Sports

Offense dries up as women’s ice hockey goes winless on road trip

First conference road games end in defeat as Cornell, Colgate score nine combined goals

By
Sports Staff Writer
Monday, November 17, 2014

Ariana Rucker ’16 handles the puck in a recent game. Despite a strong showing in their overtime loss to Colgate Saturday night, the Bears lost both matchups this weekend, failing to sustain their momentum from last week’s back-to-back home wins over the University of Maine. Bruno will look to rebound against Providence in a contest for the Mayor’s Cup Nov. 28.

In spite of last weekend’s superb offensive demonstration, the women’s hockey team fell short and handed conference victories to Cornell, 5-1, and Colgate, 4-3, this weekend when the Bears hit the road and returned to conference play.

Coming off an impressive sweep of the University of Maine, Bruno (3-6-0, 1-3-0 ECAC) headed to Ithaca first to challenge Cornell (2-4-0, 2-2-0). The Big Red’s then-winless team was fortunate to see the return of its head coach and two of its star players — who contributed four combined goals in Friday’s contest. The three represented Team Canada in its gold-medal-winning endeavor at the Four Nations Cup.

The Ivy League foe came out on the attack early in the game. After winning possession from the first faceoff, the Big Red immediately tried to crack the Bears’ defense by rapidly firing several shots on goal. Cornell eventually managed to get the puck past Bruno’s defense and score the first goal of the contest. Notable defensive efforts by goaltender Monica Elvin ’17 and Hunter Davis ’16 were able to forestall the persistent Big Red’s first goal.

“I think our defensive play has been improving,” said Janice Yang ’15. “In particular, I thought we were better this past weekend blocking shots.”

Minutes later, Cornell put the puck through the pipes again, bringing the score to 2-0. Undaunted by the early two-point deficit, the Bears managed to score after capitalizing on one of Cornell’s blunders. Yang gained control of the puck in Bruno’s offensive zone and quickly passed to Brittany Moorehead ’15, who launched a shot on goal. The shot was blocked by the Cornell goalie, but Moorehead was able to rebound the puck and whipped it again towards the net, this time converting and bringing the score to 2-1.

Taking the ice after the first intermission, offensive play by both teams seemed to slow down drastically, resulting in a scoreless second period. Bruno’s defense limited the Big Red to just seven shots on goal during the 20-minute interval, while the Bears managed to launch only five of their own.

To compensate for the sluggish middle period, Bruno attempted to pick up the pace, sending multiple shots on goal from the start of the third. The final stretch opened with a power-play opportunity for the Bears, giving the squad a one-player advantage. But incurring two penalties less than a minute apart erased Bruno’s edge and resulted in a 4-on-3 situation in favor of the Big Red. Capitalizing on the mismatch and the sway in momentum, Cornell went on a 3-0 scoring run, distancing itself from the Bears. Leaving Bruno with little time to overcome the deficit, Cornell claimed its first victory with a 5-1 win.

In another ECAC matchup, the Bears travelled to Hamilton, New York Saturday to take on the Colgate Raiders (3-8-0, 1-3-0).

Looking to get ahead early, the Raiders promptly sent the puck towards the goal just seconds into the game. Elvin initially blocked the shot, but a Colgate player managed to rebound the redirected puck and slap it into the net, sending the score to 1-0 within 28 seconds of the start of the contest. After the near-instantaneous goal, neither the Bears nor their opponents were able to score a goal for the duration of the first interval, sending both teams off the ice for the first intermission with a score of 1-0.

The second period commenced with both teams energized and eager to put points on the scoreboard. During one stretch, for every two shots the Raiders sent toward Elvin, Bruno responded with two of its own. Neither team managed to convert most of its shots. Colgate was prevented from distancing itself from the Bears largely by Elvin’s incredible blocks. The goalie had 34 of her weekend total 62 saves in the matchup against Colgate.

After minutes of continuing play in this seesawing nature, the Bears were finally able to equalize the score midway through the second period. Erin Conway ’17 slapped the puck into the back of the net to bring the score to 1-1. The goal was assisted by Davis and ECAC player of the week, Kaitlyn Keon ’15.

A goal by Colgate late in the second period put the home team up 2-1 going into the second intermission.

A rally by the Bears in the third period enabled Bruno to outscore the Raiders 2-1 in the final 20 minutes of regulation. Sarah Robson ’15 opened the third period with a goal of her own to even the score. Colgate responded about halfway through the period. Not to be bested, Sam Donovan ’18 scored the game-tying goal. After stealing the puck from the Raiders in the offensive zone, Donovan skillfully duped the Colgate goalie and sent the puck into the net.

Bruno’s comeback went unanswered by Colgate, and the standard 60 minutes of play ended with a score of 3-3, sending the game into overtime.

In minute two of the five-minute-long overtime, Colgate managed to score, ending the contest with a score of 4-3 and granting the Raiders their first conference victory.

“We played tough in both games,” Yang said. “We had our chances, and sometimes they don’t always go your way, but there were definitely parts in both games that we were happy about.”

The Bears will take a break from competition this weekend but will return to action Nov. 28 when the team takes on Providence College (1-10-3, 1-3-1 HEA) in the 20th annual Mayor’s Cup. Bruno looks to reclaim the trophy after having two consecutive years of citywide bragging rights interrupted by Providence’s narrow victory against the Bears last year.