All-div preview: No. 6 Cornell looks for revenge against Princeton in playoffs
Cornell will open the postseason at home this weekend when it plays host to Princeton for the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals in a best-of-three series, beginning Friday afternoon. The Big Red dropped both contests last weekend, falling to then-No. 9 Quinnipiac 2-1 and Princeton 4-3. Junior Jillian Saulnier had a hand in all four of the Big Red's goals, scoring two and assisting on the others, while senior Jess Campbell had one goal and two assists.
During last Friday's game against then Quinnipiac, it was Campbell who opened up scoring for the Big Red at 10:46 in the first period. Cornell couldn't hold on, however, and allowed two third-period goals by the Bobcats. Saturday's game against Princeton was similar, with the Big Red getting on the board first, but allowing Princeton to score two power-play goals and go on a three-goal run before adding a tally to reduce the deficit to one. The Tigers' scored again and, two minutes later with 57 seconds left in the game, Emily Fulton scored.
Princeton holds a 41-36-4 advantage in the all-time series against Cornell since the teams first met in the 1974-75 campaign.
The Big Red sits behind Minnesota, Wisconsin and Holy Cross on the national leaderboard at 23.3 percent conversion rate on the power play. The combined special teams' average of 57.5 percent is good for third in the country, behind ECAC Hockey and Ivy League rival Harvard, Holy Cross, and Minnesota.
Princeton is the No. 6 seed in the ECAC playoffs with a 10-9-3 ECAC record and a 14-11-4 overall record. In Jeff Kampersal's 18 years as head coach he has taken the team to the quarterfinals 15 times. The Tigers return to the Tournament after missing out last year for the first time in 12 years.
Senior Denna Laing sits atop the scoring column for the Tigers with 25 points on 12 goals and 13 assists. Junior Brianna Leahy and senior Sally Butler both have 20 points. Leahy has eight goals and 12 assists while Butler has a team-high 16 helpers and four goals.
Sophomore Kimberly Newell is 12-11-4 in goal with a .908 save percentage and a 2.64 goals-against average.
In other ECAC Hockey quarterfinals: Clarkson plays Dartmouth -- a team that needed four points last weekend to make the tournament. ... For the 16th season in a row, Harvard will host an ECAC quarterfinals, this time tangling with Yale. ... Quinnipiac fell to St. Lawrence 3-0 earlier this year -- Quinnipiac's second-largest deficit at the end of a game this season. ... In the WCHA quarterfinals: Boston College looks to extend its run of seven wins in 10 games against New Hampshire. ... Minnesota has not lost in its previous 18 games against St. Cloud State. ... Wisconsin is 4-0-0 all time in the playoffs against Minnesota State-Mankato. ... North Dakota heads into its series against Bemidji State on a four-game losing streak, and has scored four goals in those four games.
In the WIAC semifinals, Wisconsin-River Falls faces Wisconsin-Superior, a team that it has outscored 12-1 in three games this season. ... The other WIAC semifinals features Wisconsin-Stevens Point going against Wisconsin-Superior teams who finished a weekend series tied in both games two weekends ago. ... Middlebury is the top seed in the NESCAC tournament for the fourth consecutive season. ... Norwich is in its sixth consecutive ECAC East semifinals where it will face Massachusetts-Boston. ... St. Thomas (Minn.) is the top seed in the MIAC tournament for the first time since 2004. ... The other MIAC semifinal features the third consecutive game between Gustavus Adolphus and Bethel (Minn.).