November 17, 2011

W. HOCKEY | Squad Back at Full Strength

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Following a tough weekend of varied success, the women’s hockey team will hit the road today, heading to Princeton, N.J., to face fellow Ivy rival, Princeton, before traveling to Hamden, Conn. to play against Quinnipiac. The puck drops Friday night at 7 p.m. in Baker Rink for the Red’s showdown with the Tigers, after which the team will head up the Eastern Seaboard to Hamden’s TD Bank Sports Center, where it will meet the Bobcats at 4 p.m. on Saturday.The No. 2/3 seeded Red (5-1, 4-1 ECAC Hockey) is coming off a weekend that saw both great success and disappointment. Following Friday’s heart-breaking, 5-4 loss at the hands of Dartmouth, the Red was able to regroup and defeat arch rival No. 10 Harvard, 5-3, on Saturday. Entering into today’s game, the Tigers (4-3-1, 3-2-1) are coming off of a rough weekend where they did not earn any points during their trip into the North Country to face Clarkson and St. Lawrence. However, the team still sits at third place in the ECAC with seven points, just one spot below the Red, who has eight. Quinnipiac (5-6-1, 4-1-1), on the other hand, currently sits atop the league with nine points. However, like Princeton, the squad is also coming off of a tough road weekend, where it dropped its first contest to Clarkson, 3-0, before just escaping with a win over St. Lawrence, 3-2.Though the Red was unable to remain undefeated over the course of last weekend, the squad is not making excuses for the loss — despite the fact that it was without four of its top players, junior defenders Lauriane Rougeau and Laura Fortino, sophomore forward Brianne Jenner and senior forward and co-captain Rebecca Johnston, as well as its head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. The four players and Derraugh have returned from a trip abroad and will be back on the bench this weekend, after winning the silver medal with Team Canada at the 4 Nations Cup in Sweden last Sunday.“We had certain players playing different positions and certain players were playing with players they’re not used to playing with,” said senior forward and co-captain Catherine White. “I think overall we responded pretty well, but I think we got away from our game, which is aggressive forecheck and aggressive in our [defensive] zone, which is why we weren’t as successful against Dartmouth.”Looking towards tonight’s game, the Tigers started off the season on a high note, earning a solid, 5-3 victory over No. 8 Northeastern. However, things have gone downhill for Princeton since that night in October, with one of the season’s only other highpoints being a 7-1 trouncing of rival Yale two weeks ago at home. Princeton sophomores Sally Butler and Denna Laing look to be key in tonight’s matchup, as both have tallied nine points on the season, leading the Tigers in that category.As for tomorrow’s game against Quinnipiac, the Bobcats currently occupy the top position in the ECAC and will be looking to defend that position when the Red takes the ice in Hamden. Although the team has a strong conference record, the Bobcats’ non-conference record leaves the team wanting more, as is has only won one of six non-conference matchups; however, four of those contests were against ranked, Top-10 opponents. The Bobcats play a clean, defensive style of hockey — averaging 6.7 penalty minutes per game, which is the lowest in Division I women’s hockey, and average 1.33 goals against per game, which ties them for second in the league. Quinnipiac will look to try to keep the Red’s offense in check, a task which might prove challenging now that the squad is back at full strength.“They’re always hard-working teams,” said senior forward and co-captain Chelsea Karpenko. “I think it’s going to be a battle for 60 minutes against both of them. We’re really going to have to play from start to finish because both of those teams never quit.”“[Princeton and Quinnipiac] are always extremely disciplined, well-coached and hard-working,” added senior goaltender Amanda Mazzotta. “They always have players who are willing to do whatever they have to do to get the job done. We’re going to have to do the same.”

Original Author: Zach Waller