March 24, 2013

WOMEN’S ICE HOCKEY | Red Loses Thriller to Mercyhurst in Overtime

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The women’s ice hockey season came to an end on March 16 at Lynah Rink as Cornell lost a thriller in overtime to Mercyhurst, 4-3. The No. 2 Red (27-6-1) came back twice in the game including a tying goal with just 55.6 seconds. The No. 7 Lakers (29-7-1) ended the Red’s season 4:49 into overtime on a rebound goal.

“We expected a physical, gritty, close game,” head coach Doug Derraugh said. “We were a little bit off early on, but we started playing much better later on. We just could not come up with the final tally today.”

Sophomore forward Jillian Saulnier scored the tying goal in the third period off an assist from junior forward Brianne Jenner. Jenner was involved in all three Cornell goals as she scored the first one in the second period and got an assist on the second goal later in the period.

“We were relentless until the end,” Saulnier said. “In our hearts we believed that puck was going to go into the net. Anything can happen when you put the puck at the net and everyone did their jobs to insure that it happened.”

Cornell maintained a short lead into the third period until the Lakers scored 7:29 into the period. Mercyhurst took the lead again at 18:47 before the Red were able to tie it again in the final minute. Despite allowing four goals past her, junior goaltender Lauren Slebodnick made 30 saves on 34 shots.

“Our style is to be aggressive in overtime,” Derraugh said. “We tried to put pucks to the net and I thought we did that early on, but things just didn’t go our way.”

Mercyhurst went forward to the Frozen Four to play Boston University, but lost, 4-1, on Friday, March 22. Boston played Minnesota at 4 p.m. on Sunday for the National Championship. Cornell will enter the offseason coming off a regular season and ECAC Tournament Championship.

Despite the loss, Jenner and senior Lauriane Rougeau have been honored as 2013 CCM Division I Women’s Ice Hockey All-Americans. Jenner was awarded the 2013 ECAC Hockey Player of the Year.

“Looking back at the season, we did an amazing job,” senior defenseman Lauriane Rougeau said. “But, yes I am a little disappointed.  We played hard enough to win, and you just have to keep your head up.”

Original Author: Scott Eckl