November 10, 2008

Penalties Hurt Red In Home Weekend

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The women’s hockey team started its regular season play this weekend with two frustrating home games — a 6-3 loss to Princeton on Friday and a 2-2 tie with Quinnipiac on Saturday. In both games, penalties seemed to be the downfall for Cornell.
“The penalties really killed us in both games,” said freshman forward Catherine White. “We had the advantage when we were five-on-five, but right when we started taking penalties and we were penalty killing, that’s when both [Princeton and Quinnipiac] scored their goals and that’s when they hurt us.”
Princeton (2-3, 1-2 ECAC Hockey) started the game with an early goal from freshman forward Danielle DiCesare. Cornell (2-2-1, 0-1-1) answered with its first goal of the game when freshman defender Jess Martino scored her first collegiate goal on an assist from junior forward Melanie Jue. Just a minute later, however, the Tigers reclaimed the lead when senior forward Christine Foster netted a goal off a pass from DiCesare.
[img_assist|nid=33445|title=On the lookout|desc=Freshman forward Catherine White (right) moves the puck behind the Quinnipiac goal in Saturday’s 2-2 tie at Lynah Rink. White scored the Red’s second goal.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
During the first period, Princeton outshot Cornell 19-10, and had two power play opportunities. Junior goaltender Jenny Niesluchowski was firm in goal, making nine saves during Princeton’s extra-man situations and 37 total saves during the contest.
The Tigers quickly upped their lead two minutes into the second period. DiCesare scored her second goal of the game on a power play. Sophomore defenders Laura Martindale and Sasha Sherry assisted on the goal, coming during a 5-on-4 advantage. The Red gained its own man-up opportunity after a checking penalty on Princeton, and used its extra-player advantage to score its second goal of the game. Junior forward Liz Zorn scored with assists from junior forward Laura Danforth and sophomore forward Karlee Overguard.
Before the end of the second period, the Red evened out the score at 3. Danforth netted a goal with help from Karlee Overguard and Zorn.
The second period proved difficult for the Red as penalties gave the Tigers three power play opportunities, one of which Princeton scored on. Sherry scored during a 5-on-3 advantage with help from junior defender Stephanie Denino while Princeton had a 5-on-3 advantage.
Wallace scored another goal for Princeton, assisted by senior forward Monica Brennan. The Tigers brought the game to a final score of 6-3 when Foster scored her second goal of the game off an assist from senior defender Katherine Dineen.
After the tough loss against Princeton, the Red tried to bounce back and play hard in its matchup against Quinnipiac, (2-9-1, 1-2-1). Once again, the Red’s penalties held the team back, as Quinnipiac scored both its goals while on the power play, leaving the game in a 2-2 tie.
The first period was a slow start for both teams, with neither team netting a goal. The Red came into the second period strong, as sophomore defender Amber Moore scored a few minutes in. Cornell then extended its lead when it scored another goal, this time on a power play. Freshman forward Catherine White netted this second Cornell goal, with help from teammates Young and Holmes.
Cornell did not hold onto its lead for long, as penalties gave the Quinnipiac team a 5-on-3 advantage about 10 minutes in. Senior forward Elyse Cole scored for the Bobcats with junior forward Janine Duffy and senior defender Trudy Reynes helping to set up the play. Cornell returned to full strength, but was soon scored on again by Cole, this time with an assist from freshman defender Melissa Perry.
The game went into overtime, but both teams failed to net a winning goal, and the score remained at 2-2.
Cornell stayed aggressive throughout the match, even when they were at a disadvantage caused by penalty minutes, and outshot the Bobcats 35-29. Sophomore goalkeeper Kayla Strong made 27 saves for the team.
“Even though we were on the penalty kill a lot, we did a good job blocking shots in the PK and everything, but it’s really tough when you’re playing five-on-three,” White said. “The other team has a really big advantage for scoring. We forechecked pretty well in both games creating offensive opportunities, but it just comes down to the penalties we took.”
Although these two games weren’t an ideal league opening for the Red, they were a chance for the team to recognize that it needs to focus on playing through penalties and on keeping out of the penalty box.
“We can definitely do better, and we need to keep our penalty units down,” said sophomore defender Amber Moore. “It wasn’t the start we were looking for, but we’re going to improve on it.”