Cornell downs RPI, advances to semifinals

Cornell downs RPI, advances to semifinals

ITHACA, N.Y. -- The No. 4 Cornell women's hockey team is moving on to the ECAC Hockey tournament semifinal round.
 
The Big Red (22-4-6, 17-3-2 ECAC Hockey) downed Rensselaer (14-18-5, 10-11-2 ECAC Hockey), 6-1, in Game 3 of the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal Sunday afternoon at Lynah Rink. The win marks the 600th victory in the program's 47-year history.
 
The shots category looked similar to those of the first two games in the series with the Big Red dominating, 61-8. Though unlike the first two games in the series the final score showed it. Kristin O'Neill and Gillis Frechetteled the way with two goals apiece, which is a new career high for Frechette.
 
Cornell opened the scoring with a goal from Lenka Serdar just before the midway point of the first period. After gathering the puck in the neutral ice, Jaime Bourbonnais brought it into the zone. The Engineers nearly poked away from the junior defenseman, but Paige Lewis was there to tap it back forward to Bourbonnais. Meanwhile, Lenka Serdar positioned herself in the slot. Bourbonnais sent the puck over to Serdar, who put it home past the right shoulder of Rensselaer goaltender Lovisa Selander.
 
The Big Red got back on the board later in the opening stanza with Frechette's first tally of the game. Grace Graham fired the initial shot that Selander was able to save, but the rebound bounce back in front of the net. Both Diana Buckley and Frechette went for the puck, but it was Frechette that snuck the puck past the sliding Selander.
 
The Engineers lone goal came on the power play with 7:14 left in the second. Jaimie Grigsby managed to pinball the puck off of Cornell goaltender Marlène Boissonnault and into the back of the net.
 
Cornell responded exactly a minute later with the first of O'Neill's goals. Amy Curlew had the puck in front of the net but was swarmed by Engineer defenders. Curlew then sent it back to O'Neill, who collected the puck with her back facing the net. In one swift move the junior captain spun around and fired a shot to extend the Big Red's lead to two goals.
 
O'Neill added her next tally with a goal with 16:11 remaining in the third period. The play started behind the Big Red's own net when Bourbonnais started the rush forward. Bourbonnais then connected with Devon Facchinato, who sent it across to O'Neill. After entering the zone, O'Neill tossed it on net and it snuck through Selander's five-hole.  
 
Frechette added the Big Red's next goal 37 seconds later with Frechette's second goal of the contest. The freshman forward retrieved the rebound on Micah Zandee-Hart's shot beyond the goal line. Frechette weaved her way through three Rensselaer defenders before lifted the puck over Selander's right shoulder on a point-blank chance.
 
The Big Red added its final tally of the day with Bella Kang notching her first collegiate goal. Paige Lewisapplied pressure on the forecheck and caused a turnover. Lewis gathered the puck and charge towards the net. Her shot was turned away by Selander, but Kang was there to put home the backhander.
 
Boissonnault, picked up her 19th win of the season in net, finished the day with a total of seven saves on eight shots faced.
 
The Big Red will take on Princeton in the semifinal round next Saturday at Lynah Rink. The winner will take on the victor of the other semifinal matchup featuring Clarkson and Colgate in the ECAC Hockey tournament title game on Sunday.

NOTES TO KNOW

  • Since 2010, Cornell is now 18-4 in quarterfinal games. This marks the ninth time in the last 10 years that they've advanced to the semifinals.
  • This marks the seventh time this season that O'Neill has registered at least two goals in game.
  • Frechette has now found the back of the net in four of the Big Red's last seven games, with a total of four goals. Her first goal of the contest proved to be her first-career game-winner.
  • Bourbonnais assisted on two goals, which marks her eighth multipoint performance of the season.
  • Lewis also assisted on a pair of goals, which is her fourth multipoint game of the season.