Over 900 fans sat in attendance at Lynah Rink Tuesday night to watch the No. 3 Red (22-3-0, 16-2-0 ECAC Hockey) shut down visiting No. 5 Mercyhurst (19-6-2, 5-1-2 CHA). The game — which Time Warner Cable broadcast live for fans at home — began with a tense start, as both the Lakers and Cornell put a goal on the board roughly 35 seconds apart at the 18-minute mark in the first period. The first two frames of play were highlighted by penalties on both ends of the ice, as each team tried to score the go-ahead goal.
After senior forward Rebecca Johnston’s goal in the first period, the Red fought hard to find a hole in Mercyhurst’s defensive wall. At 6:05 in the third period, after receiving a rebound from sophomore forward Jessica Campbell, sophomore defenseman Hayleigh Cudmore found a spot in the back of the Lakers’ net, earning the Red a 2-1 lead. Just four minutes later, Cornell increased its advantage to 3-1 after a power-play goal by senior forward Erin Barley-Maloney.
Mercyhurst entered the matchup against Cornell with the nation’s best man-advantage unit, scoring its lone goal on a power play; however, the Lakers surrendered two power-play goals to the Red. Hillary Pattenden — the NCAA all-time leader in wins — could do little to stop the Red, which experienced a four-goal scoring streak in the third period. Senior forward Catherine White and sophomore forward Brianne Jenner put the final points on the scoreboard for Cornell, at 11:43 and 13:43, respectively.
Cornell put up a strong defense against the Lakers, only allowing 20 shots on goal — a telling statistic considering Mercyhurst averages 43.5 shots per game. The Red out-shot its opponent, 2-1, finishing the night strong, with 23 shots on goal in the final frame.
Sophomore goalie Lauren Slebodnick made 19 saves on the night, dropping her season goals-against average to 1.48 and increasing her saves percentage to .923.
Cornell returns to action on Friday, traveling to Brown at 7 p.m., before heading over to Yale on Saturday at 4 p.m. If the Red beats wins both games this weekend, Cornell would successfully clinch its third consecutive ECAC Hockey regular season championship.
Original Author: Lauren Ritter