’s sails when Mercyhurst’s Ashley Pendleton scored to tie the game at one. From then on, the lone highlight of the game for Cornell was Chipman’s power play goal at 19:07 of the second period, but at that point there was not much the Red could do to overcome Mercyhurst’s 4-1 lead.

In a prelude to Vineberg’s stellar netminding the next afternoon, junior goalie Beth Baronick put on a show of her own, stopping 40 shots in the loss.

“Yes we gave up a lot of shots, but we did a good job in the neutral zone of not giving up odd man rushes,” Derraugh said. “We knew they would get a lot of shots, we just wanted to try to make sure they didn’t get dangerous ones.”

Archived article by Jacob Lieberman
Sun Staff Writer