Dutchwomen show signs of hope despite losses

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By Ben Gurlitz

Union’s Women’s hockey team lost their seventh and eighth consecutive games this past weekend falling to Colgate and Cornell, respectively.

The Dutchwomen started their weekend off against fellow bottom dwellers Colgate on Friday in a game that looked pretty even on paper. However, it took the visitors just three minutes to get on the board when Jenna Klynstra scored off an assist from Brittany Phillips.

Union failed to convert on some power-play chances they had in a game that was largely dominated by Colgate, who out shot the Dutchwomen 42-18 en route to a 1-0 victory.

Goaltender Kate Gallagher ‘12 had a very strong game as she made 40+ saves for her second consecutive game.

On Saturday, the Dutchwomen took on the Big Red of Cornell, who are on top of the ECAC standings and ranked #2 in the nation.  The game started with business as usual for the visitors, but theywere left frustrated by Union’s defense.

They finally had a breakthrough 14 minutes in, when Rebecca Johnston picked up the puck in her own zone, floated through the Union defense, and buried a shot low into the back of the net.

Cornell missed several chances to double their lead, but finally converted 12 minutes into the second period when Lauriane Rougeau picked up the puck in the corner, skated around the circle into the slot, and fired a shot over Gallagher’s glove.  Brianne Jenner scored the first of her two goals five minutes later to give the Big Red a 3-0 lead.

Cornell looked every bit as good as the #2 in the country for the first two periods, but the third period would be a different story.  Senior Callee Heywood scored 1:50 into the period to cut Cornell’s lead to two: the most dreaded lead in hockey.  The play was initiated by freshman Elsa Bruestle, who skated down the wing and took a low shot, which rebounded nicely to Haywood, who put the puck into the empty net.

Cornell scored again to make it 4-1, before sophomore Jeannie Sabourin scored her first goal of the season, and a pretty one at that.  Picking up the puck just above her own blue line, Sabourin skated into the Big Red zone, got behind one defender, then stepped in front of the other before coolly putting the puck into the bottom corner.

Unfortunately, it was too little, too late for the Dutchwomen, who ended up losing 4-2.  However, there are many positives that can be taken out of this performance: Union showed lots of heart and character to beat Cornell 2-1 in the third period.

If this performance is any indication of the Dutchwomen’s future, then there is plenty of good to come.

Gallagher put in another stellar performance as she pulled off a variety of ridiculous saves to keep her team in the game, making 32 stops overall. Gallagher was rewarded for her two great performances by being named ECAC Goaltender of the Week.

Next weekend the Dutchwomen travel to Dartmouth on Friday, looking to avenge an embarrassing 8-1 loss they suffered there last year, and to Harvard on Saturday, who have won three of their last four games.

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