ERIE, Pa. -- Behind a pair of goals from senior Karlee Overguard and 24 saves from freshman goaltender Lauren Slebodnick, the Cornell women's hockey team scored a 3-0 victory at No. 4/4 Mercyhurst on Tuesday night at the Mercyhurst Ice Center in Erie, Pa. The win for Cornell avenged the lone loss for the Big Red on the season, a 4-3 loss to the Lakers back in November at Lynah Rink.
Catherine White added a goal for the Big Red, ranked second in the nation in both of this week's national polls. Laura Fortino, Alyssa Gagliardi, Amber Overguard, Hayley Hughes and Amanda Young each picked up an assist on the night for Cornell. The Big Red went scoreless in four power-play opportunities, but held the Lakers off the scoreboard in three extra-man opportunities.For Mercyhurst (18-5), Hillary Pattenden stopped 29 of the 32 shots she faced on the night in taking the loss.
After a scoreless first period, the Big Red finally broke through midway through the second period when Overguard notched the first of her two tallies on the night. Fortino started the play by intercepting a Mercyhurst pass in the neutral zone and sending the puck ahead to Overguard, who ripped a wrist shot from the slot that beat Pattenden high to the glove side, sneaking just inside the upper corner of the goal to give Cornell a 1-0 lead.
The Big Red took that lead into the third period where Overguard again found the back of the net. Amber Overguard brought the puck out of the Cornell zone and chipped it ahead to her sister, Karlee, who gloved it down and sent a fluttering puck on goal that somehow snuck past the glove of Pattenden.
Just over three minutes later, White added to the lead with her 10th goal of the season, sending the puck in front of the net from the corner to Hughes, and Hughes sent a back-handed pass back toward White, who slotted the puck inside the post for the 3-0 lead.
Cornell then killed off the rest of the contest, with Slebodnick making 13 of her 24 saves in the third period to preserve her third shutout in four career starts. The freshman lowered her goals-against average to 0.21 with the shutout, and has allowed just one goal in six career appearances.
Cornell's shutout victory marked the first time that the Lakers had been shutout since falling in the 2009 National Championship game to Wisconsin. The Lakers also hadn't been shut out at home since a 1-0 loss to Minnesota on Oct. 21, 2005.
The Big Red returns to action on Friday, making their first appearance at Lynah Rink since Dec. 4. The Big Red takes on Colgate in a 7 p.m. contest. All men's hockey season-ticket holders will be admitted free to the women's game with their ticket holder identification card or with any ticket stub from this season.