LYNAH RINK -- Well, folks, it had to happen eventually. Top-ranked Cornell Women’s Hockey’s magical unbeaten streak of 22 games came to an end yesterday, as they lost a heartbreaker to second-seeded Princeton in the ECAC championship, 3-2 in overtime.
Cornell started out with some incredible intensity, scoring less than 1:30 into the contest on a slick goal from senior Kristin O’Neill after a missed clear of the puck by Princeton. O’Neill finished the tournament with 6 goals and an assist and was named to the ECAC All-Tournament team.
A little over a minute later, sophomore Gillis Frechette tipped in a shot from senior Micah Zandee-Hart to make the score 2-0. Zandee-Hart was also named to the ECAC All-Tournament team, finishing with 6 assists.
That would be all the offense the Big Red would muster, as Princeton came roaring back in the second period. Their first goal came with 16:15 left in the period, as Princeton’s Sarah Fillier tapped in a short pass from Maggie Connors that drew junior goalie Lindsay Browning away from the goal to make it 2-1. And with just under 2 minutes left in the period, the Big Red also couldn’t clear away the puck, which was shoveled in by Princeton’s Carly Bullock to tie up the game.
“We never lost confidence and we knew that we were prepared… We were like ‘hey, we’re here, why not win?’” said Princeton’s Fillier of her team’s efforts.
Both teams played with intensity in the third, but neither could come away with a goal. And less than a minute into overtime, a shot by Princeton’s Mariah Keopple was dramatically deflected, which floated over the head of Browning into the goal to seal the win in Princeton’s first trip to the ECAC championship game in program history.
“This is the only season that we’ve ever had where we’ve gone undefeated in the regular season [in ECAC play], and they should be really proud of that,” said Cornell head coach Doug Derraugh of his team. He continued, “Princeton played a really good game from top to bottom.”
Despite the loss, the Big Red ended up with some good news at the end of the day. As the top-ranked seed in the NCAA tournament, they’ll be hosting Mercyhurst at Lynah in the NCAA quarterfinals next Saturday at 2pm, with the chance to advance to the Frozen Four.
Come out and support the team as they make their push for a national championship!