December 1, 2008

Women’s Hockey Splits Series With Visiting Niagara

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The women’s hockey team played host to Niagara this weekend and had split results in the two-game series. In the first game, Cornell fell, 3-2, but when the Red returned for the second matchup, it overpowered Niagara, 5-3.
In the first game of the series, Niagara (4-10-2, 1-1-0 College Hockey America) utilized its power plays to overtake Cornell. [img_assist|nid=33911|title=Let it roll|desc=Rookie Jess Martino (15) opened scoring against Niagara Saturday, but the Red eventually lost. |link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“They got all of their goals on the power play,” said freshman forward Chelsea Karpenko. “5-on-5 we outplayed them, we outshot them 2-1, but it was the penalties that they capitalized on.”
Cornell (5-5-1, 2-3-1 ECAC Hockey League) was first to score when, six minutes into the first period, freshman defender Jessica Martino scored her second goal of the season. She got a slapshot past the Purple Eagles’ sophomore goaltender, Jenni Bauer, with help from sophomore Rebecca Johnston and freshman Catherine White.
The Purple Eagles tied up the score after Cornell’s penalty gave them a man advantage on the ice. Senior forward Melanie Mills netted the first goal for Niagara, getting it past Cornell’s sophomore goalkeeper, Kayla Strong.
In the second period Cornell received another penalty, which gave Niagara the chance to score again. Halfway through the second period, freshman forward Caitlin Jenkins scored after the puck bounced off of Strong’s glove and into the net, putting the Niagara in the lead.
“We got off to a quick start and we had the lead, but like a few weekends before, the penalties ended up costing us,” said freshman forward Catherine White.
Cornell came back strong after the break, and sophomore forward Karlee Overguard scored just three minutes into the third period. She picked up a rebound from Martino’s shot to tie the score at 2-2.
Soon after the Red’s goal, the Purple Eagles were given a penalty shot after a Niagara player was tripped on a breakaway. Niagara sophomore Autumn Stuntz couldn’t get her shot past Strong, though, and the game remained tied.
The Purple Eagles pulled ahead to leave the score at 3-2 when an interference penalty called on Cornell gave them yet another power play opportunity. This time, freshman Jocey Kleiber scored for Niagara.
The Red outshot Niagara, 42-21, but was hurt by the power plays. While Cornell didn’t score on any of its four power play opportunities, Niagara converted three of its six chances into goals.
Cornell bounced back from its loss and defeated Niagara, 5-3, in yesterday’s second meeting between the two teams.
“It was just a matter of putting our talk into action,” Karpenko said. “We knew what we had to do to take off penalties and keep getting shots on net and backtracking hard, and we knew what we had to do so it was just a matter of going out and doing it.”
Five different Cornell players notched goals in the contest, and Rebecca Johnston’s goal and assist in the game allowed her to earn her 50th career point.
The Red was aggressive from the first period on, and sophomore Amber Overguard scored in the fourth minute of play.
Freshman forward Catherine White netted a goal for Cornell in the first minute of the second period to give the Red a 2-0 lead. About midway through the period Niagara started to fight back with its own goal, scored by Autumn Stuntz. The Purple Eagles then brought the score to a tie after a second goal, this time from freshman defender Sarah Zacharias.
In the third period, Niagara took the upper hand after junior forward Jennifer MacLean’s goal brought the team to a 3-2 lead.
The Purple Eagles tried to maintain their advantage to capture the win, but Cornell scored three more goals in the third to bring the final score to 5-3. The Red took advantage of a major five-minute slashing penalty against the Purple Eagles to score two power-play goals — one netted by junior Laura Danforth and the other by Johnston.
Then, to further solidify the Red’s lead, freshman forward Chelsea Karpenko scored just one second after Niagara’s penalty ended.
The Red again outshot Niagara, this time 43-27. Goalkeeper Jenny Niesluchowski made 24 saves in the contest.
“In both games, we started off with a lot of energy but I just felt like in the second game we were able to maintain that and just keep going,” White said. “Even though today we ended up getting behind, we were able to come back.”