After successfully securing a position in the ECAC playoffs, the Red (11-11-5, 7-8-5 ECAC) hits the road for its last games of the regular season, competing against RPI today before traveling to Union tomorrow.
With Rensselaer (14-13-4, 9-8-3 ECAC) just two points ahead of Cornell in the ECAC standings, the Red is hoping to demonstrate its powerful offensive talent in order to halt the Engineers. RPI’s lead scorers are junior forward Whitney Naslund and freshman forward Alisa Harrison, who are tied at 26 points apiece.
In comparison, sophomore forward Rebecca Johnston leads Cornell with 40 points, consisting of 22 goals and 18 assists. Additionally, freshman forward Catherine White is not too far behind with 38 points from 15 goals and 23 assists.
Playing its last two home games of the season, the women’s hockey team (11-11-5, 7-8-5 ECAC) skated to a disappointing loss against Harvard on Friday, 5-2, before tying Dartmouth, 3-3, on Saturday. The Red showed its offensive prowess in the Dartmouth game, blocking the No. 8 Green from a spot in the playoffs.
On Friday, the Red started off with three power play opportunities against the Crimson (14-4-2, 15-8-3 ECAC). Harvard was able to thwart all of Cornell’s attempts to get on the board early in the game. After a scoreless first period, the Crimson netted the first goal of the night when it capitalized on a rebound in the red zone and put the puck past freshman goalie Amanda Mazzotta.
Freshman forward Catherine White demonstrated her swift skating capabilities and a reason why she is on the radar for opposing teams – she helped in five of the six goals in this past weekend’s games against Quinnipiac and Princeton, netting two goals and three assists.
“She is going to be scary for the opposition. She’s got good skills and I think she’s a very dangerous player. Other teams are going to have to pay a lot of attention to her in order to stop her,” head coach Doug Derraugh ’91 said.
After a tough loss to the No. 4 ranked team, St. Lawrence, on Friday, the women’s hockey team rebounded and defeated Clarkson 4-1. This decisive win, with the first three goals coming in the first eight minutes of the game, allowed Cornell (7-7-2 ECAC, 11-10-2) to move up in ECAC rankings and become tied for seventh place.
“Both games we played really well. Especially, even though we lost against St. Lawrence, we came together as a team despite them scoring in the last minute to win it, so it was disappointing there,” said sophomore Rebecca Johnston.
[img_assist|nid=34641|title=Show me your moves|desc=Sophomore defender Sam Wauer clashes with a Golden Knight in the Red’s 4-1 win over Clarkson on Saturday.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
After struggling against Yale on Friday night, Cornell (10-9-2, 6-6-2 ECAC) fought back on Saturday to defeat the Bears, 6-0. Despite losing to the Bulldogs, the Red still stands ahead of both the Bulldogs and the Bears in ECAC Hockey rankings with an accumulated 14 points. These two Ivy League games were crucial for the women’s hockey team in hopes of securing its top-8 position for the playoffs.
“I thought it was a good team effort … I feel our team is getting a lot closer because we put our heart and soul into it, and even though we didn’t win, we still have each other,” said freshman forward Kendice Ogilvie. “Even though it wasn’t the best outcome, we had to move on. “
Coming off a two game winning streak, the women’s hockey team is heading on the road this weekend to play two of its ECAC challengers – Yale tonight and Brown on Saturday afternoon. Having faced both of these teams earlier in the season, the Red is hoping to secure repeat victories and obtain a weekend sweep.
“After doing good against them, it gives us confidence that we need to pull through against these two,” said sophomore defenseman Sam Wauer. “We’re not going to be going in scared. We’re going to have to execute what we need to do … I think it is a confidence boost. After playing them once, we know now what they are going to do system-wise.”
As the women’s hockey team prepares to host Union tonight and Rensselaer tomorrow afternoon, the squad has winter break experience under its belt that it can call on to help transition back to the regular season.
Wanting to start the New Year off right, the Red came to Ithaca earlier this month with twofold intentions — to start preparations with two-a-day practices, while simultaneously continuing to bond as a team. During the break, Cornell played two series, skating to a split with Providence and then losing two close matches to Colgate.
Snapping its three-game losing streak with last Sunday’s victory, the women’s hockey team (5-5-1, 2-3-1 ECAC) is trying to regain its momentum heading out on the road to face Clarkson today and St. Lawrence tomorrow.
“Every game in the league this year has been tough and this weekend is certainly no exception. St. Lawrence and Clarkson are in the top-10 right now,” said assistant coach Danielle Bilodeau ’01. “They are both teams that can beat anyone in the country; very disciplined teams with a lot of talent.”
After making it to the playoffs for first the first time in four years, the women’s hockey team feels it is destined to have a great season this year. Although the season is in its early stages, Cornell has proven that it is a contender after being picked to finish fifth in the league according to the preseason coaches’ poll.
With only four players graduating last year, the Red rounds out its roster with the addition of eight freshmen and one junior transfer. Together, this new unit is comprised of all different components on the ice, including four defensemen, four forwards and a goalie.