Cornell women’s hockey will play its final two home games of the season this weekend. For the Red’s seniors the series will be an occasion for reminiscence — and hopefully celebration.
Hoping to put the uncharacteristic results of last weekend — a 4-0 loss and a 1-1 tie — in the rearview mirror, the Red will return to Lynah Rink this weekend to face off against Ivy League competitors Brown and Yale. On Saturday Cornell will hold senior day to celebrate the dedication and accomplishments of the team’s senior class.
Earlier this season, the Red (16-3-6, 13-3-2 ECAC) hit the ice against Brown and Yale as part of its first road trip. On the wings of three third period goals, the Red squeezed out a 4-3 victory against Yale (7-16-2, 6-10-2 ECAC). However, Cornell dropped the game at Brown (5-18-2, 2-14-2) in a devastating 4-3 contest.
“We had a tough weekend on the road against both Brown and Yale,” said head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. “We are totally focused on our game against Brown, and then we will look at our game against Yale, but we know from playing against them earlier in the season that they are both very tough teams.”
Since early November, when Cornell last faced Brown and Yale, the Red has undoubtedly evolved as a team, growing and playing increasingly as a unit. Furthermore, the team has refined certain aspects of its play that have been crucial to its late-season success.
“I think we have done a better job overall in a number of areas, especially our special teams,” Derraugh said. “I think as a whole, this team has really come together to accept their roles — the players have embraced these roles for the good of the team.”
Sitting pretty at No. 6, Cornell is primed for a playoff run. With the NCAA tournament just around the corner, the Red is hopeful to maintain or improve its ranking. The team’s 9-1-0 home-game win advantage is promising as it gets to work this weekend.
Despite the looming prospects of the NCAA tournament, the team attempts to treat each and every game with equal importance, cognizant of the fact that each result can make a difference in determining playoff admission and standings.
“We have been discussing the importance of every game since the start of the year,” Derraugh said. “Last year we were a team that, if we had won one more game throughout the course of the year, would have been in the NCAA tournament. This group knows that any game at any time could be a difference maker as far as our opportunity to get into the tournament goes.”
Friday and Saturday will be the last opportunity to see the Red take action at Lynah for regular season play. The game against Brown will take place on Friday at 6 p.m., while puck drop for senior day against Yale is set for 3 p.m. on Saturday.