In a weekend that saw the Cornell Big Red compete against two clubs from the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, the Big Red proved that they can keep up with the best. An October 12 match saw four Cornell skaters (Brianne Jenner, Jillian Saulnier, Hayleigh Cudmore, and Erin Barley-Maloney) each contribute two points.
Although Brampton opened the scoring with a marker by Sarah Moe, the Big Red had three power-play opportunities in the period. Courtney Fox (slashing), Tara Gray (tripping) and Mallory Johnston (checking) all served penalties for the beleaguered Brampton club. Jillian Saulnier would score the equalizer at the 19:09 mark of the first to tie the game.
The second period belonged to Brianne Jenner. She scored an even-strength goal with an assist that went to Hayleigh Cudmore at the 5:10 mark of the second.
A little over five minutes later, Jenner scored on the power play as she buried the puck past Liz Knox. The power-play chance occurred when Brampton rookie (and former Princeton Tigers defender) Charissa Stadnyk was called for elbowing.
Gillian Apps would score the first goal of the third period as Brampton pulled to within one goal. Despite the 3-2 score, Cornell pressed on. Freshman Taylor Woods (a former member of the Canadian Under-18 National Team) scored an even-strength goal to put Cornell back up by two markers.
The second half of the third period saw relatively little action, but Laura Fortino scored at the 17:53 mark, putting the game out of reach. After the goal, the Brampton club found themselves called for two penalties. Lori Dupuis was called for interference, while Courtney Birchard found herself called for checking.
Key factors in the loss for Brampton were seven penalties and too many losses at the faceoff circle, as Jenner won 17 faceoffs.
The second contest took place on October 14 against the two-time defending Clarkson Cup champion Montreal Stars. Cornell was steady in the first period as it outshot the Stars 14-8. The first frame resulted in a scoreless tie.
Heading into the second, the Stars took charge very quickly. At just 45 seconds of the second period, 2012 BLG Award winner Ann-Sophie Bettez assisted on a goal scored by Noemie Marin. Only 39 seconds later, Haley Irwin scored a goal, with the assist going to Jesse Scanzano.
At the midway point of the second stanza, Stars goaltender Charline Labonte would leave the contest with a 2-0 lead, as she was relieved by Kim St. Pierre.
Despite the two goals allowed, Cornell played a very steady defensive game.
The third period saw Cornell try to get on the scoresheet, but the Stars controlled the game masterfully. With less than two minutes left in the game, United States national team member Julie Chu made it 3-0 for the Stars.
Cornell managed to score with 48 seconds left in the game. A three-on-two emerged, and Monika Leck found Brianne Jenner for a pass. Jenner, a favorite for the Patty Kazmaier Award passed to Jessica Campbell, who buried the puck past St. Pierre, the all-time winningest women’s goaltender in IIHF history. Lauren Slebodnick played valiantly between the pipes for Cornell, as she made 24 saves.