- After beating Quinnipiac, 1-0, on Friday, Cornell beat Princeton, 3-1, on Saturday.
- The win moves Cornell’s record to 4-0, and the Red is 2-0 in ECAC play.
- Junior goaltender Lindsay Browning’s shutout streak to start the season ended at just over 216 minutes.
Cornell women’s hockey continued its hot start to the season Saturday against Princeton, defeating its Ivy League counterpart by a score of 3-1.
The Red (4-0, 2-0 ECAC) and the Tigers (4-1, 2-1) squared off at Lynah Rink in a showdown between the third-best and sixth-best team in the nation, respectively.
After a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Quinnipiac just the night before, the Red showed no signs of fatigue and flew around the ice throughout the entire 60 minutes of play.
As the pucked dropped in the first period, Cornell led a relentless forecheck behind senior defenseman and captain Micah Zandee-Hart. Still early in the first period, Princeton winger Carly Bullock managed to draw a tripping penalty on senior captain Kristin O’Neill after dekeing her way through the Red’s defense. Junior goalkeeper Lindsay Browning — behind some excellent shot blocking — stood tall for Cornell saving three big shots during the power play.
After Princeton killed off a powerplay of its own, both teams were dead-locked heading into the locker room at the end of the first.
“I think we came out tentative,” said head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. “I thought we were reacting to everything they were doing rather than anticipating and being on our toes. I wanted us to play more aggressively, but we also knew we needed to be smart against this team because they are really dangerous.”
Derraugh’s words had an impact on his players as the Red came out firing. Halfway through the second frame, senior defenseman Jaime Bourbonnais gained control of the puck in Princeton’s zone and slid it across the crease to find junior forward Maddie Mills, who tipped the puck in for Cornell’s first goal of the day.
“We tried to calm down after the first [period] and play our game,” Mills said. “We play our best when we’re playing Big Red hockey — it doesn’t matter who we’re playing.”
Just a minute later, senior forward Amy Curlew put one of her own in for the Red off an excellent leading pass from junior defender Willow Slobodzian, doubling the lead to 2-0. It seemed as though Cornell would run away with the game if it wasn’t for Princeton’s Bullock. The senior winger coasted into the Red’s zone and launched a quick wrist shot, which whipped past Browning in the top left of the goal. On the 23 shots she faced, that was the only score the junior ceded.
It ended Browning’s season-opening shutout streak, which lasted over 200 minutes of game action.
Cornell, however, wasn’t done in the second just yet. With 1:30 remaining in the period, junior forward Joie Phelps snatched up the rebound off a shot by senior forward Sam Burke. Phelps skated behind the net quickly and scored on a wraparound, making it 3-1 in favor of the Red.
The second period featured every goal in the contest. Late in the third, Princeton goalie Stephanie Neatby was pulled, and it appeared the Tigers were gaining some momentum with the extra player advantage. Despite this, their efforts were short-lived as Princeton senior Sarah Fillier checked a Cornell defender into the boards resulting in a power play that would run out the game for the Red.
“The Ivy League season is so short, and every game has so much importance to it,” Derraugh said after the win. “You can’t afford to lose too many games if you want to win the Ivy League championship.”
A win of this magnitude only fuels the Red’s desire to come out on top in the Ivy League and make it back to the NCAA tournament.
“With our tough beginning of the season, every game we’ve had so far is super important,” Mills said. “I think for everyone on our team, beating a great Ivy League team like Princeton is huge for us and it gives us more motivation. We were all looking forward to this — it was marked on all our calendars.”
Cornell will now prepare for its first road trip of the year against St. Lawrence on Nov. 8 and Clarkson on Nov. 9. Despite the short week, the Red is more than capable of tackling the challenge at hand.
“The road trip moves things up in the week,” Mills said. “We just have to be a little more focused. Both of those rinks are hard to play in. We just have to play our game.”
Cornell will attempt to preserve its perfect record against a pair of ECAC foes next weekend.