February 14, 2010

Women’s Hockey Clinches Ivy Title, Climbs into Tie for First in ECAC

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After a weekend at home, the women’s hockey team hit the road for Providence, R.I., and New Haven, Conn., for a spectacular weekend of play. Taking on Brown and Yale on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the Red was able to not only clinch the Ivy League title, but also tie for first place in ECAC Hockey. Sophomore goaltender Amanda Mazzotta also earned another two shutouts, which continues to add to the University-high for number of shutouts in a single season.

Friday night at Brown (2-20-4, 0-17-3 ECAC Hockey), the Ivy League title was officially given to Cornell (13-8-6, 12-2-6) as it dominated play for a 4-0 victory. For the Red, this was the first time the women’s hockey team was able to outright claim the Ivy League title since 1996. Two goals came from junior forward Karlee Overguard –– assisted by sophomore forward Catherine White –– and senior forward Melanie Jue in the first. Other goals came from junior forward Hayley Hughes and sophomore forward Chelsea Karpenko. The Red outshot the Bears, 40-15. Both teams were consistent on the penalty-kill, with the Bears surprisingly not giving up any goals during the Red’s seven power play attempts.

The following day at Yale (10-14-3, 8-11-1) was also a decisive win for Cornell, as the 1-0 victory allowed the Red to tie current ECAC dominator, Clarkson, for first place in the conference at 30 points each. This win solidifies the Red’s first-ever top-four standing in the ECAC, as the current fifth team trails by five points, and there are only four more possible points for the remainder of the regular season. Freshman defender Lauriane Rougeau was the only player to get on the scoreboard that day, scoring the Red’s sole goal during a power play with less than a minute left in the second. She was assisted by White and freshman defender Laura Fortino. Mazzotta stopped 19 shots for the Red during the game against the Bulldogs, going on for her fourth-straight shutout and ninth of the season –– a new Cornell record that can continue to grow next weekend during the final two games of regular season play.

During both games, success for the Red could be attributed to the consistent strategy of sticking to its own game rather than following the lead of its opponent.

“We stuck to the game plan, and really focused on our penalty-kills and forechecks,” Jue said.

Jue said she was pleased with the way that all of the team members played significant roles, noting that there is not just one person carrying the team every time. Rather, someone else steps up for every game, she said.

“It really was a team effort. The defense made the saves to get the puck out [of the Cornell zone] when they had to, and the forwards made great finishes,” Jue said.

Original Author: Reena Gilani