Home NYS Hockey Central Cornell Comes Back to Beat Quinnipiac

Cornell Comes Back to Beat Quinnipiac

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ITHACA, N.Y. – Katelyn Pippy had played nine minutes in her entire Cornell women’s hockey career. But when called upon Saturday afternoon to nearly quintuple her career minutes, the sophomore played her best.

Pippy made 11 saves in relief of starter Stefannie Moak, did not allow a goal, and the Big Red offense was sparked to two goals in the third period for a 4-3 comeback win over Quinnipiac at Lynah Rink.

“I get to be around this group of girls and see them play every day, but you never really understand,” Pippy said. “It’s amazing. It’s the highest level of hockey I’ve ever played, and I’m really happy.”

Cornell (6-1, 4-0 ECAC Hockey) got third-period goals from Cassandra Poudrier – her second in as many nights – and assistant captain Alyssa Gagliardi, who was playing in her second ever game as a forward to beat the visiting Bobcats (5-4-1, 3-2).

After a stellar first period that saw the Big Red take a 2-0 lead, Quinnipiac scored three goals in the first six minutes of the second period. That forced Moak to the bench and Pippy to the ice. The sophomore, who sings the national anthem before games, did not disappoint in her first appearance since nine minutes of action in January at Union.

Pippy made three saves the rest of the period and set up an opportunity for Cornell to come back.

Poudrier had the tying goal on what looked like it was going to be a broken play. Jessica Campbell had a bad pass out of the offensive zone, but Poudrier went to get the puck as the rest of the Big Red went for a line change. All on her own, Poudrier went back into the zone, beat a Quinnpiac defender and got the puck through Victoria Vigilanti’s legs while crashing into the net after the puck. The play tied the game with just 1:25 gone in the period.

Seven minutes later, Gagliardi wound up with the game-winner. With the Big Red on the power play, Gagliardi took the puck from Taylor Woods and went around the back of the net. Coming back over the end line from the right side fired low and beat Vigilanti between the legs again to give Cornell the lead once again.

The Big Red would hold on to this one despite having to kill off two consecutive penalties and 21 seconds of 5-on-3 hockey. Pippy was equal to the task, stopping all eight shots she saw in the third period to seal the victory for the Big Red.

“[My teammates] said that they were proud of me and they knew I had it in me,” Pippy said. “I was really happy to be able to step up and, more than anything, to be able to help them out and do that for them.”

The teams played a fairly even first period until the Big Red started getting quality opportunities in the second half. Those opportunities paid off as Emily Fulton and Jess Brown got goals to make it a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.

Brown’s goal came off a nice breakout started by Jillian Saulnier. Taking the puck at center ice off a bad Quinnipiac pass, Saulnier raced into the offensive zone and fed Poudrier to her right. The freshman took the shot, and Vigilanti made the initial save. But she left a juicy rebound in front of the net, and Brown put it away for her first career goal.

Fulton scored her fourth goal of the year just 57 seconds later. Taking a shot from the right point, Hayleigh Cudmorehad the puck bounce off a Quinnipiac player and right back to her. That set up a perfect cross-ice pass to Fulton, who had a gaping net as Vigilanti was playing a potential Cudmore shot. Fulton skated in closer and roofed the puck over Vigilanti for the 2-0 lead.

But the next 20 minutes belonged to the Bobcats. ECAC Hockey scoring leader Kelly Babstock had three assists and Nicole Kosta had two goals in a 6:07 span to start the period, putting the Big Red in a 3-2 hole and chasing Moak, who was making her first career start.

In her place came Pippy, and she got a pep talk from goalie Lauren Slebodnick in between the second and third periods.

“She told me that this was my time and go out and make her proud and that she believed in me,” Pippy said. “That meant a lot.”

The Big Red’s victory was its seventh straight against the Bobcats and its third consecutive victory on a Saturday. The team is also now on a five-game winning streak.

Cornell has next weekend off before playing Colgate in a home-and-away weekend series on Nov. 16 and 17.

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Janet has been covering women's hockey for over 35 years. Along with a 38 year career in Public Relations and over 40 years photographing sports, she found a passion in women's hockey. Her initial story was on the founding of the Niagara University D1 program, she expanded to collegiate and youth and was active in the founding and promoting of the WNY Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Federation. When Professional Women's Hockey hit the ice she was there, one of the first to release the story in WNY. Along with her husband, Randy, people comment that if there's hockey, the Schultz's are there!