W. Hockey Rolls in Playoff Preview

Lowell K. Chow

Sophomore defensman ASHLEY BANFIELD (3), shown against Brown, scored only 65 seconds into Harvard’s 7-1 rout of Cornell. The Crimson faces the Big Red in the first round of the ECAC playoffs starting Friday.

The Harvard women’s hockey team got a sneak preview of its first round playoff opponent in Friday night’s 7-1 road drubbing of Cornell. If the Crimson’s performance was any indication, this weekend’s sequel will not be a Big Red scare.

Harvard (26-1-1, 15-0-1 ECAC) also crushed Colgate 6-2 on Saturday.

Harvard 7, Cornell 1

Against Cornell (4-19-3, 2-12-2), the Crimson was utterly dominant, outshooting the Big Red 60-12.

The biggest goal of the night came at 5:59 of the third period, long after the game had been decided. Freshman defender Jennifer Skinner scored the first goal of her Harvard career on a second-effort.

On the ice at the time of the goal was Andrea Skinner, Jennifer’s twin sister.

“The best part of the weekend was seeing [Andrea],” Jennifer said. “There’s no real competitive spirit between us, except for maybe when we were three years old and we each wanted the last lollipop.”

Skinner’s goal extended the Crimson lead to five, but sophomore winger Nicole Corriero added her second goal of the night for the 7-1 final.

Harvard got off to an early start against Cornell, scoring three goals in the first period.

Sophomore defender Ashley Banfield scored on a shot from the point to open the scoring after only 65 seconds play.

The Crimson’s second goal came midway through the first period when Corriero buried the rebound of senior forward Tracy Catlin.

Thirty-two seconds later, a pair of freshmen combined on a similar goal. Winger Jen Raimondi took the initial shot, while defender Jaclyn Pitushka was there to bang home the rebound.

Goals from freshman forward Julie Chu and junior forward Lauren McAuliffe extended Harvard’s lead to 5-0 in the second period before Cornell finally got on the board.

Despite the Big Red’s physical play, the Crimson was pleased with its performance.

“[The game] was a good motivational tool for this weekend,” said Harvard captain Jennifer Botterill.

The top-seeded Crimson hosts the eighth-seeded Big Red in a best-of-three series beginning this Friday.