Cornell Secures Trip to ECAC Hockey Semis

Cornell Secures Trip to ECAC Hockey Semis

ITHACA, N.Y. – The No. 5 women's hockey team officially punched its ticket to the ECAC Hockey semifinals with a 4-0 win over Princeton at Lynah Rink on Sunday afternoon. After splitting the first two games, Cornell came out with a vengeance in game three on the strength of goals from Maddie MillsSarah KneeBrianna Veerman and Diana Buckley.
 
"I thought tonight was one of our most complete games of the year," said head coach Doug Derraugh. "Obviously it's a great time for us. Hats off to Princeton, I thought they had a great series and a very competitive series. Obviously both teams going into this game were a little bit gassed, so a little different pace to this game than maybe the first two. But for us, I felt like this was the most complete game that we have played so far this year, so that's a good sign going in to the ECAC tournament."
 
Marlene Boissonnault secured her seventh shutout of the year after stopping all 18 shots sent her way to tie for the fourth most in the nation. She also ranks second all-time at Cornell for shutouts in a single season, only behind Amanda Mazzotta's 11 from 2009-10.
 
Mills earned the game winner on a five-on-three power play fourteen minutes and 17 seconds in to the first frame. The freshman capitalized on a rebound following a snipe by Knee from the top of the far circle, poking the puck in at the far post. The Ivy League Rookie of the Year now has eight power play tallies, tied for the second most in a single season at Cornell.
 
"We haven't been able to score on the power play and then we get the first goal on the power play – that was a huge lift for our team," said Derraugh. "So, our special teams were much better today and it looks like that ended up being the difference, especially early on in the game."
 
After getting the primary assist on the opening goal, Knee notched a score of her own 13:49 into the second frame just eight seconds after a Big Red power play expired. The senior captain took a shot from the edge of the near circle that zipped through traffic and found its way in the back of the net.
 
Veerman kept the momentum going for the home team with another power play tally just 4:08 after Knee's insurance goal. Veerman cleaned up a rebound following a save by Princeton's Stephanie Neatby, slipping the puck in past Neatby's glove while she was in a split.
 
After scoring just the day before, Buckley was at it again, closing the 4-0 result 10:59 into the final period. Erin O'Connor had taken a shot that was stopped from a pad save and a Tiger skater in the slot had attempted to clear it out, but Buckley was right there and took an immediate swing at it. The puck perused through traffic in front of the net and slipped past the goal line to put an exclamation point on the day.
 
"There was obviously some pressure on us to get the job done here tonight – especially in front of our home fans, which was unbelievable, by the way," Derraugh said. The crowds that we have gotten for these games this weekend…it's so fabulous for us to have that behind us and it makes a big difference when you have that kind of support. You don't see that very often on the women's side in hockey and for our building to be as packed as it was, it's certainly a big lift and really I think that's also that's part of it – it really gave us the legs to come out tonight and play the way we did.
 
The team heads up to the North Country for the ECAC Hockey semifinals, hosted by Clarkson. The number-three seeded Big Red is set to face the two-seeded Colgate on Saturday, Mar. 3 at 4 p.m.