PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Brown women's hockey team continues its five-game road trip, which started last weekend at RPI and Union. This weekend the Bears head up to Ithaca, N.Y. to take on ECAC Hockey leader, No. 2 Cornell on Friday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. before taking on Colgate on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 4 p.m. The five-game road stanza wraps on Tuesday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Yale.
The Bears only have five games left this year, all of which come against ECAC Hockey opponents. Brown will look to play "David" to Cornell's "Goliath" in Friday's contest. The Big Red has already clinched the No.1 seed in the ECAC and has not lost a league game this season. Cornell has only one loss and one tie on its overall record this year. This is the second meeting between the two teams, with the first coming on January 8th at Meehan Auditorium; a 4-0 Cornell win.
Against Colgate, the Bears are in position to play spoiler as the Raiders look to latch onto the final ECAC Hockey playoff spot. Colgate is only two-points back of St. Lawrence with only four games reaming on the league schedule.
Strength of Schedule
Brown has faced a grueling schedule, not only in the first half of the season in which with nine of its 12 opponents have received votes in the national poll and six cracking the top 10, but since a return from winter break, the Bears faced No. 2 Cornell, No. 3 Boston University and No. 4 Mercyhurst (twice) as well as the two of the top-three teams in the ECAC, Harvard and Dartmouth.
Of the 24 games that the Bears have played this year, only six have been against teams that have not at least received votes in the national polls.
The Captain Returns
Senior captain Samantha Stortini (Sudbury, Ontario) missed seven games with a hip injury at the beginning of the season and has since returned after the winter break. Stortini's experience and leadership on the backline is needed with a plethora of young players seeing valuable minutes for the Bears this season. "Storts" looks to join fellow senior captains Erica Kromm (Naramata, British Columbia) and Jenna Dancewicz (Lake Forest, Ill.) at the 100 games played milestone. Both Kromm and Dancewicz hit the mark earlier this season. Stortini is currently at 98 career games with five games left on the regular-season slate.
Sophomore Laurie Jolin (Lachine, Quebec) continues to be one of the Bears main offensive threats, leading the team with eight goals, 12 points and 60 shots. Classmate Alena Polenska (Kutna Hora, Czech Republic), who missed three games earlier this season to train with the Czech Republic National Team, has really turned it on as of late, and is now tied for the team lead with 12 points on six goals and six assists, both second on the team.
Second-year goaltender Katie Jamieson (Waterloo, Ontario) has kept the Bears in numerous games this season and leads the team in all goalie statistics. She has seen 925:16 minutes between the pipes in 18 games this year. Jamieson has complied marks of 3.24 goals against average and a .911 save percentage, while making 511 saves.
Rookie defender Jennifer Nedow (Brockville, Ontario) has proven she can do it all, playing staunch defense while leading the team with seven assists this season. Nedow even shifted up to center after injuries at Mercyhurst left the Bears shorthanded.
Classmate Jessica Hoyle (Toronto, Ontario) has played on the top line for the Bears all season and continues to be one of the hardest skaters on the team. Hoyle is tied for second on the team with four assists and fourth with 31 shots.
Freshman Vanessa Welten (Crysler, Ontario) scored her second goal of the season at St. Lawrence, unassisted, going coast-to-coast for the score. It was her first game back from a head injury.
After clinching back-to-back ECAC Hockey regular season championships last weekend with a three-point weekend in New York's North Country, the Cornell women's hockey team returns to Lynah Rink for the final time in the regular season, taking on Yale and Brown this weekend. Cornell battles the Bears on Friday in a 7 p.m. contest before closing out the weekend with a 4 p.m. contest against Yale. Three points this weekend for the Big Red will also wrap up the program's second straight Ivy League championship.
While Cornell saw its shot at a perfect regular season ended with a 3-3 tie last weekend at Clarkson, the Big Red was able to clinch its second straight ECAC Hockey regular season championship with the three-point weekend in the North Country. Cornell enters the final four games of the regular season with 35 points, nine ahead of second-place Harvard. The Big Red capped last weekend with a 2-1 victory at St. Lawrence, raising the season record to 23-1-1 overall and 17-0-1 in league play.
On the year, Rebecca Johnston leads the team in scoring with 34 points on 18 goals and 16 assists in 23 games, while Brianne Jenner is a point back with 17 goals and 16 assists. Chelsea Karpenko and Laura Fortino also have crossed the 30-point mark this season, with Karpenko at 32 (14-18--32) and Fortino at 30 (7-23--30). In all seven different players are averaging at least a point per game this season, while every skater on the roster has recorded at least one point. In goal, Amanda Mazzotta and Lauren Slebodnick have split time in goal, with both netminders posting outstanding numbers. Mazzotta has a 0.91 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage and Slebodnick has a 0.61 goals-against average and a .968 save percentage. Mazzotta has been out since early December due to injury, with Slebodnick and Katie Wilson doing an outstanding job in her absence. Cornell's special teams units lead the nation, with the Big Red converting on 29-of-105 power-play chances (27.6 percent) and killing off 75-of-77 opponents' power-play opportunities (97.4 percent).
The Colgate women's hockey team will play its final two regular-season home games this weekend. The team will first play Yale on Friday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. before hosting Brown on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 4 p.m. in Starr Rink. The Brown game will be part of the National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebration and will also be the team's senior day in which the Raiders will honor their four seniors.
Colgate (9-17-3, 6-10-2 ECAC) is coming off a 4-2 setback to St. Lawrence and a 2-2 overtime tie with Clarkson last weekend. Sophomores Brittany Phillips and Jenna Klynstra as well as freshman Rachel Walsh all recorded two points apiece in the St. Lawrence game while sophomore Jessica Hootz and freshman Jocelyn Simpson scored a goal each against Clarkson.
Phillips leads the team with 30 points from 12 goals and 18 assists. She is followed by classmate Klynstra who has 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points and by senior Jessi Waters who continues to sit at third with 18 points off two goals and 16 assists.
Colgate is currently sitting in tenth place in the league standings above Brown and Union with 14 points. The team has wins against Quinnipiac, Princeton, Clarkson, Rensselaer and Union and has suffered losses to Princeton, Dartmouth, Harvard, Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence, Yale, Rensselaer and No. 2 Cornell. The Raiders' only ties were with Brown on Jan. 7 and Clarkson last weekend.
In the Bear Cave
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Pictured Above: sophomore forward Laurie Jolin : Photo by David Silverman