Cornell Staves Off St. Lawrence Rally for Win on Senior Night

ITHACA, N.Y. – With their red road jerseys hanging from the glass, Cornell's six graduating seniors played an excellent contest on Saturday afternoon at Lynah Rink, leading the No. 3 Big Red to a 3-2 victory over No. 10 St. Lawrence in both teams' regular-season finale.

With her parents and grandfather in attendance, senior Catherine White had a goal and an assist, and Amanda Mazzotta made 24 saves with her father, sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew watching from the stands to earn her 50th career win.

The Big Red (26-3, 20-2 ECAC Hockey) earned its fourth consecutive win against the Saints (20-9-4, 14-6-2) and extended its winning streak to tie for a nation-long seven wins. Cornell also killed St. Lawrence's winning run at six games and won 20 league games for the second consecutive year.

After the contest, seniors White, Mazzotta, Rebecca Johnston, Chelsea Karpenko, Kendice Ogilvie, Amanda Young and student manager Stephanie Pratt were joined on the ice by family to congratulate them on terrific careers in Red and White.

But those careers are far from over.

Away from Ithaca, Brown, RPI and Colgate all lost, so the top-seeded Big Red will host the Bears – which held a tiebreaker over RPI – in a best-of-three series for the ECAC Hockey Tournament quarterfinals in Lynah next weekend. The games will take place on Friday, Saturday and, if necessary, Sunday. Cornell would also host the league semifinals and finals the following weekend with a win in that series.

On Saturday, Cornell got on the board early in the first period when Jillian Saulnier entered the zone with the puck and laid it off to her left for Rebecca Johnston. Johnston centered the puck to Laura Fortino, whose shot was blocked and flipped end-over-end to the right of the net. Waiting there was Brianne Jenner, who knocked the puck past Saints goalie Carmen MacDonald for the 1-0 lead.

In the second period, the Big Red needed just 57 seconds to double its lead. Hayleigh Cudmore started a breakout with a long lead pass to Chelsea Karpenko. The senior dropped it off to Catherine White, who finished the play with a beautiful shot in front of the net.

Seven minutes later, White was again involved, this time on a two-on-one opportunity. Coming up the right side, White had Erin Barley-Maloney to her left. White found Barley-Maloney with a last-second pass, and Barley-Maloney finished through the legs of MacDonald.

The Big Red then had to stave off a furious rally by the Saints. After an even-strength goal gave St. Lawrence life and made the game 3-1, the Saints earned a five-on-three power play when things got chippy between both sides. The Saints played tricky tactics by pulling their goalie with six minutes remaining to create a six-on-three chance, and Cornell succumbed to the pressure to make it a 3-2 game.

But the Big Red played excellent defense late, not allowing a single shot on goal in the final 1:12 as St. Lawrence again pulled its goalie.

Cornell completed its regular season without a tie for the first time since the 1998-99 season. There will be no ties the rest of the way, as the playoffs begin with a Friday-afternoon match against Brown in Lynah Rink on Feb. 24. The game's time will be announced soon.