Although No. 6 women’s hockey failed to take the ECAC tournament title, but their illustrious season prior to that earned them an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament. Their first test is out-of-conference rival Northeastern in the first round.
How to watch or listen
Saturday’s game will be hosted at the oldest hockey arena still in use, Matthews Arena in Boston. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. It can be streamed on ESPN+ (subscription needed).
Northeastern owns the historical advantage in its games against Cornell, as the Red has gone 11-28-1 all-time against the Huskies. The last time the two squared off, in 2013, Cornell prevailed in a 3-0 win in Ithaca.
Cornell last time out
The Red started off last weekend with an exhilarating, double-overtime 3-2 win over Princeton to advance to the championship game. Cornell fell short in the final, losing to Clarkson 4-1. Both Princeton and Clarkson join the Red in the eight-team NCAA Tournament field.
Northeastern last time out
The Huskies succeeded in their league tournament endeavors, finishing with the Hockey East crown. Their final weekend consisted of a 3-2 win over Providence in the semifinals and a 3-2 overtime victory over Boston College to seal the title.
— NCAA Ice Hockey (@NCAAIceHockey) March 11, 2019
Eight teams are still alive to claim college hockey supremacy in the NCAA Tournament. Top seed Wisconsin hosts bottom seed Syracuse. The two seed is Minnesota, who faces off against No. 7 seed Princeton. Northeastern and Cornell are the third and sixth seed, respectively. The four-vs.-five matchup is Clarkson hosting Boston College.
Scouting the Huskies
Along with winning the Hockey East tournament, Northeastern (27-5-5, 21-3-3 Hockey East) also earned the conference’s regular season title. Their schedule includes some impressive victories over Boston University, Colgate, Providence (three times), Clarkson and Boston College (three times).
The Huskies don’t appear to have any weakness in their game, as they ranked first in their conference in goals against per game (1.85) and tied for first in scoring offense (3.63 goals per game).
Cornell wins if…
It can play to its strength: defense. Despite Northeastern’s stout defensive numbers, Cornell’s are even better with its ECAC-best 1.57 goals allowed per game. For the Red to win, it has to have the advantage on at least one side of the ice.
What they’re saying in Ithaca
Coach Doug Derraugh ’91 on making the NCAA tournament: “We were really disappointed last year when we thought we were in. This year we really wanted to make sure that we put ourselves in a position where it didn’t matter what happened in the other tournaments.”
Sophomore forward Maddie Mills on facing Northeastern: “Having not played Northeastern, I think it is a bit easier to have a clear head about the game. When we play teams in our league, it is easy to get caught up in past results, big rivalries and forget that it is just another game.”
Northeastern is hosting an NCAA tournament game for the first time in program history.