O'Neill's hat trick leads Cornell past RPI

O'Neill's hat trick leads Cornell past RPI

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Junior forward Kristin O'Neill netted her second career hat trick as the No. 6/6 Cornell women's hockey team shut out Rensselaer, 5-0, Saturday afternoon at Lynah Rink to complete the weekend sweep. This marks the eighth consecutive win for the Big Red (16-2-5, 12-2-1 ECACH) and its second straight shutout for the Big Red.
 
The Big Red recorded a season-high 53 shots on net, while holding the Engineers (11-12-5, 8-7-1 ECACH) to 11. This marks the first time since Feb. 10, 2018 that the Big Red eclipsed the 50-shot barrier.
 
Senior goaltender Marlène Boissonnault notched her 14th career shutout and fifth this season. The Dundee, New Brunswick, native stopped all 11 shots she faced.
 
O'Neill opened the scoring just 1:21 into the contest. Amy Curlew shuffled the puck forward to Maddie Millsbefore finishing her shift. Mills took a shot that was saved by Rensselaer goaltender Lovisa Selander, who entered with the top save percentage (.946) in the nation, before O'Neill buried the rebound.
 
The junior netted the Big Red's second goal of the contest with 8:02 remaining in the second period. Curlew swept the puck along the boards where it eventually found Mills, meanwhile O'Neill positioned herself on the opposite side of the net. Mills fired a shot that was again turned away by Selander, but O'Neill was there to put home her second of the afternoon. The tally marked the Oakville, Ontario, native's 50th career goal.
 
Just over a minute later Cornell added to its lead with a goal from Grace Graham after losing control of the puck in its own offensive zone. Sam Burke poked the puck away from the Engineers skater and ahead to Graham. The junior forward then quickly blasted the puck past Selander to give the Big Red the 3-0 advantage.
 
Cornell added two more power play goals in the last stanza with tallies from Lenka Serdar and O'Neill. The Big Red went 2-for-5 on power play chances, while holding the Engineers to 0-for-4.
 
Serdar's goal came with 17:01 left in the third. Grace Graham fired the initial shot that was turned away, Then Diana Buckley was denied on the doorstep, but Selander was not able to swallow up the puck. Finally Serdar poked it home for her 10th goal of the season.
 
O'Neill completed the hat trick with a goal right before the final buzzer. Selander turned away shots from Mills and Burke before O'Neill netted the goal just before time expired.
 
The Big Red returns to action next weekend when it heads up to the North Country. The Big Red will take on No. 5/5 Clarkson in the first matchup at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8 and then will take on St. Lawrence at 3 p.m. the following day.
 

Notes to Know

  • Mils was credited assists on all three of O'Neill's goals, which tied her career high.
  • O'Neill now has six game-winners on the season, which is tied for the sixth most in the nation. She is one shy of tying the program record for most in a season, a record she already shares with Rebecca Johnston and Brianne Jenner.
  • Burke, who had two assists, recorded her first career multipoint game.
  • Serdar has found the back of the net in six of her last seven games.
  • Curlew recorded her second multipoint game of the season.