After a lethargic first period, the Cornell women’s ice hockey team was explosive in the second en route to an 8-0 rout of Union. Katie Wilson had a nine save shutout and Canadian Olympic Gold-Medalist Rebecca Johnston added a hat trick to power the Big Red to a win.
While nine saves may seem like an easy night, it wasn’t in the first period for Wilson. Cornell gave up several odd-man rushes, and Wilson had to be sharp from the start.
“We talk about with the goalies is its not necessarily how many saves you make, but when you make them,” said head coach Doug Derraugh “and that was huge for us to keep us in the game there early on, and then we got our feet under us and started rolling.”
Despite a few defensive lapses, Cornell tallied two goals 41 seconds apart in the first period to take a lead they would not relinquish. Johnston scored her first of three goals, followed closely by a goal from Haley Hughes.
Cornell got rolling in the second, and that is when this team’s explosive offense came to life. There were six goals from five different scorers during the middle frame, putting the game out of reach for Union. Goaltender Kate Gallagher, who made several great saves throughout the game, was finally pulled after Cornell’s sixth goal in favor of Alana Marcinko, who allowed the final two tallies. They were in complete control, and it showed on the scoreboard.
“I thought we moved the puck a lot better in the second period,” said Derraugh, “We really stressed between periods that we wanted them to get their feet moving and just move the puck and increase the tempo. I thought they did a really good job of that in the second period.”
The night clearly belonged the Johnston and Wilson for their contributions, but there were several players with great games. Defenseman Laura Fortino and center Brianne Jenner each had four assists while Johnston, Fortino, Jenner, and defenseman Lauriane Rougeau were all a team-high plus-5.
The speed, skill, and pure power of Cornell was too much for Union to handle. It was somewhat expected since Cornell is undefeated in conference play while Union has yet to win in the ECAC, but the result is a good one: confidence going into tomorrow’s game against RPI. It will be a tougher opponent as Cornell looks to extend its school-record 17-game winning streak and remain number 1 in national polling.