With two wins to start the season, No. 8 women’s ice hockey (3-1-0, 1-1-0 ECAC) lost its first in-conference game against No. 7 Quinnipiac (8-0-0, 2-0 ECAC) on Friday before beating No. 10 Princeton (0-2-0, 0-2 ECAC) on Saturday.
The Red were in for a tough matchup against the undefeated Bobcats when it headed to Hamden, Connecticut on Friday.
“They’re an experienced team, [with] a lot of veteran players that know how to win and what it takes to win,” said head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. Quinnipiac also had eight games under their belt, as opposed to Cornell’s two games.
The Red started off a bit slow, allowing two goals, less than two-minutes after the other, in the first period. In the second period, however, senior forward Gillis Frechette was able to cut Quinnipiac’s lead in half with a goal off a Quinnipiac defender.
Coming out of the locker room and into the third period, the Red seemed in the game, however, the Bobcats proved to be too mighty. After a Bobcat goal halfway through the third was waved off by the referees, Quinnipiac scored again to take a 3-1 lead. The Bobcats ended up scoring an empty-netter with two seconds remaining, handing the Red a 4-1 loss.
“[We] got down early and had to fight back. I thought we played better in the second and third period but against a really good team like Quinnipiac, you can’t [fall] behind early,” Derraugh said. “I feel like we played with them pretty well, but it only takes one or two errors here and there, and a team like that makes you pay for them. And they did.”
Though a loss, there were still some positive takeaways from the game, starting with the penalty kill. After letting in two goals off the opponents’ powerplay during exhibition and the series against Mercyhurst, the Red is seeing some improvement as the penalty kill limited the Bobcats to not even a single shot on goal during the Quinnipiac power plays.
“I thought we were more aggressive on our penalty kill, more assertive and that we did a nice job of blocking shots when it did break down,” Derraugh said. “There’s always areas to improve upon the penalty kill, but overall, I was quite pleased.”
Looking to bounce back on Saturday, the Red headed to Hobey Baker Memorial Rink in Princeton, New Jersey to face the Tigers. From the get go, it was evident that Cornell was ready to play and win. After a tripping call on Princeton, the Red went on the power play. With the man-advantage, Cornell struck first with a goal by freshman forward Mckenna Van Gelder. It was the first goal of her collegiate career.
Just before the end of the second period, the Tigers scored, tying the game at one-apiece before heading into the locker room. The score remained tied until about halfway through the third when Van Gelder scored off a wrist-shot for her second goal of the night. For insurance, junior forward Izzy Daniel scored an empty-netter with 48 seconds left to give Cornell the 3-1 win as the clock ran out.
The Red returns home this weekend with two more in-conference games. Cornell will face St. Lawrence (6-4-0, 2-0 ECAC) on Friday at 6 p.m. at Lynah Rink and then No. 11 Clarkson (10-1-1, 2-0 ECAC) on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Lynah Rink. Both games will be broadcast on ESPN+.
“[These] two teams that are perennially two of the better teams in our division, and once again, they are considered two of the best teams in the ECAC once again, so you’ve got to refocus and get ready for two really strong teams,” Derraugh said. “It’d be another tough weekend.”