NORTHEASTERN DEFEATED BY CORNELL, 4-2
BOSTON - The No. 9 Northeastern women's ice hockey team (11-8-2) received goals from Kendall Coyne and Rachel Llanes, but No. 4 Cornell was able to come back to two one-goal deficits to knock off the Huskies, 4-2, on Saturday afternoon at Matthews Arena.
Brianne Jenner had a goal and two assists for the Big Red, while Jessica Campbell potted two goals and Lauren Slebodnick made 25 saves in goal. Chloe Desjardins had 25 saves.
Back and forth action and physical play was the story of the first period as Cornell had a 9-8 lead in shots, but it was the Huskies who capitalized in the frame to take a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes of play.
After blocking a shot in the defensive zone early in the frame, Paige Savage rushed down the ice on a 2-on-1 with Brittany Esposito and nearly scored when her shot from the left side almost trickled through the pads of Slebodnick. Minutes later, Coyne created a turnover in the offensive zone, sped down the right side and passed across the crease to Casey Pickett for a chance in front.
Midway through the frame, Savage generated another scoring bid in the corner when she sent a backhand pass through the Big Red defense and onto the stick of Colleen Murphy for a wrister on goal.
The Huskies broke through with 8:46 left in the first when Coyne netted her 17th goal of the season when she took a feed from Rachel Llanes, who had forced a turnover in the offensive zone, and buried a shot through the five-hole of Slebodnick for the score.
At the other end of the ice, Desjardins held up her end of the bargain, stopping all nine Cornell shots thrown at her in the period, including several from point blank range.
The Big Red offense came alive in the second period as Cornell scored a shorthanded, even strength and power play goal, while Llanes responded with a goal of her own, giving the Big Red a 3-2 advantage after two.
It didn't take long for Cornell to knot the game at one in the opening minute of the period when Jessica Campbell scored her fifth goal of the season. With the Big Red shorthanded, Brianne Jenner sent the puck up the boards to Campbell at the point. Campbell quickly sent in an off balance shot towards goal that took an odd hop and snuck past Desjardins.
Cornell got its first chance on the power play six minutes into the second and nearly took its first lead of the afternoon, but two blocks from Murphy kept the Big Red power play at bay.
The Huskies jumped back on top 9:31 into the second as Llanes scored her eighth goal of the season when she took an outlet pass from Coyne, skated into the Big Red zone and fired a shot on goal that beat Slebodnick short side.
Cornell would fire back, however, when Campbell tallied her second of the afternoon with 3:29 left in the frame. After taking a pass from Cassandra Poudrier, Jenner dropped a pass to Campbell atop the right faceoff dot, who then sent a laser over the shoulder of Desjardins and into the top left corner. The Big Red would add a power play goal with less than a minute left in the second when Alyssa Gagliardi redirected a shot from Poudrier at the point through the pads of Desjardins to make it 3-2.
Northeastern took control during the first few minutes of the third period, holding the puck in the Cornell zone and peppering Slebodnick with several shots, but the Big Red stole the momentum with a goal from Jenner five minutes in. After taking a pass from Jillian Saulnier, Jenner skated out from behind the cage and throw a shot on goal that was saved by Desjardins. Jenner, however, positioned herself perfectly for the rebound, and knocked it home for a 4-2 Cornell lead.
The Huskies threw a game-high 10 shots on goal in the third period, but could not cut into the deficit. NU pulled Desjardins in favor of the extra skater with 1:24 left in regulation, but Slebodnick and the Cornell defense stood their ground to preserve the victory.
Northeastern will head out on the road on Wednesday as the Huskies travel to No. 6/5 Boston University for a 7 p.m. contest at Walter Brown Arena.
Game Notes: Northeastern is now 27-7-1 all-time against Cornell ... Cornell's second period goal was the first shorthanded tally NU has allowed all season ... Coyne has 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists) in her last 15 games, including nine multi-point games ... Llanes recorded her seventh multi-point game of the season, and first since Nov. 16 against Boston College ... Sonia St. Martin returned to the lineup for the first time since Oct. 26 following an injury.