No. 2 Cornell snaps Lady Saints’ unbeaten streak, 6-4
Senior Rebecca Johnston scored two goals including an insurance empty netter with 11.0 seconds left, helping nationally-ranked No. 2 Cornell University hold on for a 6-4 victory over the St. Lawrence University women's hockey team on Friday night at Appleton Arena.
The loss snaps a nine-game unbeaten streak for St. Lawrence (14-8-4, 8-5-2) that dated back to November 23, 2011. Meanwhile, the Big Red (19-2-0, 13-1-0) now owns the nation's longest winning and unbeaten streaks at nine games."I'm very excited about the way our team is playing right now," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells. "Cornell is a great team with lots of talent. We will look to come back strong tomorrow against Colgate."
Though St. Lawrence held a 12-7 advantage in shots in the first, it was the Big Red that came away with a 2-0 lead thanks to goals by Jillian Saulnier and Johnston. However, Cornell goaltender Amanda Mazzotta, who made 11 saves, was injured near the end of the stanza and was replaced by Lauren Slebodnick.
The Cornell offense continued their attack early in the second period, as Lauriane Rougeau and Brianne Jenner scored back-to-back special teams goals only 53 seconds apart to push the visitor's lead to 4-0. Rougeau took a pass from Laura Fortino and sniped a wrist shot that beat St. Lawrence rookie goaltender Carmen MacDonald at 3:13.
Jenner then followed with her 10th goal of the season while her team was short-handed at 4:06. The sophomore picked up a loose puck in the Saints' zone and tucked a shot behind MacDonald for the four-goal cushion.
St. Lawrence would bounce back with a pair of goals in a span of 1:02, as sophomores Rylee Smith and Bailey Habscheid cut their team's deficit in half at 4-2. Smith scored on a two-on-one attack with a wrist shot inside the near post, while Habscheid ripped a slap shot on the power play at 10:10 to bring the Saints back to within two.
However, Alyssa Gagliardi would halt the home team's momentum with a goal at 16:31 of the second period to send Cornell to intermission with a 5-2 lead. Her long shot inside the blue line got through screens in front for her third goal of the year.
The Scarlet and Brown would own the third period, pour pressure on Slebodnick throughout the frame. Junior Jamie Goldsmith scored her first goal of the season on a breakaway, lifting a backhander past the goaltender at 1:58 of the third. Senior Vanessa Emond and sophomore Dayle Wilkinson assisted on the tally that made it 5-3.
St. Lawrence would pull to within a goal at 5-4 with 2:30 remaining thanks to an extra attacker goal by sophomore Mel Desrochers. The defenseman's slap shot from the blue line went off a Cornell defender and between Slebodnick's pads for her seventh goal, assisted by rookie Amanda Boulier and captain Karell Emard.
With MacDonald on the bench in the final minute, St. Lawrence controlled the play until Johnston blocked a shot out to center ice and scored from the red line to end the Saint comeback, bringing the game to its final of 6-4.
Cornell closed with a 1-for-5 mark on the power play, while the Saints were 1-for-6. St. Lawrence closed with a 36-29 advantage in shots on goal, with Slebodnick turning in 21 saves in 42:24 minutes. MacDonald made 23 stops including 11 in the second period.
The Saints will look to rebound tomorrow, Saturday, January 28 when the team hosts Colgate University at 4:00pm.