Preview: Colonials look to get back on winning track against Cornell

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Preview: Colonials look to get back on winning track against Cornell

Photo credit: Luke Yost

Photo credit: Luke Yost

Photo credit: Luke Yost

Photo credit: Luke Yost

Adam Melluso, Contributor

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ITHACA, N.Y.– The no. 10 Robert Morris women’s hockey team (2-3-1) looks to get back to its winning ways this weekend as they square up for a two-game series against ECAC member Cornell (0-0). Before these two old foes get together to renew their non-conference rivalry, let’s take a look at each side and what they can do to earn their team a victory while the season is still young.

Recapping Robert Morris

The no. 10 Colonials gave one of their best efforts of the season last weekend at home in a hard-fought two-game series with reigning ECAC champion and no. 4 ranked-Clarkson (4-1-1). RMU fought back from an early two-goal deficit to tie the score at two in game one, with goals on the power play from Michaela Boyle and Jaycee Gebhard. They then struck for the lead again on the power play, when Emily Curlett found the twine just a little before halfway through the second period. The Golden Knights fought back to notch the game-tying goal. They then powered through and scored the eventual final goal on their own power-play off of Rhyen McGill’s tally at just over three minutes after the Curlett goal. Overtime proved null, and the first contest ended in a draw.

In game two, both teams went back and forth and despite RMU scoring late, Clarkson tied the score at five with just over a minute left in regulation. The Colonials tried their best but succumbed to a 6-5 overtime loss. However, in doing so they served to put their non-conference and especially their CHA opponents on notice: they will fight and claw until the very end.

Previewing Cornell

The Big Red were largely unstoppable during last season, amassing a winning record of 24-6-6 overall and 17-3-2 in conference play, and notched a shining 14-3-0 record on their home ice. They surged with momentum into the conference tournament, where they outlasted Princeton in a double-overtime win by a score of 3-2 in the semifinal before falling to the aforementioned Clarkson 4-1 in the title game. Even though the result was heartbreaking, Cornell returns a lineup filled with veterans and young talent and possesses a multitude of weapons both offensively and defensively that can make the opponent pay.

Players to Watch

Emily Curlett and Lexi Templeman (RMU)

Both Templeman and Curlett have been on fire as of late for RMU, with both contributing loads of points that prove to conference foes why the Colonials have the offensive skill set to emerge potentially as CHA champions this year. Curlett has five goals and five assists in her first six games alone for 10 points, and Templeman’s stats are even more impressive with the hot passing touch, as despite having only one goal, she has notched 11 assists for an outstanding 12 points. One thing’s for sure, if they find their tandem this weekend, Curlett and Templeman will be nearly impossible to stop.

Maddie Mills and Kristin O’Neill (Cornell)

If you thought Templeman and Curlett’s stats were insane, then you haven’t met the two offensive machines that are Mills and O’Neill. Last season, they alone led Cornell in offensive output, with Mills amassing 39 points (18G, 21A) and O’Neill potting 38 (22G, 16A). If RMU cannot contain this dual-threat early, they will be out of the running quick this weekend.

Prediction

 Despite RMU’s offensive fight and power, I feel that the efforts of Curlett, Templeman and company will not be enough as RMU will get swept 4-1 and 5-2 respectively.

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