February 20, 2011

Women’s Hockey Road Weekend Marred by Penalties

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Over the weekend, the No. 2 Red (26-2-1, 20-1-1 ECAC Hockey) hit the road to take on Dartmouth (18-9-0, 14-7-0) and Harvard (15-10-4, 14-5-3) in its final games of the regular season. After a wildly successful run, Cornell suffered its second loss of the season on Friday night in Hanover, N.H. against Dartmouth, 4-2, but came back strong the following afternoon to beat Harvard, 4-3.

Dartmouth started the night off with junior forward Kelly Foley scoring twice in the first period — only 12 minutes into the game. The Red served many penalties throughout the game, three of which occurred during the first period. Freshman forward Jessica Campbell served two minutes in the penalty box for tripping at 4:47, which resulted in a power-play goal by Foley at 5:43. This was the first power-play goal that Cornell has surrendered after playing 20 ECAC Hockey regular season games. A second goal with the man advantage came during sophomore defenseman Laura Fortino’s time in the box for a boarding call — her second penalty of the night.

“We didn’t play to our full potential [against Dartmouth],” Fortino said. “We got away from our game plan and system. We weren’t executing our D-zone or forecheck. Dartmouth came out strong and they won.”

“We were a little too complacent,” added junior forward Catherine White. “We were acting like it was already in the bag and Dartmouth played like the better team. That’s why they won.”

The second period was marked by more penalties as a roughing call on sophomore defenseman Lauriane Rougeau after only 16 seconds of play and a team penalty for having too many players on the ice led to two more Dartmouth power plays. Dartmouth pulled out two more goals towards the end of the period, with junior defenseman Geneva Kliman scoring on a Green power play — the third power-play goal of the night.

The Red entered the third period down four goals, but senior forwards Karlee Overguard and Hayley Hughes were able to slip in a goal apiece halfway through the period. Though the goal deficit was cut in half, the Green secured the upset, besting the Red, 4-2.

“We started to wake up a little bit. We needed to be ready from the start and we weren’t that game,” Fortino said. “We need to develop that intensity and hunger at the beginning of play and not in the last 20 minutes.”

The next afternoon Cornell traveled to Boston, Mass. to take on the Harvard Crimson. Cornell started the period on a strong note when freshman forward Brianne Jenner, junior forward Chelsea Karpenko and White put the Red on the board, all three of which were scored within five minutes of each other. Karpenko contributed a multipoint game, set off by her first period goal and followed by a third period assist. Like the Dartmouth game the previous night, the game against the Crimson was riddled with penalties — nine total for the Red.

After four Cornell penalties in the second period, Harvard was able to sneak in two goals. This turnaround did not slow down the Red’s momentum as White came back strong in the third period scoring a power-play goal for Cornell at 2:03. Though Harvard came back with another goal during a power play against the Red a few minutes later, Cornell was able to hang onto its secure lead.

“I think the big difference between Harvard and Dartmouth was that we played to our potential. We established our forecheck and played the game we play: Cornell Big Red Hockey,” White said. “We were up three nothing, but then in the second period Harvard came back. Throughout the game there were a lot of penalties and power plays, but the thing that worked well against Harvard was the penalty kill as well as our power play.”

Cornell was able to finish its regular season strongly with the win against Harvard. Now the Red turns its attention to the ECAC Hockey playoffs against No. 8 seed Rensselaer, beginning in a best-of-three series at Lynah Rink Friday night with a 7p.m. puck drop.

“RPI is definitely someone you can’t take lightly,” White said. “They had upsets against other teams, so our game plan is to play hockey and be focused. We need to have a good start — mostly just have that focus in the first period and play with that intensity we know we have.”

Original Author: Lauren Ritter