Twenty-seven. No, it is not the number of points the New England Patriots scored this week. It is the number of points the Cornell women’s hockey team has put on the scoreboard at Lynah Rink since Friday. The Red has been on fire from the start of the season and that did not change at all when the squad took on visiting Syracuse on Tuesday night. The team came out firing on all cylinders and sent the Orange up I-81 with a lopsided loss, 9-2.The No. 2 Red (4-0, 3-0 ECAC Hockey) came into the game having dominated its competition over the weekend, outscoring Yale and Brown by a combined total of 18-0. Syracuse (5-7-0, 0-0 CHA) also entered the game on a good note with a three-game winning streak.The play was fairly even for the first few minutes, but only for the first few minutes. Cornell controlled the puck early on, which the scoreboard did not reflect until well into the first period, as Syracuse netminder Kallie Billadeau initially turned away every Red shot to keep the Orange in the game up to that point.“I thought we came out with a pretty good start and played pretty well,” said head coach Doug Derraugh, now in his seventh season with the Red.With about six minutes remaining in the period, the puck was left sitting off the left side of the Syracuse crease. Billadeau and Cornell sophomore forward Brianne Jenner both dashed for the puck and, although neither player completely won possession, Jenner was able to get enough of the rubber to send it sliding past Billodeau and into the net, putting the Red up, 1-0 — a lead it would never relinquish. Two minutes later, while shorthanded, freshman forward Jillian Saulnier forced a Syracuse defender to turn over the puck as she was trying to clear the zone. The rookie standout took the puck directly to the Orange net, where she rifled it over the left shoulder of Billodeau, increasing the margin, 2-0.“We knew that Syracuse had a good team coming in,” Saulnier said. “They had a good team and good competition last year. We knew we had to come out hard on them.”The team kept putting points on the board in the second period, with senior forward Chelsea Karpenko starting things off at 1:33, firing one top shelf and making the score 3-0. Thirty-two seconds later, senior co-captain and forward Rebecca Johnston took the puck around the back side of the net and fired a shot just under the crossbar as she came around front, increasing the Red’s lead to four goals.Although Cornell was scoring, it was not able to dominate as much as it did in the first period. At 5:51, the Orange’s Holly Mattimoe picked up the puck at the blue line and skated unchallenged to the Cornell net, slipping it through the legs of senior goalkeeper Amanda Mazzotta and putting the visitors on the board. The rest of the period was fairly uneventful until, with 57 seconds remaining, Red freshman forward Monica Leck took a pass from junior defender Laura Fortino and rifled it into a wide open net as Billadeau dove across the crease, sending the teams to the locker rooms with the score in Cornell’s favor, 5-1.“We got a little away from putting defense first and were giving them more opportunities than I would have liked,” Derraugh said. “To [our] credit [we] regrouped between periods and I thought [we] played pretty well in the third period.”The Red did indeed jump out to a quick start in the third. Just 41 seconds into the period, a scrum developed in front of the net, from which Karpenko came out with the puck and sent it past Billadeau. Cornell added another three points during the period with goals from sophomore defender Hayleigh Cudmore, senior forward Catherine White and Saulnier, while the Orange was only able to tally one more goal in the contest, leaving the final score an impressive Cornell victory, 9-2.“We had an okay start,” Jenner said. “The second period we had a bit of a slump and got scored on … and then in the third period we picked it back up. Coach challenged us to just focus on the little things and I think we had much better habits in the third period — a little bit more consistency for sure.”The game was quite a physical one, with Syracuse committing 11 penalties to Cornell’s five, resulting in tense moments late in the third. After Syracuse’s Julie Knerr was whistled for charging for delivering a hit on a Cornell player in front of Section B, she skated away from the scene, but Saulnier physically confronted her and sent the Syracuse player sprawling on the ice. Knerr was unable to get up and had to be helped off the ice by her teammates, collapsing the second she made it off the ice. Saulnier was subsequently awarded a two-minute minor for hitting after the whistle.“Sticking up for your players is something you have to do,” Saulnier said. “The last thing I want to do is see someone get hurt, but I had to do what I had to do to stick up for my teammate. I certainly have no hard feelings for her but … the last thing I want to do is see someone else on my team get hurt.”Besides the few lackluster minutes in the second period, the game was all Cornell, as the Red outshot Syracuse, 59-10. The team has an off-weekend coming up, but Derraugh and players Lauriane Rougeau, Laura Fortino, Rebecca Johnston and Brianne Jenner will leave for Sweden later this week to join Team Canada at the Four Nations Cup in Nyköping. Canada won the tournament last year against Team USA on an overtime goal by Johnston.
Original Author: Zach Waller