PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – The Brown women's ice hockey team (4-14-1, 3-11-0 ECAC) took an early lead but ultimately fell, 4-2, to #4 Cornell (16-4-0, 12-2-0 ECAC) in this afternoon's ECAC contest at Meehan Auditorium. Goaltender Aubree Moore (Bowie, MD) made 34 saves and freshman Emma Pearson (Richmond Hill, Ontario) scored her first career goal, but the Big Red couldn't be stopped, playing just out of reach of the Bears.
The two teams skated to a scoreless first period in spite of Cornell's 12 shots on net over the course of the opening 20 minutes. Each team had a power play opportunity in the stanza, but the squads executed well on the defensive side, with Brown making impressive blocks and the Big Red holding the home team to just three shots.
Momentum began to shift in the visitors' favor as the clock wound down, as Cornell put huge amounts of pressure on Moore, keeping play right around the net for the last two minutes. The junior goaltender stayed strong however, making 12 saves to keep the score knotted at zero as the teams headed into their respective locker rooms for the first intermission.
Brown opened the second period on the power play, as Cornell's Emily Fulton was called for interference at the buzzer, but the Bears would wait until the teams returned to even strength to score the first goal of the night and take the early lead. Just over two minutes into the period, a scrum in front of the net created multiple offensive chances. Brown kept pressure on the puck, and with the goalie down, senior co-captain Alena Polenska (Kutna Hora, Czech Republic) took a flip shot, lifting it up into the top corner of the net for her seventh goal of the season. Brittany Moorehead (Clinton, NY) and Vanessa Welten (Crysler, Ontario) were credited with assists on the goal.
The Bears fought to keep their lead, but the Big Red picked up their tempo and aggression, evening the score at 8:13 into the period. With play speeding into their offensive zone, Cornell's Emily Fulton took a shot on net that was deflected by Moore, but Brianne Jenner was able to put away the rebound, notching her 19th goal of the season and tying the score.
The second half of the period saw the Big Red build a two goal lead, stifling all of the Bears' best attempts to halt their progress. Cornell's second goal of the night started in a mess of traffic around the net, and when Laura Fortino's shot was deflected out of the crease, Jenner grabbed the rebound and sent it over to Hayleigh Cudmore. She took a hard shot that snuck through the chaos and into the net for her third goal of the year and Cornell's first lead of the night.
Just over a minute later the Big Red struck again, benefiting from a Brown penalty that was called at the time of the goal. With Kelly Kittredge (Mahwah, NJ) in the box for hitting after the whistle, Cornell's Jillian Saulnier drove hard to the net and took a backhand shot that snuck over Moore's shoulder to build the Big Red's lead to 3-1. The goal, her eighth of the season and the eventual game-winner, was assisted by Jenner and Erin Barley-Maloney.
Moore made another 12 saves in the second period to keep the Bears within striking distance, and continued to stand tall in net at the start of the third, deflecting everything that came her way.
With just under seven minutes to play in the third Brown narrowed its deficit to one, as Pearson scored her first collegiate goal to bring the Bears within striking distance. After Cornell's Alyssa Gagliardi was called for hooking, the Brown power play moved the puck down to the Big Red net. Sophomore Janice Yang (Westport, CT) sent a pass up to Pearson at the point, and the freshman took a slap shot that found the back of the net on the top corner, glove side, narrowing the score to 3-2 with over six minutes left to play.
While the Bears continued to put offensive pressure on the Big Red, it was the visitors that scored late, securing a 4-2 victory. At 16:19 of the period, just as Polenska was coming back onto the ice after serving a penalty, Barley-Maloney skated through the slot, flipping a rebound up over Moore for her fourth goal of the season.
Cornell took 38 shots to Brown's 11 over the course of the afternoon, but the Bears blocked 17 shots to Cornell's seven. Each team scored a power play goal, with the home team going one-for-six and the visitors going one-for-four.
After three consecutive weekends of home action, the Bears will hit the road on Friday, February 1, heading to Hamden, Connecticut to take on the Quinnipiac Bobcats at 7:00pm before traveling to Princeton, New Jersey on Saturday, February 2 to play the Princeton Tigers at 4:00pm.
Brown: 3 - 5 - 3 - x - 11
Cornell: 12 - 15 - 11 - x - 38
First period – no scoring. Penalties: B, 1-2. C, 1-2.
Second period – B, Polenska (Welten, Moorehead), 2:23. C, Jenner (Fulton), 8:13. C, Cudmore (Jenner, Fortino), 14:12. C, Saulnier (Jenner, Barley-Maloney), PP, 15:20. Penalties: C, 2-4. B, 2-4.
Third period – B, Pearson (Yang), PP, 13:30. C, Barley-Maloney (Jenner, Fortino), 16:19. Penalties: C, 2-4. B, 1-2.
Saves: B, Moore (60:00), 12 - 12 - 10 - x - 34. C, Slebodnick (60:00), 3 - 4 - 2 - x - 9.