A lot is on the line Friday night as the Cornell women’s hockey team takes on Harvard. The No. 4 Red (20-5, 15-3 ECAC) is slightly ahead of the No. 5 Crimson (18-3-2, 14-1-1) and tied with Clarkson on top of the standings. Cornell is also slated to play against Dartmouth (14-7-4, 9-6-3 ECAC) Saturday night, concluding its regular-season home schedule.
“There is a lot riding on it,” said senior captain and defenseman Laura Fortino. “But we have to approach it like every other game. We are definitely in for a battle.”
The last time the two teams played, on Nov. 24 at Harvard, the Crimson bested the Red 3-1. The game was tied at 1-1 in the third period when Harvard’s Kalley Armstrong netted the game-winner with 7:42 left. Both teams were undefeated in the ECAC going into the game. Since then, Harvard has only lost to Clarkson, and Cornell has dropped one game to Clarkson and one to Quinnipiac.
“We lacked the ability to win the little battles last time we met,” Fortino said. “This time, we will have to keep it simple and battle with grit and competitiveness.”
Fortino emphasized doing all the little things right, such as blocking shots and crashing the net in the offensive zone. She also stressed that the Red needs to play aggressive on both sides of the ice in order to win.
“We know their potential and their skill,” Fortino said. “But we just have to take it one shift at a time, and then we can be successful.”
The encore to the game against Harvard on Friday is a game against Dartmouth Saturday. While there might not be the same level of excitement leading up to the game, it remains just as important. Cornell barely squeaked by Dartmouth last time in Hanover on Nov. 22, beating the Green, 2-1, in overtime.
“We have not really talked about Dartmouth,” Fortino said. “But we know they are a good team and we will just have to play as good as we will on Friday in order to win [on Saturday].”
Original Author: Scott Eckl