February 23, 2009

W. Icers Split Weekend Before Playoffs

Print More

After traveling to RPI and Union this weekend, the women’s hockey team returned home with a split decision. The Red took a 3-1 loss to Rensselaer on Friday, while rallying to defeat Union on Saturday in a dominant 8-0 shutout.
“For the Friday game, we came out a little bit slow and we just overall didn’t quite play up to our potential,” said freshman goaltender Amanda Mazzotta. “For the Saturday game we knew that we definitely had to pick it up from the night before. We came out really strong, stuck to the system, did everything we needed to do and managed to get a good last regular season win in there.”
[img_assist|nid=35455|title=Keep it close|desc=Freshman Catherine White was key in both matches this weekend, as the Red geared up for Harvard next weekend.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Rensselaer (11-8-3, 16-13-4 ECAC Hockey) opened play, scoring the first goal of the game about two minutes in. The Red (8-9-5, 12-12-5 ECAC Hockey) answered back with its own goal about two minutes later when freshman forward Catherine White took a pass off the stick of teammate Amanda Young during a power play.
“Against RPI, in the first period we just weren’t ourselves. We didn’t come out with the same intensity we usually do and obviously it resulted in a 3-1 loss,” White said.
Both teams were scoreless in the second period. Early in the third, the Engineers scored again to take the 2-1 lead. Cornell struggled to even out the score as time began to run out, and decided to pull their goalie twice. Yet even after Cornell took out Jenny Niesluchowski in favor of an extra skater, RPI seized another chance to net a goal and brought the game to its final score of 3-1 during the last minute of play.
“It comes back down to our defense. We weren’t sticking to our usual systems. Sometimes we would just be straggling around and we wouldn’t pick up the player and it resulted in a goal [for RPI],” White said.
Not letting the RPI loss deter the team, Cornell came back strong for its second game of the weekend. Cornell approached the game against Union (0-21-1, 2-29-3 ECAC Hockey) aggressively, demonstrating its offensive might and shutting down the Union offense.
“Coming together and playing as a unit [led to success against Union]. Whenever each person does their job to help out the team, collectively we get the job done and manage to get pucks in the net and keep the puck out of our net in the D zone,” Mazzotta said.
Amanda Mazzotta earned her first collegiate shutout in the matchup, after making 15 saves for the Red.
“The job is always a lot easier to do when your defensemen are picking up sticks in front of the net and clearing the puck out quickly,” Mazzotta said.
The Red started its scoring streak about 13 minutes into the first period, when Catherine White scored her second goal of the weekend during a Cornell power play.
“Our execution was right on, and we ended up scoring eight goals,” White said. “We really moved the puck well another thing too, we have quite a few kids on our team who can really put the puck in the net. So I think it was a combination of both our aggressive play and our scoring talent on our team that put us up there.”
The second period was action-packed for the Red; the team scored five more goals in the period. White scored her second goal of the game just 12 seconds in. Sophomore Rebecca Johnston scored about four minutes later off an assist from White.
About five minutes into the third period, Johnston earned a hat trick after scoring her third goal of the game to settle the score at 8-0.
“Some of the goals we scored were just really good passes and just really good finishes, so I guess it kind of hard to defend against that,” White said.
Next weekend the Red will start its campaign at the ECAC playoffs matching up against top-ranked Harvard in the first round.
“I know one thing we want to focus on this week is our intensity in practice,” White said. “Last week we kind of lacked that intensity, which kind of followed on into our game against RPI. We want to focus on making our practices game-like so we’re ready especially for this weekend.”