February 10, 2011

Women’s Hockey Returns to Lynah After Clinching ECAC Season Title

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The women’s hockey team will play its last regular season home games this weekend when Lynah Rink welcomes ECAC rivals Yale and Brown. The Red (23-1-1, 17-0-1 ECAC Hockey) — currently ranked No. 2 in the nation — will look to repeat its dominating early season performances in which Cornell shut out both Brown (2-19-3, 1-13-3) and Yale (7-14-3, 6-9-2) on the road. Cornell hosts the Bears tonight at 7 p.m., while the Bulldogs will enter Lynah Rink tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. The contest against Yale has a little extra importance to it with an anonymous donor contributing $1.11 for every attendee in support of the Cornell division of the United Way charity. The Red bested Yale — currently ranked ninth in the ECAC — when the two teams met on Jan. 7, winning in the dominating fashion the women’s team is known for. In that matchup, junior forward Rebecca Johnston scored a hat trick helping Cornell defeat the Bulldogs, 5-0. This was an impressive win for the Red considering the absence of key players like sophomore defenseman Laura Fortino, who was selected to play for Team Canada at the 2011 MLP Cup in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland. Players to watch for Yale include Jackie Raines and Bray Ketchum, who lead the team with 17 points apiece, while goaltender Jackee Snikeris has compiled an impressive .940 save-percentage.“I think for us the big thing [when playing against Yale] is sticking to our game plan and playing to our full potential — playing the full 60 minutes,” Fortino said. “Last time we won 5-0 and the team played great. We just need to play the same way.”The Red met Brown, currently ranked second to last in the ECAC, shutting out the Bears in a similar manner, 3-0. Johnston, junior forward Kendice Ogilvie and sophomore forward Xandra Hompe led Cornell to victory against the Bears, who are suffering from an 18 game winless streak. Brown’s Laurie Jolin and Alena Polesnka, who lead the team with 12 points each, figure to play a prominent role in the Bears’ offense. On the other end of the ice, goaltender Katie Jamieson will be the likely starter after compiling a .910 save-percentage to this point in the season.Playing for the Red, Johnston currently leads the team with 34 points — 18 goals and 16 assists, and along with freshman forward Brianne Jenner has been one of the team’s top performers in the weeks approaching tonight’s matchup. Other players for Cornell looking to play a large role this weekend are junior forward Chelsea Karpenko, who has 32 points this season, and Fortino who enters tonight’s action with 30 total points. Fortino has had four multipoint games this season, while junior forward Catherine White has shown the propensity to score when it counts most after her pair of goals in the final moments of last week’s game against Clarkson pushed the Red into a tie, 3-3.After last week’s outcomes, which clinched the ECAC Hockey regular season championship title, the women will look to have another successful weekend, refusing to allow that accomplishment from getting in the way of the task at hand. “One of our goals was to achieve [the ECAC Hockey regular season championship] and we did. We are very happy, but we can’t harp on that and focus on that. We just need to go into the game and play our best,” Fortino said. “It doesn’t matter what team we’re playing any given night, we just need to play our best.”

Original Author: Lauren Ritter