January 26, 2009

Cornell Splits Roadtrip Against Yale, Brown

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After struggling against Yale on Friday night, Cornell (10-9-2, 6-6-2 ECAC) fought back on Saturday to defeat the Bears, 6-0. Despite losing to the Bulldogs, the Red still stands ahead of both the Bulldogs and the Bears in ECAC Hockey rankings with an accumulated 14 points. These two Ivy League games were crucial for the women’s hockey team in hopes of securing its top-8 position for the playoffs.
“I thought it was a good team effort … I feel our team is getting a lot closer because we put our heart and soul into it, and even though we didn’t win, we still have each other,” said freshman forward Kendice Ogilvie. “Even though it wasn’t the best outcome, we had to move on. “
Just 55 seconds into the game, the Red was called for interference, allowing the Bulldogs (8-12-0, 4-9-0 ECAC) to go on a man advantage. Yale freshman Heather Grant went to clear the puck into Cornell’s zone to change lines, and the puck ended up sliding past Cornell’s junior goaltender Jenny Niesluchowski.
Not allowing the Bulldogs’ goal to interfere with its focus, the Red continued to play intensely, eventually outshooting Yale 10-7 in the first period.
“For Yale, we were really looking forward to winning that game. It would have been a great game to win because it would have helped secure a spot in playoffs, but, unfortunately the puck did not go our way,” said Yale senior captain Stephanie Ulrich. “We had a lot of unlucky bounces and couldn’t score when we needed to score.”
The Red saw this recurring theme of unlucky bounces throughout the night. In one instance, the squad thought it had tied the game just a few minutes into the first period, but the puck had gone through the crease and come back out.
Going into the second period, the Red knew it had to tie up the game, and freshman forward Catherine White lit the lamp six minutes in, making her 11th goal of the season, with an assist from sophomore Rebecca Johnston, who has accumulated 26 points. [img_assist|nid=34398|title=Wrappin’ around|desc=Sophomore forward Rebecca Johnston (right) takes on a trio of Union defenders during a victory on Jan. 16. Johnston scored the one goal during the Red’s 6-0 win Saturday over the Bears.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Despite being plagued with numerous penalties, the Red learned to make the best of the situation. After Cornell got called with another interference penalty in the third period, junior Liz Zorn skated the puck to a one-on-one against Yale’s goalie, freshman Genny Ladiges, before Ladiges effectively thwarted the play, finishing with a total of 25 saves.
Just a few seconds later, the Bulldogs, on a power play, scored their second goal of the night, widening Yale’s lead over Cornell. Attempting to stay in action, the Red decided to pull its goalie out of the goal with 2:20 remaining in the game, but Yale took advantage of the empty net to notch a third goal.
“We were pretty upset about it, but we tried to shake it off and we knew that we had to be ready to play against Brown,” said Ulrich. “We tried to harness the frustration we were feeling after the Yale game and maintain energy for the next game against Brown.”
The Red broke the scoreless tie against the Bears (3-16-1, 2-11-0 ECAC) early on in the first period, when White scored the first goal, giving Cornell a lead that it would never lose. At 5:39, Cornell went on a power play and sophomore Karlee Overguard netted the second goal of the game.
“We really focused on putting together a good 60 minutes of our best game of ice hockey. We came together as a team and just kept pounding them and not letting up for a second,” Ulrich said.
It was this intensity that aided the Red in scoring on six different occasions and each goal came from a different forward. In addition, it was the first opportunity for many forwards to score their first goal of the season, including freshman Kendice Ogilvie, who netted the Red’s third goal.
“I was standing next to the net and one of the girls had the puck behind the net so I was calling for it because I was open and no opponents were covering me. I had free space so I was calling, ‘Please give me the puck,’” said Ogilvie. “When the pass was coming to me I was like ‘Quick shot, make sure you hit a quick shot.’ I shot it, and it ended up going in. At that point it was 3-0, so it could have gone either way but we kept on trucking and it ended up being 6-0. It was a very exciting thing for me.”
The Red continued to outshoot the Bears throughout the duration of the game, and netted another goal in the second period when freshman Chelsea Karpenko took advantage of a Brown line change to make the score 4-0.
Still hungry for more goals, senior Emma Chipman scored her first goal of the season in the third period. Soon after, Johnston closed up the game with the sixth goal of the night, ending the game 6-0. Niesluchowski made 18 saves and picked up her fifth shutout of her career.
The Red went 1-of-4 on power plays, compared to the Bears 0-of-5 record. Overguard obtained an almost flawless faceoff record of 17-of-21, which was helpful in aiding Cornell’s win.
With over half of the goals of the weekend coming from freshman, Cornell is proving that its young team is ready to fight. With a split weekend on the road, the Red is hoping to utilize this new momentum as they tackle next weekend’s foes.
“It was a really good effort. Everyone came into the game knowing that playoffs are on the line,” said Ogilvie. “We came out with our best effort and when we did that we played awesome. We worked as a team so the coaches were very happy with us.”