February 21, 2013

W. HOCKEY | Red Faces RPI, Union on Road

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The women’s hockey team closes out the regular season on the road this weekend at RPI and Union. The No. 3 Red (21-5-1, 16-3-1 ECAC) will face RPI (10-18-4, 8-10-2) on Friday night and Union (7-21-4, 0-16-4) on Saturday afternoon. The Red is tied atop the ECAC standings with Harvard at 33 points. The Crimson has three remaining games against St. Lawrence, Clarkson and Yale.

“Last weekend was huge for us,” said senior captain and defenseman Laura Fortino. “But right now, we are just looking forward to keeping the momentum. We know that anything can happen on any given night.”

Despite the tie at the top of the ECAC standings, the Red’s 0-0 tie against Dartmouth last Saturday clinched the squad at least a share of the Ivy League Championship. It is Cornell’s fourth championship in a row. The Red is the only Ivy League school to accomplish this feat, also doing so from 1976-1980. This weekend, Cornell will play for seeding in the ECAC tournament.

“It is natural to [want to] know how [Harvard] does,” Fortino said. “But right now we are just focused on how we do. We really just want to get the two wins and then see how we match up against the other teams.”

Historically, Cornell owns RPI and Union with a combined 30-5-0 record against the two teams. At Lynah Rink on Feb. 1, Cornell routed Union, 8-1, with four of the goals coming off the stick of junior forward Brianne Jenner. On Feb. 2, the Red beat RPI, 3-1, after getting off to a quick start with two scores in the first period. Cornell has also won its last four regular season finales by a combined score of 21-6.

The Red has been on a hot streak this month, as well as last month. The Red was 7-1 in January and is 4-1-1 in February. Jenner won ECAC Hockey Player of the Month for January as she recorded a team-high 23 points. Junior goaltender Lauren Slebodnick was the league’s Goaltender of the Month, as she had seven victories while giving up just three goals in four conference games.

After facing off against Union and RPI, the Red will have to wait for the results of Harvard’s games this weekend to see how it will be seeded in the ECAC tournament.

Original Author: Scott Eckl