November 5, 2007

W. Hockey Drops Overtime Affair, Then Wins Blowout

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The women’s hockey team split a road weekend series against the Niagara Purple Eagles this weekend, dropping Friday night’s contest, 4-3, in overtime but rebounding with a 6-2 victory Saturday afternoon.
Cornell (3-3, 0-0 Ivy) lost on a short handed goal with 3:05 left in overtime Friday night when freshman forward Marie Henriksen slipped the game-winner past freshman netminder Kayla Strong.
“Actually, I think [the puck was in] an unfortunate place for us,” said senior captain Caeleigh Beerworth. “And it turned out to be a lucky play for them. It’s the kind of thing that it can happen to any team. It just happened to have an unlucky bounce and unfortunately it ended up that way.”
However, head coach Doug Derraugh pointed out that the Red’s lackadaisical play got them to that situation in the first place.
“I think that’s something that we have to get a lot better at,” Derraugh said. “Other teams have definitely been a lot more disciplined. We have had more penalties than the opposing team every weekend that we have played so far. We took a penalty with two minutes left in the game and then they pulled their goalie so they had a 6 on 4 advantage, and they ended up scoring on it. I would just say we have to be more disciplined as a team and we took a penalty at a bad time in the game.”
The Red received goals from freshman forward Rebecca Johnston, sophomore forward Liz Zorn and sophomore defender Kelly McGinty in the losing effort. For Johnston, it was her fourth goal of the early season.
The Purple Eagles (3-2-1) scored all three of their goals in regulation via the power play.
Strong deflected 29 Niagara shots while Niagara sophomore goaltender Jill Zelonis blocked 19 of Cornell’s shots.
However, the Red avenged Friday night’s heartbreaking loss on Saturday with a 6-2 victory.
“Obviously, that’s something that we talk about a lot as a team,” Derraugh said. “Whether you win or lose on the first night, I think the character of your team is always shown in that second game and how you respond. I thought we responded really well in the second game. We opened up a big lead and this time we didn’t lay off at all. We kept going and we kept adding to that lead. And we won big.”
Coach Derraugh’s approach was echoed by Beerworth as well.
“Going into every game, coach really emphasizes, regardless of what has happened the night before, or the weekend before, —today’s a new day,” Beerworth said. “And that’s exactly what we took Saturday as. It was just a brand new game and we had to forget about Friday night and what happened. It turned out well. We played really hard in the first period. … I think going into Saturday’s game we had a lot to prove to ourselves, and certainly to Niagara. As a team, we’re really focused on making each day better and each game better. I think we definitely proved that from Friday to Saturday.”
The Red jumped out to a 4-1 lead after one period and never looked back.
Johnston and freshman forward Karlee Overguard each tallied a pair of goals for the Red. Junior forward Brianne Gilbert and freshman forward Amber Overguard each added a goal of their own.
Sophomore goaltender Jenny Niesluchowski defended 33 shots in her second win of the season. Zelonis made five saves for Niagara while junior Nikki Rudy had 17.
Cornell returned to a .500 record with the victory on Saturday afternoon.
The game also marked the last before an Olympic break for Johnston, the Red’s leading scorer. Johnston will play with the Canadian national team in Sweden. Johnston and her team took home the gold medal last year and will look to defend its title again this year.