Mills' late tally leads Cornell to tie with Penn State

Mills' late tally leads Cornell to tie with Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Kristin O'Neill netted two power play goals for the No. 4/4 Cornell women's hockey team in its Tuesday night tilt against Penn State, but it was a Maddie Mills tally with exactly six seconds remaining in regulation that extended Cornell's unbeaten streak to nine games. The two teams played to a 3-3 tie at the Pegula Ice Arena.
 
With the result the Big Red moves to 8-1-5 on the season, while the Nittany Lions are now 8-9-4.
 
Mills' goal came in desperation time for the Big Red, which pulled goaltender Marlène Boissonnault trailing 3-2 with 1:42 left in regulation. With just over 20 seconds left, Cornell drew a penalty to go on the power play.

Jaime Bourbonnais tossed the puck on net, but it was initially fended away by Penn State netminder Jenna Brenneman. The rebound trickled out to the point, where Mills found the back of the net with a backhander that snuck past the right shoulder of Brenneman.
 
"We seemed to get better as the game went on and managed to get the tie thanks to our power play," said head coach Doug Derraugh. "We need to get better five-on-five to have success in the second half."

The Big Red scored the first goal of the contest with a power play tally from Kristin O'Neill. The play started with Bourbonnais connecting with Maddie Mills near the left circle. Mills wound up a shot that was initially turned away by Brenneman. Though, O'Neill had crashed the net and was stationed on the opposite side and quickly cashed in on the rebound for her 10th goal of the season.

Of the six total goals scored on the evening, five of them were on the power play. Cornell went 3-for-5 power play chances, while the Nittany Lions were 2-for-6.

Penn State quickly responded to O'Neill's early goal with a power play goal of its own to even the score heading into the first intermission. The goal proved to be the first of three unanswered tallies for the Nittany Lions, which jumped to a 3-1 lead in the second period. Jessica Adolffson netted Penn State's second goal of the night just past the outreached mitt of Boissonnault, who had denied several other attempts. The Nittany Lions added to their lead with the only even strength goal of the evening on a blast from Katie McMillan with 6:20 left in regulation.
 
"I thought we got off to a tough start tonight," Derraugh said. "We looked like a team that had not played in over a month. Penn State played a strong disciplined game so give them credit."

Kristin O'Neill netted her second goal of the night on the 5-on-3 power play goal. Micah Zandee-Hart and Mills tossed the puck back and forth behind the net before Mills sent it over to O'Neill, who sent a rocket into the back of the net with 1:38 left in the second period.
 
The Big Red returns to action this weekend when it hosts No. 5/5 Princeton on Friday at 3 p.m. and against Quinnipiac on Saturday at 3 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on ESPN+.

NOTES TO KNOW 

  • O'Neill's two goals on the night puts her season average up to 1.00 goal a game, which leads the nation.
  • Bourbonnais extended her point streak to nine games with the secondary assist on the Big Red's first goal of the evening.
  • Bourbonnais has recorded a point in all but one game she's played in this season.
  • The nine-game unbeaten streak is tied for the fifth longest in program history. Last season the Big Red went nine straight games without a loss as well.
  • Cornell needs two more decisions without a loss to tie its third longest unbeaten streak of 11 games, which it has achieved twice during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.