Cornell women’s hockey picked up a win against Dartmouth on Friday and a draw at Harvard on Saturday in what was a productive road trip at a crucial point in the season.
“It has always been a tough road trip going into those buildings,” said head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. “We would’ve liked to get four points on the trip but the team worked hard and played strong defensively.”
The No. 8 Red (14-6-3, 10-3-3 ECAC) gathered three points on the weekend to remain in third place in a tight ECAC playoff race. Cornell is currently four points behind second place St. Lawrence (21-3-2, 13-2-1) in the standings.
Cornell struggled to convert on its offensive chances in both games, but the team pressured the puck on the defensive end and limited scoring chances for Dartmouth (5-16-0, 3-12-0) and Harvard (3-15-3, 3-10-3).
“We have to do a better job when we have opportunities to score,” Derraugh added. “That includes finishing around the net and creating more second and third chance opportunities.”
On Friday, senior forward Kaitlin Doering scored Cornell’s only goal on the night midway through the first period. A strong defensive performance and great goaltending from sophomore Marlene Boissonnault was enough for a 1-0 victory over Dartmouth.
Doering also scored against Harvard on Saturday and has come alive offensively for the Red during a recent stretch of play.
“Kaitlin is having a real strong second half for us and she has been a great leader for us,” Derraugh said. “She’s always been a player you can put in any situation on the ice.”
On Saturday, Harvard obtained an early lead after a sluggish start for the Red. For most of the first period, Cornell struggled to put pucks on net and maintain possession.
In the second period, Doering notched a power play goal that leveled the score. Minutes later, junior defenseman Sarah Knee scored her first goal of the season, giving Cornell the lead.
Cornell maintained its lead for much of the third period, thanks in large part to senior goaltender Paula Voorheis, who made a series of saves to keep her team ahead.
Nonetheless, a costly penalty late in the third period gave Harvard an opportunity to salvage a point from the game, and the Crimson took advantage. With three minutes remaining in the final frame, Harvard scored the tying goal to send the game into overtime.
“We took a penalty that was really unnecessary,” Derraugh said. “If it’s a goal scoring chance where you need to make a desperate play that’s one thing, but the penalty was away from our net.”
Cornell gained a power play late in overtime, but ultimately the clock ran out and the Red had to settle for a draw. Harvard came to play on Saturday, much as the Red expected, but ultimately Cornell was in a position to win the game late. It was an uncharacteristic mistake that opened the door for Harvard.
“We are not a team that can afford to take penalties late in the game,” Derraugh said. “We really have to pay attention to the details.”
Cornell will look to build up some momentum at home this weekend with a slate of games against Union and RPI.