Needing all three games of a quarterfinal series to triumph over Rensselaer, No. 5 Cornell women’s hockey advanced to the ECAC semifinals, to be played on the Red’s home ice. Cornell is only guaranteed its Saturday matchup with No. 7 Princeton, but a victory would bring the Red, the top seed in the tournament, to Sunday’s championship game.
How to watch or listen
Cornell’s game against Princeton is on Saturday at 1 p.m. and the other semifinal, between Colgate and Clarkson, is at 4 p.m. Both games can be viewed on ESPN+ (subscription required).
Cornell has not fared well against Princeton this season or in the past. The Red tied the Tigers in November and suffered an ugly 5-0 defeat at home in January. Historically, Cornell is 43-46-5 against its Ivy League foe.
Cornell last time out
RPI proved to be a worthy opponent, but the Red eventually took the Engineers down in the winner-take-all game three. Cornell won game one 2-1, was shut out 2-0 in game two and broke open the game and the series with a 6-1 victory in the rubber match.
Princeton last time out
The Tigers had a smoother quarterfinal weekend, defeating St. Lawrence in both games by scores of 4-1 and 6-2.
The other side of the bracket features No. 4 Clarkson and No. 10 Colgate. Clarkson played Quinnipiac and won in two games, while Colgate lost their first game to Harvard but overcame the deficit and won the series.
Scouting the Tigers
Princeton (20-6-5, 15-4-3 ECAC) ended up with the No. 4 seed in the ECAC tournament, although that may be misleading. The Tigers finished with as many points (33) as No. 2 seed Colgate and third-seeded Clarkson, and only three points behind Cornell.
The Tigers feature a roaring offensive attack, ranking second in the ECAC in goals per game with 3.61. It is led by the freshman connection of Maggie Connors and Sarah Fillier. Connors ranks third in the conference in goal scoring and Fillier is second in assists.
Cornell wins if…
… its defense outplays Princeton’s offense. Cornell prides itself on its top-ranked defense, so being able to shut down Princeton’s goal scorers would be an enormous plus for the Red in what the home team likely hopes is a low-scoring affair.
What they’re saying in Ithaca
Junior defender Jaime Bourbonnais on the series victory over RPI: “It was a tough weekend. RPI really brought the energy and pushed hard. We faced a lot of adversity in the second game, so it’s nice to go through that adversity early so we can build off of it next weekend.”
Head coach Doug Derraugh ’91 on the matchup with Princeton: “They have quite a few numbers that are dangerous scorers up front, so we will have to keep them in check. Like all the teams at this point in the season, they have really good goaltending, they have defenses like us that are contributing on the offensive side that are also solid defensively.”
Freshman forward Gillis Frechette on playing at Lynah this weekend: “Playing on Lynah is special. We have a whole new fire in our bellies when we play here.”
What they’re saying in Princeton
Senior defender Stephanie Sucharda on the series victory last weekend: “It definitely gives us some confidence to be the only team that made it out of the first round of the playoffs in two regulation games. We are hoping to continue building on that momentum this weekend.”
Cornell defeated Princeton last year in the ECAC quarterfinals before losing in the semis.
Princeton has won more Ivy League titles than any other team.