After going undefeated in exhibition, No. 10 Cornell women’s ice hockey (2-0-0 ECAC) got the season started on the right note with a weekend sweep of Mercyhurst (5-5-0 CHA).
On Friday, the Red opened the season with the first of the two-game series against the Lakers. Junior goaltender Deanna Fraser backstopped the Red for a 3-0 shutout win, the first shutout of Fraser’s collegiate career.
With less than six minutes left in the first period, senior forward Gilles Frechette scored a one-timer off a pass from senior defenseman/forward Paige Kenyon. In the middle of second period, sophomore forward Kaitlin Jockims scored off of a no-look pass from freshman forward Georgia Schiff. The Red solidified its lead late in the second when a shot from sophomore forward Rory Guilday was redirected by Frechette, for her second goal of the night. The Lakers failed to produce offensively, resulting in a 3-0 shutout for the Red.
The Lakers looked to bounce back in the second game of the series on Saturday, but the Red proved to be too powerful yet again in a 7-2 win by Cornell.
Mercyhurst struck first, with a power-play goal, but it was not long until the Red turned the tide with a power-play goal of its own by freshman defenseman Alyssa Regalado. That seemed to be the turning point for Cornell as they scored six unanswered goals over the second and early third period. With less than two minutes left in the third, the Red led 7-1, before Kylee Mahoney of Mercyhurst scored with about a minute and a half left, but Cornell still came away with the win.
Amidst the offensive outburst by the Red, Regalado registered a hat trick, junior forward Izzy Daniel had three points and 11 different players appeared in the scoring column for the Red.
With a shutout in the first game and 18 saves in the second game, Fraser has been filling the void left by star goaltender Lindsay Browning ’22 quite well.
“She makes even the harder saves look easy because her positioning is so strong,” said Head Coach Doug Derraugh ’91. “Technically, I thought she was really good this weekend. I think that’s a big part of her game, [she] showed a lot of poise back there… I was really excited about the way she played.”
Although it was a win for the Red both times, there are still things to improve on.
“Early on in both games, I didn’t think our execution was great. So I think our starts to games need to be better than they were,” said Derraugh. “I think we didn’t execute on I would say a lot of the offensive side of things, and it seemed just to be little things like passing: Making a pass, receiving a pass, a little bit of timing, just was a little bit disjointed.”
“Our penalty killing needs a bit of work, ” Derraugh also said. Two of the goals against the Red so far, in exhibition and regular season, were power-play goals. While two seems miniscule, Cornell has only had four goals against in the games played so far.
But it’s only the start of the season, and the Red have time to go and improve with each game.
Cornell hits the road for the first time this weekend to face No. 6 Quinnipiac (7-0-0 ECAC) on Friday at 6 p.m. and No. 9 Princeton (0-0-0 ECAC) on Saturday at 6 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on ESPN+.
Quinnipiac is currently undefeated on the season, with only six goals against in seven games and three consecutive shutouts. Last season, the Red lost both games against the Bobcats in shutouts. This season, however, Cornell hopes to flip the script.
“They’re physical, they’re strong and they got size… they’re very well coached… got good goaltending, great defense and they’ve got some players that can put it in the back of the net. So they’ve got all the ingredients that you need to be successful in our league and that’s why they’ve been so strong early on, and I would expect it to continue,” Derraugh said. “It’s going to be a great challenge for us on Friday.”