February 4, 2010

Women’s Hockey Battles For No. 2 ECAC Standing

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The regular season for women’s ice hockey is drawing to a close, with only six games remaining, and the Red is striving to earn a No. 2 spot in the ECAC. Playing well is pivotal for Cornell during these next three weekends; this will be the first time the team earns a position in the top-4 of the conference, and ranking second would boost the team’s morale tremendously. The games start this weekend, as Cornell hosts Quinnipiac at Lynah Rink tonight at 7 p.m., followed by another home game tomorrow afternoon against Princeton.

Ivy League foe Princeton (10-9-4, 8-4-4) is in a three-way tie for the spot behind Cornell in the ECAC standings, and will be bringing its best game in an attempt to usurp the Red and maintain a hold on home ice for the beginning of the ECAC playoffs. The Tigers are coming off a three-point weekend consisting of a win against Union and a tie with Rensselaer. That weekend was a return to play for the Tigers, as Princeton had a three-week layoff period for exams prior to that. The Tigers will be taking on Colgate tonight before playing the Red at 4 p.m. tomorrow.

“Both are really gritty teams that are in good positions in the ECAC,” said senior forward Melanie Jue. “They’re the underdogs trying to knock us down, and we will see a lot of talent from both [Quinnipiac and Princeton].”

In order to find success in these games, the Red will continue a strategy it has been following from the start of the season: the players will try to play their own game and remain in their own system, not following any opponent’s lead on the ice but instead creating their own direction.

“We’re really focused on goal scoring. We’re dedicated to putting the puck in the net, and we pride ourselves on our defense and penalty kill,” Jue said.

Sophomore goaltender Amanda Mazzotta is in the top-10 for the nation in terms of average goals-against, and looks forward to this weekend.

“I’m going to try and be focused and just take one goal at a time,” Mazzotta said, noting that both teams are very hard working and disciplined.

The Red will focus on its penalty kill that has been very successful throughout the entirety of the season, and will work on not letting it falter as it did last weekend.

“We’ve had a good week of practices, and everyone is really excited,” Mazzotta added.

Original Author: Reena Gilani