By SHANE LEWIS
The Cornell women’s hockey team swept the Vermont Classic this past weekend, dominating both Boston University and Vermont in the process. The team clung on to its momentum from last weekend, where it netted six goals against Mercyhurst. The Red tallied an impressive eight goals over the two games, defeating Boston, 4-2, and Vermont, 4-0.
Senior forwards Cassandra Poudrier and Taylor Woods, as well as freshman forward Pippy Gerace each scored two goals on the weekend. Sophomore defenseman Sarah Knee and senior forward Jess Brown added the other two goals for the Red.
Saturday night’s contest with Boston started off as a tight match. Poudrier got the scoring started in the first period, netting a goal off a nice setup from Brown and freshman defenseman Micah Hart. However, Boston was quick to respond, notching two goals in a span of less than a minute. The Red equalized the game with five minutes left in the period.
After a tied first period, the Red tightened up on defense and mustered up enough offense to cruise to a victory. Gerace scored a goal in the second period’s opening three minutes, and Brown closed off the period with a goal with under a minute left. Boston actually outshot the Red the remainder of the game, by an advantage of 17-11. The Terriers also doubled up on power plays, earning seven to the Red’s three. However, Cornell freshman goalie Marlene Boissonnault had a solid game, tallying 21 saves.
“We saw great things from many different people so it was exciting,” Poudrier said.
The goalie play was again strong on Sunday, when junior Paula Voorheis returned to the net. Voorheis led the Red to their first shutout of the year in a strong showing over Vermont, tallying an impressive nine saves in the first period and then enjoying a two-period span where the Red defense only gave up seven shots.
The Red flipped the script from the previous night’s game and dominated in power plays, out-gaining Vermont, 7-3. Cornell took advantage of these precious opportunities, scoring goals on three of these possessions. Overall, the Red would outshoot the Catamounts, 23-16.
The first 15 minutes of the game were close, with each team held scoreless. However, Knee striked with three minutes left in the period and Poudrier carried on this momentum with a goal three minutes into the second. A late second period goal by Woods would effectively put the game on ice, and the Red cruised to an easy victory.
Last weekend was a positive sign for the Red going forward. Over the first eight games of the season, the team was averaging just over a goal per game. However, the Red have been on a tear as of late and show no signs of slowing down. In its last six games, the team averaged close to four goals per game, one of the highest rates in the country. Two weeks ago the Red were amongst the bottom tier teams in terms of goal production — now they rank amongst the top 20 teams in the nation with 2.50 goals per game.
“By moving the puck quickly and creating space for ourselves, we should be able to find lanes to the net and be certain we are the first to any rebounds,” said junior forward Kaitlin Doering. “In order for us to initiate scoring opportunities, we need to make sure we have a strong net presence and aren’t limiting ourselves to the perimeter of the ice.”
Besides an early season slip up against arguably the best team in the country where the Red gave up eight goals to Boston College, Cornell has been one of the more stifling teams defensively in the ECAC. If the offense can keep up the current production, Cornell seems to be in a good position down the stretch.