No. 5 St. Lawrence at No. 7 Cornell: ECAC Game of the Week
ECAC Tournament seeding is on the line in Ithaca.
Who: SB Nation No. 5 St. Lawrence (23-4-3 overall, 15-3-2 ECAC) at No. 7 Cornell (17-6-4 overall, 13-3-4 ECAC)
When: Friday, February 17, 2017 (6:00 ET)
Where: Lynah Rink (Ithaca, NY)
How to Watch: Ivy League Digital Network
Hats off to the ECAC schedule makers - the last weekend of conference play brings a slate of high-profile match-ups, all with seeding implications for the ECAC tournament. The most impactful of the bunch sees St. Lawrence traveling to Ithaca to face the Big Red.
No. 7 Cornell has been positively on fire since the turn of the year. The Big Red are 9-2-3 in 2017, including wins over Clarkson, Princeton, and Quinnipiac. One of their two post-New Year losses, however, was a 5-2 defeat in Canton against St. Lawrence.
The Big Red’s goaltending has been outstanding. Senior Paula Voorheis (.943 SV%, 1.59 GAA) and sophomore Marlene Boissonnault (.927 SV%, 1.49 GAA) are both in the top 10 nationally and anchor the seventh-ranked Cornell scoring defense (1.63 goals allowed per game). Offensively, Cornell leaves a bit to be desired, averaging only 2.56 goals per game. The Big Red have, however, found success on the power play, converting at 18.42%.
St. Lawrence had hopes for the ECAC tournament No. 1 seed, but that opportunity is gone after a weekend that saw the Saints tie Quinnipiac 1-1 and lose to Princeton 4-2, both at home. That snapped a five-game winning streak, but St. Lawrence can still grab the No. 2 seed with two points over the weekend.
The Saints boast the eighth-ranked scoring offense (3.37 goals per game) and three of the top eight point scorers in the nation in Kennedy Marchment (49 points), Brooke Webster (48 points), and Hannah Miller (43 points). Netminder Grace Harrison (.925 SV%, 1.58 GAA) has been excellent; the Saints have the fourth-ranked scoring defense in the country (1.53).
St. Lawrence Players to Watch
#29 - Grace Harrison, G
This is shaping up to be a battle of the netminders, so the four-time ECAC Goaltender of the Week will need to continue her fantastic 2016-17 if the Saints want to grab a win on the road. The twenty-game winner looks to bounce back after a rough game against Princeton last Saturday.
#10 - Hannah Miller, F
Miller has tallied a point in all but two games this year (both against Clarkson). She has scored 22 points in her last four games and had a goal and two assists the last time the Saints played Cornell. Miller is fourth in the ECAC in points scored but, remarkably, just third on her own team behind Marchment and Webster.
Cornell Players to Watch
#1 - Marlène Boissonnault, G / #31 - Paula Voorheis, G
Boissonnault and Voorheis have been in a timeshare all season long and both have been stellar. Voorheis is the senior, but gave up four goals on 25 shots the last time these two teams played, so the guess is that Boissonnault gets the nod on Friday. Either tender will have her work cut out for her against St. Lawrence’s high-octane attack. Whoever doesn’t play Friday gets No. 3 Clarkson on Saturday.
#9 - Hanna Bunton, F
Bunton, the Big Red’s leading scorer with 24 points, has five points in her past three games. Cornell will be hard-pressed to score against the Saints, so the 2015-16 Second Team All-Ivy and 2014 Ivy League Rookie of the Year will need to get something going if the Big Red are to grab the upset.
Cornell boasts a 12-1-1 record at home and have racked up 21 points since the holiday break. The Big Red have already clinched home ice for the ECAC tournament first round, but are still in the conversation for the No. 2 seed. Before this past weekend’s slip up, St. Lawrence had been nearly as hot; the loss against Princeton was only the Saints’ third in the New Year. St. Lawrence has not lost a game on the road yet this year. That changes Friday, however, as the Big Red grab a 2-1 win.
Pick Record for the Season: 5-5-4