Cornell women’s hockey team continued its undefeated season this weekend by picking up two home wins against a pair of Ivy League teams in dominant fashion. On Friday, the Red defeated Yale, 6-0, and on Saturday, it defeated Brown, 9-1.
In the first victory, No. 3 Cornell (7-0-1, 5-0-1 ECAC) overpowered Yale (5-4, 3-3), and the Bulldogs never stood a chance from the first minute of play.
Just 43 seconds into the first period, senior captain Kristin O’Neill wrapped around the net and delivered a perfect pass right to the stick of fellow senior Amy Curlew, who fired it between the legs of Yale goalie Gianna Meloni for the opening goal.
Just two minutes later, O’Neill got in on the scoring. After receiving a pass in the slot from junior defender Willow Slobodzian, O’Neill lifted the puck on her backhand side and scored, beating the goalie right over her glove.
The Red wasn’t done in the first. Still within the first five minutes, sophomore forward Gillis Frechette delivered the third goal of the period for Cornell off a feed from senior Paige Lewis.
In the second, junior forward Maddie Mills got on the score sheet for the Red off a brilliant deflection. After a shot from O’Neill rang off the post, Mills batted the puck out of the air and into the back of the net for the goal. Later in the period, Freschette and Curlew each got their second scores of the night with Freschette’s coming off of a rebound while Curlew’s came on the power play.
In the crease for the Red, junior Lindsay Browning stood tall for the team denying all 15 shots she faced. This was the dependable junior’s fourth shutout thus far this season.
The team didn’t have much time to celebrate the convincing Ivy League win as it faced Brown (1-8, 1-5 ECAC) the next day. The Red showed no signs of fatigue and once again jumped out to an early lead. Mills delivered the first goal for the team by way of a deflection off a feed from Bourbonnais.
Still in the first period, O’Neill grabbed the puck in Brown’s zone and fired a wrist shot that Brown goalie Calla Isaac could not stop. During the first, the Red dominated on both sides of the ice, only allowing Brown to take one shot.
“We were really focused on playing defense first,” O’Neill said. “I think reiterating that throughout the game, not to play as an individual but as a team, while sticking to our game plan led to us keeping the pressure on them all game.”
In the second frame, Cornell exploded for six goals. Brown was stunned by the Red’s relentless attack. Curlew netted a hat trick for the team in the second period alone. Senior captain Micah Zandee-Hart, Slobodzian, and sophomore defender Bella Kang each contributed a goal in the period.
If that wasn’t enough, Cornell made it 9-0 off a goal from freshman Sydney Breza in the third for her first goal as a Cornellian.
“It’s different than any type of other goal,” Breza said, while holding her goal puck in hand. “I had a chance last night against Yale, but just being able to get it out of the way was really nice.”
After Cornell put in the ninth goal, Brown upped the physicality of its play, committing several penalties against the Red in the period. Despite the penalties, head coach Doug Derraugh emphasized to his players to keep a level head and to continue to play their game.
“Coach reminded us to stay disciplined and not to retaliate when they were being super aggressive,” O’Neill said. “I think that definitely helped us in terms of getting penalties.”
In the blowout win, the Red decided to give some minutes to junior goalie Ally Dalya. The junior ceded one goal to Brown sophomore Jacquie Tam. Remarkably, in the 9-1 victory, Cornell limited Brown to just seven shots while accumulating 57 of its own.
“It definitely gets a little challenging to stay focused when the score gets up so high,” Bourbonnais said after the game. “I think that was a good test for us to see if we were mentally strong enough to stay focused.”
“A lot of our other players who might not get as much ice time in other games were able to show what they could do and they had a really great game,” Bourbonnais added.
Still riding their unbeaten streak to kick off their season, the women will travel to Syracuse on Nov 26. In their first matchup against an ACC team this year, they will look to continue their dominance.
“We always have a pretty good game against them,” said O’Neill. “They bring a lot of energy. We just have to stick to our game plan and use this week to work on the things we need to get better at.”