Dec. 11, 2008

 

Courtesy of St. Lawrence

Dec. 6: First-year student Alley Bero scored her seventh goal of the season with only 2:24 to play in regulation to tie the score at 4-4 against Cornell University on Saturday afternoon at Appleton Arena.  The goal would cap the scoring, and help the No. 3 women’s hockey team dodge an upset bid by the Big Red, who were led by sophomore Rebecca Johnston’s hat trick.


The tie snapped St. Lawrence’s 19-game winning streak against Cornell, though the visitors were unable to capitalize on a 38-31 advantage on shots on goal and beat the Saints for the first time since 2000.  The tie moves the Scarlet and Brown to 11-2-3 (6-1-1), while Cornell goes to 6-5-2 (3-3-2) after a three-point weekend.


“I thought that was a classic conference battle tonight, with a few lead changes, some great goals and crucial goaltending,” said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells, whose team remained unbeaten on home ice.  “Obviously our power play came through big time with three goals to help us earn a tie against one of the best up-and-coming programs in all of college hockey.”


The two teams played to a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes of action, with the Saints earning a slight advantage in shots, 11-8.  Junior defenseman Brittaney Maschmeyer opened the scoring at 8:54 with a power play goal, as she took a pass from rookie Vanessa Emond at the point and laced a shot past Cornell goalie Jenny Niesluchowski.  However, Johnston would get that goal back at 15:01 when she corralled the puck behind St. Lawrence goaltender Brittony Chartier, cut to the front of the net untouched and sniped a wrist shot under the cross bar for her first of the game.


Though sophomore Karell Emard would give St. Lawrence their one-goal cushion back early in the second period, the Big Red would bounce back with two goals of their own to take a 3-2 lead into the third period.  Emard banged home a rebound off of a shot by junior defenseman Britni Smith at 5:57, while Johnston evened the scoring at 2-2 only 1:37 later when her low wrist-shot snuck between Chartier’s pads.  Amanda Young and Sam Wauer picked up assists on Johnston’s second goal.


Cornell’s Catherine White would give the visitors their first lead at 3-2 and end the second period scoring at 11:54.  After a great rush up-ice by the Big Red’s forwards, the puck was slid into Chartier’s crease by Johnston.  After Stephanie Holmes’ bid was stopped, the puck sat on the goal line for a second before being pushed into the net by White for her seventh goal of the season.


Smith would tie the score again only 2:28 into the third period, giving St. Lawrence their second power play goal of the afternoon.  Niesluchowski made a save on a shot by junior Tara Akstull, but fell to the ice and was taken out of the play when the puck was sent to Smith just outside the right circle by senior Alison Domenico.  Smith gained her composure, and with the goaltender well out of possession, sent a lofted wrist shot into the empty goal for her third of the year.


Johnston and the Big Red would show their resiliency, however, and they came back only 41 seconds later to take a 4-3 lead.  Johnston completed the hat trick when she pounced on a loose puck in the crease again and pushed it behind Chartier, with assists going to Holmes and White.


The goal seemed to motivate the Big Red and give them confidence as they managed to out-shoot the Saints

14-10 in the final period.  However, with 3:48 to play in regulation, Karlee Overguard was sent to the penalty box for high-sticking senior Carson Duggan, who was injured on the play and did not return to action.  With Overguard in the box, rookie defensemen Josee Belanger sent a hard slap shot just wide of the net.  The puck bounced right to Domenico at the side of the goal, and when Niesluchowski committed to her, Domenico centered the puck to Bero at the goal mouth for the tying tally.


Cornell continued to outshoot St. Lawrence in the overtime session, 3-1, but Chartier was able to keep the Big Red from earning the upset victory.


“With all of the parody in ECAC Hockey right now, you have to be pleased with a three-point weekend,” added Coach Wells.  “I thought both teams played well enough to win tonight, and it was in many ways fitting for the game to end in a tie.”


The game was the final home contest of 2008, as the Saints will head to Erie, PA next weekend to take on nationally-ranked Mercyhurst.  St. Lawrence will then return to action after nearly a month off when they welcome No. 7 Boston College to Appleton Arena for two games on January 9 and 10.