Another weekend, another pair of convincing wins for the women’s hockey team. Cornell swept Niagra with a pair of 6-0 victories at Lynah over Thanksgiving weekend, lifting the Red — currently ranked second in the nation — to 6-0-0 in ECAC play and 10-1-0 overall.
Junior forward Chelsea Karpenko led the way for Cornell on Friday with a goal and three assists. By the end of the night, five different players for the Red had at least one goal, and nine different players had at least one point.
“It was great,” Karpenko said. “We came out a little slow but picked it up as the game went on. We were getting the bounces; it’s always nice when that happens.”
On Saturday night, junior forward Rebecca Johnston led the way with four points of her own: three goals and an assist on freshman Brianne Jenner’s second goal of the game. Seven members of the Red finished the night with at least one point, and junior goaltender Amanda Mazzotta, who shared time with freshman Lauren Slebodnick, recorded her fourth-straight shutout and fifth in six games.
The resounding victory was the latest in a stretch of big wins for Cornell, which has consistently smothered teams in the defensive zone, giving up a mere 10 goals on the season. Head coach Doug Derraugh ’91 has made defense a focal point for the Red this season, and Cornell’s hard work in practice has clearly paid off in games.
“We’ve definitely been focusing a lot on D-zone,” Karpenko said. “You need to if you’re going to win games against the better teams. By now we know that we can score goals, so being strong on defense is key.”
In addition to its defense, another crucial strong point of the Red this season is the strength of its roster from top to bottom. Everybody is contributing; on any given night, any one player is capable of coming up big for the team.
“It’s really important [being well-rounded],” Karpenko said. “Knowing that anyone on the team can do the job and do it well is huge. Everybody has been contributing and it’s great to see.”
Especially during strings of dominating victories, Cornell is aware of its need to stay in the moment and focus on the task at hand. The common theme for the Red all season has been to focus on what needs to be done each and every day to get better, and be careful not to look ahead too far into the season.
“It’s just a matter of staying in the present,” Karpenko said. “We know that as soon as a game is over, we’ve got another one coming up. It’s important not to dwell too much on the past or the future and stay focused on the task at hand.”
Original Author: Ware Cady