If the folks at Doublemint Gum are looking new advertisement ideas, they might want to consider looking at the women hockey team’s two games this past weekend. It clearly was not enough for Cornell to play two games in two days against Niagara. They also had to make both games go into overtime.
The second game that went into overtime was especially painful for the Red because the Purple Eagles pulled their goalie and scored the game-tying goal with 8.9 seconds left in regulation.
That play aside, the Red played solid hockey at Lynah Rink in taking a loss and a tie in its first two games of the season. In the Friday night game, Cornell’s penalty killers kept Niagara’s offensive attack at bay for most of the night. Unfortunately, the penalties eventually caught up to Cornell as it could not stop Niagara in the Purple Eagles’ ninth power play of the game. That goal was given up in overtime to give Niagara the 2-1 victory.
Head coach Doug Derraugh ’91 was proud of his team for fighting hard all night while he pointed to the abundance of penalties as a team weakness.
“For our first game, there were some good things out there,” Derraugh said. “I thought we battled hard. I thought we made a few mistakes early on in the game. In the second period, we really came out and forechecked hard and created a lot of problems for Niagara. At the end, we just took too many penalties. We had to kill penalty after penalty and you can’t do that and win hockey games.”
With just 2:24 gone in the second period, senior Halina Krystalin scored the Red’s first goal of the season off assists from freshman Rebecca Flewelling and sophomore Emma Chipman. Niagara would answer back as Frances McPhail poked in a goal past senior goalie Beth Baronick with four and a half minutes left in the second period.
In the overtime, Niagara out-shot Cornell, 5-0. To stop a breakaway goal for Niagara, junior Molly McDonald reached reached her stick out and committed a penalty with 2:15 left in the extra period. Unfortunately, Niagara capitalized on this penalty and Ashley Riggs scored the game-winning goal with 1:19 left in overtime.
“I think our penalty killers did a great job in this game, but you just can’t keep taking penalties and have to clean them out on the ice time after time,” Derraugh said. “They get tired after a while and at the end, it cost us.”
In the Saturday game, junior Miranda Callaghan gave the Red faithful something to celebrate as she scored the game’s first goal with 3:07 remaining in the first period. Flewelling stole the puck in the offensive zone as Niagara tried to clear it and she immediately found Callaghan in the middle of the ice and Callaghan then made a move and scored the goal.
Kristalyn then scored a power play goal for Cornell off an assist from Chipman with 1:04 left in the second period. Then Niagara came roaring back in the third frame, scoring two unanswered goals to even the score up at two apiece. Three minutes later Chipman scored her first goal of the season on a pass from McDonald. That goal was the Red’s second power play goal of the contest.
Then came the painful equalizer off the stick of Niagara’s Charde Hoyle-Levy. Niagara was already up a man on a power play. Coming out of a timeout, Niagara pulled the goalie and had a 6-4 advantage. With 8.9 seconds left, the Purple Eagles scored a goal off a scrum in front of the net.
“The puck went back to the point on that play,” Derraugh said. “They took a shot, there was a big scramble in front, they had six players up there and we had four. I guess it’s just a matter of numbers then. They had them and we didn’t.”
Overall, Derraugh was pleased with his team’s forechecking and defensive zone. Senior goalie Beth Baronick echoes her coach, praising the team’s effort while pointing out adjustments still have to be made.
“We are at a very different point of where we were last season,” Baronick said. “We are definitely starting off stronger. In the future, we definitely have to cut down on penalties. The refs are calling it more like the NHL now. There are a lot more penalties being called and, thus, a lot more power plays. We definitely need to adjust in the future games.”