LYNAH RINK -- Cornell Women’s Hockey shut out Harvard for the second time this season, 4-0, in the ECAC semifinal game to advance to the ECAC championship tomorrow.
The game started out with neither team able to get anything going, despite intensity from both sides in front of a strong Lynah crowd. “They definitely came at us. It was playoff hockey… Trusting our defense, I think that was a big part of it,” said junior Maddie Mills of Harvard’s initial attack.
Yet, despite being uncharacteristically outshot for the first two periods 21-15, and with both teams finishing with 25 shots apiece, the Big Red still dominated Harvard on both offense and defense. Senior co-captain Kristin O’Neill got the scoring started 10:48 into the first period, diving in front of the Harvard goal to send the puck to the back of the net on a pass from junior Kendra Nealey. 8 minutes later, O’Neill scored again, this time on a dart into the top corner of the net, leaving the Harvard goalie with almost no time to react.
Mills scored only 3:01 into the second period on a power play, using a slick move to fake out a defender and send a bullet into the goal to make it 3-0. However, this period was much different than the first, as standout junior goalie Lindsay Browning was tested by a barrage of shots by the Crimson, especially in the closing minutes.
“They wore us down pretty good in the second period and carried a lot of the play in our zone, and fortunately… Lindsay was there to save us,” said head coach Doug Derraugh. Browning finished with 24 saves to notch her 12th shutout of the season, which stands as the new single-season record.
Mills also scored again less than two minutes into the 3rd period, sending the puck past multiple defenders directly in front of the goal to make the score 4-0, which is how the game ended. The Big Red advance to face Princeton tomorrow at 2pm at Lynah for the ECAC championship after Princeton’s 5-1 win against Clarkson right after Cornell’s game. Cornell has played in the ECAC championship twice in the last three years but has yet to come away with a win since 2014.
“I think that last year we made it to the Frozen Four but we didn’t get that ECAC title, and I think that also makes us hungrier for this time around,” said Browning.
As usual, pack the rink tomorrow at 2pm!!!!