“We knew we weren’t gonna walk away with two easy wins,” said sophomore forward Avi Adam, the player responsible for the sole Cornell goal scored on Friday night against the Saints.
After dropping its match to St. Lawrence (21-9-0, 14-4-0 ECAC) on Friday evening in a 2-1 loss, the Red (18-6-1, 13-5-0 ECAC) flipped the script the next day with a 3-0 shutout of No. 3 Clarkson (25-3-2, 14-3-1 ECAC).
Freshman goaltender Annelies Bergmann logged 43 saves in the match against the Golden Knights and recorded her second career shutout.
But Friday night didn’t start so smoothly for Bergmann, as just 16 seconds into the game the Saints struck first, scoring the quickest goal yet against the Red this season when a pass from behind the net found its way in front of the crease.
Playing catch-up, the Red recorded 13 shots in the first period, but none would make it past Emma-Sofie Nordström, who was between the pipes for the Saints.
St. Lawrence came into the weekend with the third-best power play nationally, but when sophomore defenseman Alyssa Regalado got called for interference, the Saints couldn’t capitalize on their powerplay. Cornell fared the same fate with its power play when St. Lawrence got flagged for body checking, and the first period came to a close with the Red trailing behind at a one-point deficit.
The middle frame saw both teams up their offensive pressure as they documented 16 shots each, only one of which would make it past either goaltender. The Red’s score-tying goal followed a strong forechecking by junior forwards Claudia Yu and Gabbie Rud, which allowed the puck to find Adam in front of the net.
Adam, who has scored five goals in her past four games, credited her recent goals scoring outburst to her line-mates Yu and Rud.
“We definitely clicked in the last two or three weeks,” Adam said. “I attribute a lot of it to Claudia and Gabbie.”
Unfortunately for the Red, one minute and 54 seconds into the third period the Saints retook the lead when a wrist shot from Melissa Jefferies floated by Bergmann. The goal was partially caused by a St. Laurence skater falling into the crease and knocking Bergmann down, but a review for Goaltender interference after the goal did not yield a call.
The Red had some offensive opportunities as the clock winded down, including a power play with just under 14 minutes in the third, but they were unable to win the game.
“We did not bury them as much as we hoped we would,” Adam said.
Saturday was a different story, as Bergmann and senior forward Izzy Daniel shined bright and propelled Cornell to an upset win. Bergmann held the Golden Knights scoreless, stopping all 43 shots she faced and improving her save percentage to .92, third in the nation amongst freshmen.
“She’s a crucial part of our success, and we’re lucky to have her,” Adam stated. “I think it was a big energy shift for her to play so well … and we were able to feed off that.”
Around seven minutes into the first period, junior forward Kaitlin Jockims got the scoring started for the Red when she ripped a slap shot from just above the right circle while falling on the ice. Bergmann’s 14 saves in that period didn’t allow Clarkson to tie up the score, and the second period began with Cornell in the lead by one.
“We knew that we could continue to play our game defensively against Clarkson,” Adam said. “But it was on offense that we would have to pull through against them.”
The Red evidently internalized this desire, as NCAA points-leader Daniel would extend the Red’s lead to 2-0 early in the second following a Clarkson turnover. The rest of the period would see no scoring from either team as both stood tall in their defensive zones.
The last period started on a blunder from the Red, as less than a minute in, sophomore defenseman Alyssa Regalado was called for an interference penalty. Cornell would hold strong in the face of Clarkson’s woman-advantage, killing off the power play.
The last goal was made on a block from sophomore defenseman Grace Dwyer, who sprung the puck out in front of freshman forward Karel Prefontaine. A gliding Prefontaine would win her breakaway battle with Clarkson’s goaltender Michelle Pasiechnky and go on to score the game-winning goal.
The Red has its sights set on being in a top-four spot going into NCAA and ECAC playoffs.
“It was a character win on Saturday, for sure, and we showed a great group effort,” Adam said. “Right now, our focus is just getting through these last four games and sticking to our game.”
The Red will host ECAC Hockey opponents Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Union College throughout its senior weekend at Lynah Rink.
The match against RPI will take place at 6 p.m. Friday in Lynah Rink and the Red will play Union the Saturday at 3 p.m. Both games can be streamed live on ESPN+.
Eli Fastiff is a sun contributor and can be reached at [email protected].
Correction, Feb. 7, 11:35 a.m.: A previous version of this article misquoted one word from Avi Adam and misspelled Michelle Pasiechnky and Gabbie Rud in one instance. The article has been corrected, and The Sun regrets these errors.