Lily Xing | Sun Staff Photographer

After splitting the series with Clarkson and St. Lawrence last weekend, No. 8 women's hockey look to notch two wins over Dartmouth and Harvard.

January 25, 2017

Upward Trending No. 8 Women’s Hockey Voyages East For Bouts With Dartmouth, Harvard

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Cornell women’s hockey will look to rebound from its first loss in seven games when the team travels on the road to take on Dartmouth and Harvard this weekend.

The No. 8 Red (13-6-2, 9-3-2 ECAC) has a 10-1-1 record at home this season but has struggled on the road, securing only three wins away from Lynah. Back to back games this weekend against teams near the bottom of the standings will provide Cornell with a great opportunity to get back to .500 hockey on the road.

Still, the team is not taking anything for granted, and its players know they will have to stay focused in order to come away with two wins.

“We know that anything can happen in our league,” said senior forward Hanna Bunton. “We know that Dartmouth and Harvard will be coming out strong.”

Head coach Doug Derraugh ’91 echoed Bunton’s statements. While Derraugh is impressed with how his team has performed lately, he stressed the importance of not treating any opponent lightly.

“We have had a good stretch here where we played some good teams and had some good outcomes,” Derraugh said. “This league is tough from top to bottom and if you don’t show up you’re going to be in trouble and you’re going to lose.”

Cornell will take its longest road trip of the season so far when the team travels to New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Bunton says the team will try to keep a similar routine to other road trips.

“We try to prepare the same for every game that we go into,” Bunton said. “It will be a long bus trip so we have to make sure that we get our legs moving once we get there.”

Bunton has been dominant for Cornell so far this year, as she currently leads the Red in both points and assists. The combination of Bunton and freshman forward Kristin O’Neill — who leads the team in scoring with 10 goals — has provided stability for Cornell’s offensive attack.

Bunton credits her teammates for her success.

“Getting those points does not happen without great teammates,” Bunton said. “Playing with really good players is helping me this year.”

Bunton looks to have strong games against both Dartmouth (5-10, 3-11) and Harvard (3-14-2, 3-9-2), which despite their record, have talented rosters and have shown flashes of sound hockey at various points this year.

“Dartmouth plays a very good team game and they don’t give up many chances,” Derraugh said. “They are a smart team and are tough defensively. “

As for the Crimson, the team has suffered from several one-goal defeats this season.  Harvard has shown a tendency to blow games in the third period and overtime, but the team has also shown to be competitive and scrappy.

“If you look at the standings you would think it’s different, but if you look at when Harvard played us here, I felt the game could have gone either way,” Derraugh said. “They are playing everybody tough, but Harvard is having a tough time of getting wins this year.”

With playoffs looming, Cornell is in need of two wins this weekend. Although the team is young, the players have come together quickly. If Cornell plays like it has this past month, the team should have a great opportunity to put some pressure on St. Lawrence (19-3-2, 11-2-1) and Clarkson (18-4-4, 12-1-1) in the standings.