The Cornell Women’s Hockey team returned to its winning ways and closed in on the number one spot in the ECAC standings with a pair of four-goal performances in the topping of Ivy League foes Brown and Yale.
The Big Red were rolling through the later stages of the season with lopsided wins before being derailed by a lackluster start against Clarkson and a 1-1 tie with St. Lawrence two weeks ago. The winless weekend raised some questions about Cornell’s preparedness heading into the final two weekends of the regular season before postseason play gets underway.
Looking to move on from the less than satisfying results, the Big Red hosted the Brown Bears on Friday night inside Lynah Rink. While the season has been far from memorable for the Bears, entering the contest with a 5-18-2 record, the team boasts one of the most athletic goaltenders in the conference in Calla Isaac.
Cornell wasted little time testing the junior goalie, firing shot after shot toward the Bears’ net. Despite a plethora of chances in the first period, the opening goal would come 12 minutes into the opening frame on a Micah Zandee-Hart shot that was redirected past Isaac by the stick of freshman Gillis Frechette. Not only would the goal put the Big Red ahead, but it would go down as Frechette’s first career goal in a Cornell jersey.
After a tying goal by Brown came nine and a half minutes into the second, sophomore Maddie Mills sniped a wrist shot over the blocker of Isaac for a powerplay goal to take the lead back.
Just over a minute later, the Big Red struck again, this time as defenseman Jamie Bourbonnais snapped a wrist shot from the right circle to grow the lead for the Big Red to two goals.
After two periods of play, the Big Red were outshooting the Bears 36-5 and would continue to add to their total in the third period. Tallying an addition 13 shots in the final frame, the Big Red found the back of the net one more time as Mills would once again net a powerplay goal to secure the 4-1 victory.The win over Brown pushed Cornell into sole procession of the second spot in the ECAC standings, a game and a half behind first-place Princeton.
The following day, the Big Red had a chance to close the gap on first place with a win over the Yale Bulldogs, a team that, much like Brown, has struggled to find wins this season. A sense of extra energy flowed through the Big Red and the large crowd that came out to honor the four seniors who would play their last regular season contest inside of Lynah Rink.
As it did the day before, Cornell jumped out to the 1-0 lead in the first period after a rebound forced a crowd in front of the Yale net and the puck fell to the stick of Grace Graham, who tucked the puck under the crossbar midway into the opening period.
Early in the second period, the Big Red saw a powerplay opportunity develop after junior, captain Kristen O’Neill took a check to the head. O’Neill would be okay and have the last laugh as freshman Sam Burke’s feed toward the crease from the corner redirected off of O’Neill’s skate for the second goal of the day. Five minutes later, O’Neill dazzled the crowd as she took a long lead pass for a breakaway and slipped the puck between the legs of Yale’s Tera Hofmann on the backhand.
Yale would look to climb back into the game and emptied the net with three minutes to play before seeing Cornell’s Willow Slobodzian line a shot from the Yale blue line for the empty netter.
As was the case in the previous game, senior Marlene Boissonnault faced far fewer shots than her counterpart but recorded a 15 save shutout in her final regular season home game.
Upon the conclusion of the game, Cornell fans cheered when the announcement was made that Princeton had dropped a 2-1 decision to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), moving the Big Red within one point of first place. With games against RPI and Union next weekend, teams that Cornell defeated by a combined 12-0 earlier this season, the Big Red is staring at the very real possibility of capturing first place. Princeton has third place Clarkson and sixth place St. Lawrence next weekend.
If Cornell wins both games and Princeton records a single loss, the Big Red will capture the ECAC regular season crown.
Recommended for you