November 21, 2008

W. Icers Travel to Traditional Ivy Powerhouses

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The women’s hockey team travels east this weekend to play two away games. Cornell will skate against Dartmouth tonight and then Harvard tomorrow.
“Harvard and Dartmouth have been the top-2 teams in women’s ice hockey for the last five or six years,” said head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. “They were both ranked in the top-10 at the start of this year, so obviously two very strong teams that we will be playing against, but they have also lost some games early in the season, so we could matchup pretty well against them.”
[img_assist|nid=33802|title=Setting the course|desc=Senior co-captain Stephanie Ulrich controls the puck in the Red’s 3-0 win over Yale last Saturday. Cornell heads to Dartmouth and Harvard this weekend.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Dartmouth (5-1-1, 4-1-1 ECAC Hockey) has the series advantage over Cornell (4-2-1, 2-1-1), 38-20-5, and has won the past 18 contests against the Red. Cornell hopes to end the Green’s streak and capture a win this weekend.
Although Dartmouth is unbeaten so far this season on its home ice, the team is coming off two tough games last weekend. The team lost to St. Lawrence 3-0, and tied Clarkson 2-2.
Leading the Green in goals is sophomore forward Amanda Trunzo, who has tallied five goals this season. Forwards Maggie Kennedy and Jenna Cunningham share the lead with Trunzo in team points, each with 10. The Green has been especially adept at jumping out of the gate quick, netting the first goal in five of their seven games.
Senior Carli Clemis, the Green’s primary goalkeeper, boasts a .957 save percentage and 1.15 goals against average.
Harvard (3-2-1, 3-2-1) is coming off a two-game losing streak, but has won its last six meetings with Cornell, including the most recent two played during the ECAC Hockey quarterfinal round.
Three players, senior Sarah Wilson, junior Cori Bassett and sophomore Liza Ryabkina lead the Crimson with three goals each. Bassett is in the top-10 in the nation for defensemen, averaging 1.0 points per game. Junior goaltender Christina Kessler will be a tough barrier for the Red, boasting a 40-7-2 average during her career in net.
“Harvard and Dartmouth have been great teams for a long time, but this year I think we are definitely strong enough to do it and we’re not going in with a mindset that any team is going to be able to push us around,” said senior defender Stephanie Ulrich. “We going to go hard and we’re going to play our game and make the other teams play the way we play.”
Cornell hopes to face these two strong teams using the momentum gained from last weekend’s wins against Brown and Yale. After scoring four goals last weekend, sophomore forward Rebecca Johnston leads the Red with 12 points on six goals and six assists.
Sophomore Kayla Strong and junior Jenny Niesluchowski have each contributed to solid play in goal this year. Strong recorded the Red’s first shutout of the season last weekend, and has a 3-0-1 record and a .954 save percentage.
“Playing Harvard and Dartmouth in the same weekend is always tough, but Coach [Derraugh] has really gotten us prepared for this weekend,” said junior forward Melanie Jue. “At this point, the league is still up in the air and there isn’t really a powerhouse and I think that we can throw an upset in there this weekend.”