December 1, 2006

W. Icers Head North for Two

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Despite losing the last two games at home, the women’s hockey team has played some of its best hockey of the year recently. Unfortunately, that good hockey has not translated into points in the standings. Tonight and tomorrow, the Red will try to add to that important victory column as it faces off against two ECACHL opponents — Rensselaer and Union — on the road.

Cornell (1-10-1, 1-7-1 ECACHL) has been plagued with goal-scoring problems all season long. Thus far, opponents have mustered up 43 goals against the Red on the season while the Red has answered with just 20 goals of its own.

One possible reason for this discrepancy is because the Red has trouble scoring the first goal of the game. Thus, it has to play catch-up from the onset.

“We need to score first on this weekend, especially to shift the momentum to our side,” said head coach Doug Derraugh ’91.

Rensselaer (5-10-0, 1-3-0 ) will be first on the agenda for Cornell this weekend. In their last two games, RPI has picked up convincing victories against Sacred Heart on the road — 7-1, 10-2. Their last two ECACHL opponents were Princeton and Quinnipiac and during that road trip, they came away with a victory at Quinnipiac and a loss at Princeton. Rensselaer also played two games against Wayne State and came away with a victory and a loss on that homestand.

“Obviously, they beat Wayne State and they beat Quinnipiac,” Derraugh said. “Those two teams are teams we didn’t manage to get wins against. I think we do match up well with Rensselaer, so I think it will be a close match. They’re a team that is big and strong and you have to work to get to the net. It should be a good game.”

Union (4-8-0, 0-4-0) has struggled to pick up victories all season, much like Cornell. Currently, Union has zero ECACHL points in the standings while Cornell has two points. The Dutchwomen in their last two games lost to Boston University at home — 2-4, 1-4. In their last two league games, the Dutchwomen lost to both Quinnipiac and Princeton on the road. Before Cornell comes to town, Union will face off against Colgate (5-9-1, 5-3-0) Friday night.

“Last year, Union did really well,” Derraugh said. “This year, they are much more competitive than they were last year. So that’s why scoring the first goal will be critical against a team like Union who has lost a lot of games. If we get that first goal, we would get that momentum and it would go a long way for the rest of the game. On the other hand, if they get that first goal, they might get the feeling that they may be able to compete well with us. Then, it will be much more challenging for us.”

As of now, senior starting goaltender Beth Baronick will be unable to play this weekend due to her recent concussion injuries. Freshman Jenny Niesluchowski will continue to replace Baronick. In seven games, Niesluchowski has made 177 saves on 198 attempts, which is good enough for a .894 save percentage.