The 1980s band Tears for Fears once sang that “everybody wants to rule the world.” The Cornell women’s hockey team will begin its journey to rule the ECACHL this weekend when it hosts Brown on Friday night and Yale on Saturday afternoon. It will be the first ECACHL games of the season for the Red (0-1-1, 0-0-0 ECACHL), who will look to rebound after last weekend’s tie and loss to Niagara.
“We only play so many games in the Ivy Leagues and the ECAC,” said head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. “When we only play 28 games, and 22 of which are ECAC, every one is very important. I think that it is very important at the start of the year that we get off on the right foot.”
Brown (0-1-0, 0-0-0 ECACHL) is looking to bounce back after a tough 2-0 loss to New Hampshire last weekend, a game in which it was out-shot 39-7. Last year, Brown made a surprise run to the ECACHL finals but ultimately lost 4-3 to Harvard. This year though, the Bears are ranked number 5 in the ECACHL coaches poll and number 6 in the media poll. Brown is led by junior forward Hayley Moore, who led the team last year with 25 goals and 43 total points. She was named to the ECACHL second team for her efforts. The Bears also have three goalies that split time between the pipes last year. Junior O’Hara Shipe played the most, starting 20 games, posting a 2.17 goals against average, and recording a .925 save percentage.
The game will be a homecoming for Brown head coach Cornell alum Digit Murphy ’83. Murphy, in her 17th season as head coach of the Bears, has the most wins of any active Division I coach and is third on the all-time list.
“Ivy league games are always really important because they are traditional and exciting,” said senior captain Caroline Scott. “There is a lot of history between our teams, especially Brown, who is coached by a Cornell alumnus. Also, Cornell assistant coach Kim Insalaco is a Brown graduate.”
Yale (0-1-0, 0-0-0 ECACHL) is also looking for its first win after a 3-1 loss to Boston College last weekend. Cornell will need to contain sophomore forward Crysti Howser, who last year led the team with 12 goals and 13 assists. The Bulldogs also have senior forward Jenna Spring, who scored 11 goals in 2005-2006. Yale also boasts sophomore defenseman Helen Resor, who won a bronze medal on the 2006 United States Olympic Team. The Red will also have its hands full with junior goalie Shivon Zilis, who is currently in her first year as the number one starter after starting only four games last year.
“[Brown and Yale] are both very good teams, and they have been strong in the ECAC and the Ivy League the last few years,” Derraugh said. “They are both really physical and play really hard.”
Cornell looks to improve after last weekend’s loss and tie to Niagara. On Friday, the Red lost 2-1 in overtime when Niagara forward Ashley Riggs scored past Cornell senior goalie Beth Baronick. On Saturday, the Red blew leads of 2-0 and 3-2 before eventually tying Niagara 3-3. After the refs called 14 penalties last weekend, the Red is surely going to make some adjustments before this weekend’s slate of games.
“There have been some rule changes and officiating changes resulting in a lot of special teams play, so we have worked on our power play and penalty kills,” Scott said. “We also want to play with more discipline.”