Friday's game against Brown opened up league play in what has been described as a battle of goaltending. Lauren Slebodnick pitched her first shutout of the season against the Bears with the Big Red scoring two goals to snag the two points. The first period was scoreless, with neither team being able to convert on power play opportunities (three for the Big Red and one for Brown). The second period, however, opened up the scoring. Just a minute and 44 seconds into the second, Taylor Woods knocked in a goal from Kelly Murray and Emily Fulton, capitalizing on their only power play opportunity of the second with the penalty that was called in the last 10 seconds of the first. The goaltenders would refuse to allow another goal until Brown pulled their goaltender and Jill Saulnier grabbed the empty-net goal from Brianne Jenner and Lauriane Rougeau. Brown's goaltender Katie Jamieson had an impressive game, making 35 saves. Lauren Slebodnick earned a shutout, stopping 12 shots from the Bears's offense.
Saturday was another hard-fought game for Cornell. Yale opened up the scoring on a power play opportunity in the first. The Big Red responded in the second with even-strength goals from Brianne Jenner and Jessica Campbell. Assists came from Jill Saulnier, Lauriane Rougeau, and Laura Fortino. The second wouldn't end with the Big Red in the lead, though, as Yale scored on another power play opportunity. The third was a tough one with the Big Red scoring their lone goal on a power play. Saulnier netted the game-winning goal, assisted by Jenner and Rougeau. The final score was 3-2 and the Big Red got their first sweep of the season.
Next week provides a different test for Cornell with the women at home again against Princeton and Quinnipiac. Looking at what the teams have done thus far in the season, Quinnipiac started the season 4-3-1 and Princeton began the season at 2-2.
Princeton began the season later than other teams, like Cornell it was forced to start on the Ivy schedule. Princeton's first weekend was against CHA teams, RIT and Robert Morris. RIT is in its first year in DI, moving up from DIII last year. Their sole CHA win this year was against the Penn State Nittany Lions who similarly are new to DI, transitioning from ACHA DI. Princeton beat the other Tigers in a close and low-scoring game, 2-1. Their Saturday match was against Robert Morris, who won the CHA tournament last year but were unable to make the NCAA tournament due to the CHA not having an autobid. Princeton completed their first sweep of the season in their first weekend of the season, beating Robert Morris 6-3. Last weekend was a very different one for the Tigers. Playing Dartmouth and Harvard, Princeton dropped both games against tough Ivy foes, 1-3 and then 1-9 respectively. In their first weekend, Princeton scored only power play goals against RIT. They capitalized on two of the four RIT penalties while remaining perfect on the penalty kill against the other Tigers. Against RMU, however, they were unable to capitalize on either of the two power play opporunities, instead scoring five of their six goals while at even strength with the sixth goal being a short-handed goal. Their game against Dartmouth saw the Tigers unable to kill as many penalties as their opponent. Princeton's one goal was on the power play, making the Tigers one for eight on the power play, unable to score even strength. Two of Dartmouth's three goals were scored on the power play, giving the Big Green a better power play conversion percentage than Princeton. Harvard was the toughest match-up for Princeton yet, with Princeton being unable to capitalize on either power play opportunity. Harvard was two for five on the power play, with seven even-strength goals. To defeat Princeton, Cornell needs to watch its special teams.
Quinnpiac's season started ambitiously with Mercyhurst. They earned a tie in their season opener, but dropped the second game by one to the Lakers. In their second weekend, they had a convincing sweep of Maine with scores of 6-1 and 5-2. The following weekend, the Bobcats split with Syracuse. After a tight win on Friday, they dropped the second game 4-0. This past weekend, the Bobcats faced Harvard and Dartmouth, never pushover teams in the ECAC. Harvard defeated the Bobcats with a 2-0 score, but the Bobcats got their second Saturday win of the season against Dartmouth in an 8-3 victory. Looking at the eight games that the Bobcats have played, we can look at the games in three sets to see what Quinnpiac did to win, lose, and tie. In their wins, Quinnipiac had a 33.3% conversion rate on the power play and killed penalties with an 89.5% rate. In their losses, Quinnipiac was only 1 for 10 on the power play, while they were only able to kill 62.5% of penalties. In their tie, Quinnipiac converted 40% of their power play opportunities and allowed in 50% of the penalties. Basically, the Big Red needs to shut the Bobcats down when they are on the power play and capitalize on their own power play opportunities.
This weekend will bring another tough test for the Big Red, but they are up to the challenge.
5 - Fulton
4 - Gagliardi, Rougeau
3 - Cudmore, Zorn
2 - Campbell, Fortino, Woods
1 - Brown, Leck, Murray, Slebodnick