October 31, 2010

W. Icers Open ECAC Play in Commanding Fashion

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The women’s hockey team opened up ECAC play on the road over the weekend, taking on league foes Quinnipiac and Princeton. Cornell emerged with two convincing 5-1 victories to move to 4-0-0 overall and 2-0-0 in ECAC competition.

On Friday night versus the Bobcats, the Red surrendered the first goal of the game late in the first period before immediately responding with two quick goals from junior forward Rebecca Johnston and sophomore defenseman Laura Fortino in a 1:08 span to take a 2-1 lead into intermission. Cornell would never look back, with two more goals from freshman Jessica Campbell and one more from junior Chelsea Karpenko –– plus 24 saves from junior netminder Amanda Mazzotta –– to put the icing on the 5-1 win.

“Obviously there’s a lot of pressure on us, being a highly ranked team, to go in and win,” said junior forward Catherine White. “We were a little upset about giving up an early goal, but we responded well with two quick goals before the end of the period and eventually got back into the swing of things. I think overall we handled everything well.”

On Saturday versus Ancient Eight rival Princeton, Cornell came out blazing with Johnston scoring her third goal of the season just 1:24 into the first period. Freshman forward Brianne Jenner added two more tallies and an assist for the Red, while goals from White and Karpenko put the Red up 5-0 en route to a 5-1 victory.  Mazzotta continued her strong start to the season with 18 saves on the night.

“It was really important for us to come out strong [this weekend],” Karpenko said. “[Qunnipiac and Princeton] are two of the top teams in ECAC, plus Princeton is also in the Ivy League, so it’s big for us to get these two wins.”

The Red has clearly gotten off to a strong start to a season that is filled with the highest of expectations. The team attributes its early success largely to the fact that there are so many returning key players from last year’s breakout squad. Having familiarity with each other as well as head coach Doug Derraugh’s system allows Cornell to skip the learning curve that so many teams must go through.

“I think [having so many returners] definitely does help us,” White said. “It’s a really nice feeling to have our seniors and juniors being players who have been here and have a little more experience to help the freshmen out. We know what it takes to get the job done; the more experience we get the more successful we should become.”

Original Author: Ware Cady