January 16, 2009

Recovering W. Icers Host Weekend Series

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As the women’s hockey team prepares to host Union tonight and Rensselaer tomorrow afternoon, the squad has winter break experience under its belt that it can call on to help transition back to the regular season.
Wanting to start the New Year off right, the Red came to Ithaca earlier this month with twofold intentions — to start preparations with two-a-day practices, while simultaneously continuing to bond as a team. During the break, Cornell played two series, skating to a split with Providence and then losing two close matches to Colgate.
With much of Cornell’s squad out because of injuries, the Red (7-8-2, 3-5-2 ECAC Hockey) had to utilize different techniques in order to net its goals. In addition, leading scorer, sophomore forward Rebecca Johnston was not present in these games because she was playing for the Canadian Under-22 Nation Team at the 2009 MLP Cup.
[img_assist|nid=34146|title=Full strength|desc=The women’s hockey team featured a depleted roster in its winter break matchups due to injuries, as well as sophomore star forward Rebecca Johnston being on loan to the Canadian Under-22 National Team at the 2009 MLP Cup.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
In the first match against Providence, head coach Doug Derraugh ’91 decided to mix up Cornell’s style by allowing junior goaltender Jenny Niesluchowski and sophomore goalkeeper to have an equal playing time.
The Red started off strong against the Friars by netting three goals in the beginning of the first period by taking advantage of rebounds and putting pressure on the opposing goalie. Cornell couldn’t maintain its lead, however, and Providence ended up winning 4-3 in a very tough match.
Unhappy with the results from the night before, Cornell again started the game off strongly netting two goals in the first period. Unlike the night before, the Red maintained its energy and pressure throughout the contention, by only yielding one goal to Providence in the second period.
Despite having numerous penalties called against the Red, including a 5-on-3 disadvantage, Cornell’s penalty kill unit proved effective and was able to retain its lead and eventually score a fourth goal in the final minutes, ending the game 4-1.
The following weekend, Cornell dropped a squeaker to its rival Colgate. In the first game, played in Lynah, the Raiders were able to net a goal early in the first period. The Red tied the game on a power play opportunity in the second period, when freshman Catherine White set up junior Liz Zorn to attack at the top of the net.
Starting the third, both teams were in a deadlock tie. The Red continued to play solidly and create scoring opportunities, but the Raiders goalie was not willing to give up a point. With a little over one minute remaining in the game, Colgate was able to score with a wrist shot to the net, creating a loss for the Red 2-1.
For the second match of the series against the Raiders, Cornell traveled to Colgate with hopes of improving from the day before, but had an unfortunate repeat of the night before, losing 4-3.
The Red came was fired up and scored early on, before suffering a disappointing ruling by the referees that Zorn’s goal never crossed the goal line. Relieved with the call, the Raiders took advantage of the Red’s disappointment and netted their first goal of the night.
After a scoreless second period, Colgate took control of the third period despite the Red’s best attempts, including pulling the goalie. In the end, Colgate won the game with a score of 4-3.