The Lady Rouge held an auspicious honor this season: they were the last team in division I to remain undefeated. They rode the wave past the Golden Gophers and ended the first half with a stunning 10-1-2 record. The sole loss came on the last day of November as the Big Red played their second game against Boston College. After shutting them out the night before, the Golden Eagles came back blazing to beat the Lady Rouge 4-1. Cornell remains undefeated in league play and has taken 14 points. When looking at the points, you might be mislead. Cornell has the second-most points, but overall it leads for points per game. ECAC teams have played as few as six and as many as 11 games, so looking at pure points is incredible misleading.
A More Well-Rounded Look
Given that eventually teams will play the same number of games, the pure points will mean more as the season progresses. But right now, Cornell is still undefeated in league play, while Brown has yet to win an ECAC game. With the exception of two games in mid-January, the rest of Cornell's schedule is filled with league games. This is similar in the rest of the league, so it will be a full-out fight for playoff spots once play begins again.
By the Numbers
Emily Fulton leads the nation in points per game, with teammates Jessica Campbell and Jillian Saulnier in the top ten of the country as well. Cornell has the most number of women in the top ten for scoring in the country. While she comes in at sixth in terms of overall points in the country, Jillian Saulnier leads the nation in goals per game, almost scoring a goal in each outing. Fulton leads the nation in assists, rounding out the big offensive numbers for the Big Red. Defenseman Cassandra Poudrier is tied for the lead in the country with power play markers and she has done it in fewer games than her peers. While the remainder of those tied for first have played between 17 and 21 games, Poudrier has the same number of goals in only 13 games.
Lauren Slebodnick has fewer than two goals allowed per game, a particularly important measure given that Cornell scores over 4 goals per game on average. The team goals allowed is just over two, which is pretty steady. Cornell outscores their opponents on average just about 2:1.
Importantly, Cornell leads the country in a measure that many consider to be fundamental to winning games: Power Play Conversion. The Lady Rouge convert on over 30% of their opportunities. They are the only team with a percentage over 30 and are ahead of WCHA powers Wisconsin and Minnesota. The penalty kill number is not as gaudy as it has been in the past but is still in the top ten of the country, stopping 88.7% of opportunities.
The Second Half
Cornell starts the second half of the season on the road against Ivy and ECAC foes Brown and Yale. Though Brown has yet to tally an ECAC win, the Bears will play a tight game against the Big Red and should not be overlooked. Yale is another team that could easily be seen as a "gimme" win based on record against in the past, but ECAC play is always tighter than the record shows. The Big Red continue their road jaunt as they travel to their final regular season out-of-conference opponent, Mercyhurst, and take on the Lakers in a weekend series. The following week brings the women back to Lynah for the first time in a month and a half. They will face perhaps their biggest game of the weekend just before the spring semester begins again. Cornell hosts Dartmouth on Friday and Harvard on Saturday. Harvard will be hungry for the win and huge ECAC points will be on the line.
The rest of the season will consist of an always difficult jaunt to the North Country, hosting Brown and Yale, an exciting home-and-home series against Colgate, and a trip to the Capital District before the Lady Rouge close out their season hosting the feline travel partners for senior night. The second half is no easier than the first, but even more important if the women have the post-season aspirations that the Lynah Faithful know they are capable of achieving.
First Thing's First
Brown and Yale will be tests for the Lady Rouge after the long winter break. The Bears have been off for about the same time as the Lady Rouge so the rust factor will be equal opportunity. Whichever team can shake off the rust faster will have the edge in this game. Lauren Slebodnick was injured when the first half ended with freshman Paula Voorheis stepping in valiantly. Which netminder will backstop the Big Red will be a question likely not answered until 7pm Friday night. But we can look at who the women will be shooting against.
Senior Aubree Moore has played the lion's share of games for the Bears, so odds are she is the one who the Big Red will have to solve. Moore is strong in net, having a 0.923 save percentage. She is used to being outshot appreciably, but that is what the Lady Rouge will have to do to solve her. They will also need to take advantage of whatever power play opportunities they are given. Brown has played a lot of tight games in spite of their record. They have six games on the season that have gone into overtime and four of them are in their last five games with the fifth being a one-goal loss. Brown will be a tough team to beat and they should not be overlooked.
Yale's likely netminder will be junior Jaimie Leonoff. She has a higher GAA than Brown's Moore, but her save percentage is pretty close to that of Moore. She is used to having more than 10 more shots on goal than her opponent and Cornell will need to take advantage of the low penalty kill that Yale holds. The biggest problem that the Cornell team could have against Yale is similar to that against Brown, they cannot underestimate their opponent. Yale's last game was a commanding win against Hockey East foe Providence. They also have experience against out of conference opponents, Boston College, Boston University, Minnesota, Providence, and UConn. The only out of conference opponent that the Lady Rouge share in common is Boston College. Cornell went 1-1 with the Eagles while Yale went 0-1 in a tight 4-3 loss.
Let's Go Red!
The second half is upon us and we cannot wait for the Lady Rouge to play again.