ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell had not played in front of its home crowd in nearly two full month, so the team treated the Lynah Faithful to a dazzling offensive output against Syracuse on Tuesday night.
Brianne Jenner earned her second hat trick of the season and added two assists for a five-point night, Jillian Saulnierhad four points of her own and Jessica Campbell added three more as Cornell cruised to an 8-1 win in its first game at Lynah Rink since Nov. 16.
“We were pretty excited to be back in Lynah and playing in front of the home crowd,” Jenner said. “It’s fun to be back here because we’ve been on the road for a while.”
The No. 4 Big Red (12-4) now holds a 4-1 record all-time against the Orange (10-11-1) and is a perfect 7-0 this season in front of the home crowd.
The first period alone saw five goals on the board for Cornell, including two by Jenner. The team’s total after 20 minutes was more than its score in any full 60-minute game since Nov. 17 at Colgate.
The defense was strong as well, allowing just 14 shots on goal for the Orange and holding the opposition to its lowest total since Nov. 23 at Dartmouth. Goalie Lauren Slebodnick (9-4) picked up the victory.
“We have a ton of fun together in practice,” defenseman Hayleigh Cudmore said of her unit. “We’re always together, and I think what’s really cool about us because we have seven defensemen, you never know who you’re going to play with. I’m comfortable playing with all six of the others.”
The Big Red wasted little time getting started with its offense against the Orange, as Erin Barley-Maloney got the team on the board just 2:27 into the contest. The senior tipped home a shot from the right point by Morgan Richardson, earning the freshman her first career assist. A Campbell pass set up Richardson’s shot.
“You get that early goal in the game and it sort of builds the momentum,” coach Doug Derraugh said. “We came with a lot of energy today.”
Just under three minutes later, Jenner struck for her first goal of the evening. Richardson again had the primary assist, and Saulnier earned the secondary.
Jenner added her second strike two minutes later, extending Cornell’s lead to 3-0. This time, she took a tip pass from Hayleigh Cudmore at the left point and brought the puck down the left side herself to beat Syracuse netminder Jenesica Drinkwater.
Campbell got her third goal in as many games at the 14:47 mark of the period, taking a long breakout pass fromCassandra Poudrier a sprinting ahead of everyone on the left side. Her shot went five-hole on Drinkwater, squirting through and making it over the goal line. The point was the 50th in her career.
Saulnier ended the period’s scoring, notching a goal right in front of the net while simultaneously drawing a tripping penalty. The pass from behind the net came from Jenner, giving her a three-point period.
“Tonight we got off on the right foot and kept it down for the most part,” coach Derraugh said. “That was a pretty solid 60 minutes from start to finish.”
Syracuse’s lone goal of the game came in the first period thanks to a bizarre bounce when a Shiann Darkangelo shot from the slot ricocheted high off the body of Jacquie Greco and bounced past Slebodnick.
In the second period, the Big Red’s scoring pace dropped off a bit, but the team still put two more on the board.Hayleigh Cudmore got the first, ripping a rebound of a Campbell shot past Drinkwater, and Saulnier got the second.
Saulnier made a nice move to go five hole after a terrific passing sequence that started with Victoria Pittens in the middle of the ice. Pittens found Alyssa Gagliardi skating over the blue line, and she passed it quickly to Jenner. Jenner hit Saulnier with the final pass, and Saulnier finished for her second goal of the night. Saulnier got her 75th career point with that goal, and Gagliardi earned her 50th.
The night’s final score completed Jenner’s hat trick. The junior was standing to the left of the goal, and a Laura Fortino shot bounced around the crease until it found its way to Jenner’s stick. Jenner did not miss from close range, floating the puck over the goal line to cap the Big Red’s scoring.
“It was pretty easy for me tonight juts because my linemates were looking for me and found me,” Jenner said. “When you have chemistry like that it makes the game a lot easier.”
The win was also Cornell’s ninth consecutive on a Tuesday night. The team’s last Tuesday night defeat came on Nov. 2, 2010 against Mercyhurst.