Late Goal Gives Cornell ECAC Women's Hockey Championship Crown
Courtesy of Cornell Athletic Communications
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Jessica
Campell scored a power-play goal with 1 minute, 40 seconds
remaining, leading the women's hockey team to a 2-1 victory over
Harvard on Saturday to lock up the team's third ECAC Hockey
championship in the last four years.
The play started with Campbell in the right corner, making a pass to Emily Fulton all alone in front of Harvard goalie Emerance Maschmeyer just off the left post. Fulton made a move to her forehand that got behind Maschmeyer, but a Harvard defender scrambled to the goal line to deflect the puck away. Campbell was in the right spot at the right time, converting into a yawning net for her 16th goal of the season, sending the Lynah Rink crowd of nearly 2,500 into a frenzy.
Forward Brianne Jenner scored the other goal, linemate Jillian Saulnier had a pair of assists and goaltender Lauren Slebodnick made 18 saves for Cornell (27-5-1), which clinched an automatic bid to next weekend's NCAA tournament quarterfinals. The NCAA selection show is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday.
The Big Red forecheck got things started on the right foot for the home side. Saulnier cut off an attempted D-to-D pass behind the Harvard cage with the puck popping out toward the right circle. Jenner beat her defender to the net and made a subtle move to the backhand before she jammed a shot under the crossbar to give Cornell a 1-0 lead just 4 minutes, 47 seconds in.
The Big Red outshot the Crimson in the opening period, 14-7, but Harvard survived the early storm from a Cornell team playing in front of a raucous crowd. Slebodnick was called upon to make saves on Sarah Edney and Lyndsey Fry on an odd-man rush at 16:11, then another pair of saves on Mary Parker and Gina McDonald on a similar play a couple minutes later.
But in between came Harvard's first goal, the result of a clean faceoff win in the Cornell zone by Samantha Reber. The Crimson center swiped the puck back to Hillary Crowe in the high slot for an open shot. Slebodnick was able to get a solid piece of it with her blocker, but the puck caromed up in the air and descended between the goalie and crossbar, tying the game at 1-1 after the opening 20 minutes.
The second period was scoreless. Cornell had a dominating 10-1 advantage in shots on goal, largely assisted by having roughly five more minutes of power-play time than Harvard. The Crimson's best chance of the frame wasn't even its lone shot on goal – it was Hilary Hayssen's wrist shot through traffic from the right point that clanked off the far post before Slebodnick could locate the puck.