As potential men’s hockey ticket holders camped out down the hall, the women’s hockey team defeated the Durham Junior West, 4-1, avenging its 2-1 loss to Durham Saturday night.
The Lighting is a youth club team that plays in Ontario’s Provincial Women’s Hockey League, Intermediate AA level — Canada’s best junior league, according to Cornell head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. Durham is comprised of high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.
This weekend was the first time the team had played together this season. Derraugh said he thought that was part of the reason for Saturday’s loss.
“We didn’t really execute well,” he said. “It took a while for everyone to get to know each other’s habits.”
Cornell was on the board first Saturday, with senior forward Halina Kristalyn scoring at 15:22 in the first period. In a scrum around the goal line she was able to scramble Durham’s goalie, scoring in the top corner of the net.
Cornell rotated its goalies each period. Senior assistant captain Beth Baronick was perfect in the first period with six saves, while Durham scored a goal each on senior Sarah McConnachie and freshman Jenny Niesluchowski.
Cornell was unable to convert either of its two power play opportunities, something that Derraugh said the Red will be working hard to improve.
Cornell came out hard in the second game, however, and Durham’s younger team looked tired and slower than they had the night before.
Cornell pushed the tempo in the first period, and its aggressive play paid off with junior Miranda Callaghan’s goal at 12:31 with sophomore forward Brianne Gilbert and junior forward Sarah Johnston both assisting. The goal followed a very smooth passing sequence that set up Callaghan’s shot.
While the Zamboni was busy cleaning the ice between the first and second periods the handful of hardcore faithful were joined by a flood of spirited students from the Ramin Room, where they had been waiting in the line for men’s season’s tickets overnight.
Durham got on the board with Lindsay Hill’s goal 45 seconds into the third period.
[img_assist|nid=18945|title=Aim, fire!|desc=Freshman forward Liz Zorn (24) unleashes a shot during the women’s hockey team’s 4-1 win over Durham Junior West yersterday in Lynah Rink.|link=popup|align=left|width=100|height=70]
But after that dramatic gesture, Durham faded, and Cornell took control, scoring three more goals. Junior defender Molly McDonald scored at 1:55 with a beautiful shot from just inside the blue line. Goalie Lisa Plenderleith was partially screened on the play and the puck slipped right past her. Kristalyn had the assist.
In another scramble in front of the net, junior forward Liz Lorn shot the puck into the top left-hand corner, assisted by junior Brittany Forgues at 6:45, prompting Durham to take a time out.
Kristalyn’s shot from the left hand side with less than five minutes left in the game sent a decisive message to the younger Canadians.
The game was fairly friendly but became rougher as it went along. A couple of individual players got in some good shots, with some of hardest pushing around the net. In one sequence at Durham’s goal line, every member of their squad and most of Cornell’s was on the ground.
Overall Derraugh was pleased with his team’s second perfomance.
“We were blocking shots, driving to the net and cycling the puck well down low,” he said.
The women were also the first team to open its schedule in the newly renovated Lynah, as the squad split up for an inter-squad Red-White scrimmage on Friday afternoon. After playing three periods of 10 minutes apiece to a 1-1 tie, the White team won in a shootout. Junior Miranda Callaghan scored in the second period for the White, off assists from freshman Gabby Mazade and senior captain Caroline Scott. Freshman forward Laura Danforth tied it up just 34 seconds in to the third period with a score that was assisted by Kristalyn and sophmore Steph Ulrich.
The final decision came in a shootout, as Forgues, junior Brianne Schmidt, Mazade and Callaghan each notched a goal for the White while Kristalyn had the lone tally as the Red fell, 4-1.