O'Neill brought her goal streak to five games over the weekend.

Jason Ben Nathan/ Sun Senior Photographer

O'Neill brought her goal streak to five games over the weekend.

January 22, 2018

No. 5/6 Women’s Hockey Hold Down Fort Against ECAC Rivals RPI and Union

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Faced with a tough weekend at home, the Cornell women’s hockey team battled to a victory over Rensselaer on Friday and a draw against Union on Saturday.

Cornell (12-6-2, 9-4-1 ECAC) kicked off its weekend matinee with a dominant offensive performance against RPI (7-13 – 4, 4-7-1). The Red outshot the Engineers 37- 8, with sophomore Kristin O’Neill recording 14 of those 37 shots. The forward was able to light the lamp eight minutes into the third period off of an assist from freshman Maddie Mills to secure the 1-0  win against the Engineers.

“We did a really good job of generating offensive opportunities,” said junior forward Pippy Gerace. “When we forechecked hard and stayed within the systems, it made it difficult for them to get the puck out of our zone.”

On the defensive end, junior goalie Marlene Boissonnault notched her third shutout of the season with eight saves.

Continuing a demonstration of its offensive prowess, Cornell eclipsed Union’s scoring attempts in the following match — outshooting the Dutchwomen 53-12 in shots on goal and 95-22 in shots attempted.

O’ Neill scored in the third period to extend her goal streak to five games. Sophomore forward Grace Graham and freshman forward Kendra Nealey also lit the lamp to bring the Red’s goal count for the game up to three.

Nevertheless, while the Dutchwomen did not have as many scoring attempts as the Red, Union was able to find the back of the net just as many times, forcing the game to end in a 3-3 draw.

“We did a great job statistically getting shots on net and reducing the number of shots against, however our scoring percentage was low this weekend,” said junior forward Diana Buckley. “A successful team will make every shot count and that’s an area we need to improve upon.”

“[We] … totaled almost 100 shots on the weekend … [and] we need to improve on goal scoring and having some more finesse around the net,” Gerace added.

The Red is at a crucial point in the season with every game being critical for a postseason spot.

Cornell will continue to jockey for playoff positioning when it takes on No. 2 Clarkson and St. Lawrence this weekend at home.