TROY, N.Y. — Following his team’s shutout loss to Union on Friday a stoic Mike Schafer ’86 kept things in perspective by alluding to an old college hockey addage: split your games on the road but win all your games at home, and you’ll be alright.
The next night, Cornell (1-2, 1-1 ECAC) took the first step in proving true Schafer’s theory by knocking off Rensselaer, 3-2, in front of a giddy crowd at the Houston Field House. Though it was by no means pretty, the win sets up a tantalizing match up at Lynah this Friday night against Harvard which upped its league record to 2-1 with a weekend victory Dartmouth.
Sophomore left winger Sam Paolini handed Cornell a win and its first league points when he took a pass from junior David Kozier on the doorstep of the RPI net and flicked it in past Nathan Marsters at 15:50 in the second period.
“Oh, what a huge goal!” Paolini explained. “Kozier just made a great space pass and I was right there.”
“Sam’s just playing great,” said Cornell sophomore goalie Chris Gartman. “And I’m really glad for him that he scored.”
While Paolini earned the No. 1 star of the match for his game-winning score, Gartman must be duly credited for his spectacular play in net. After allowing a pesky tip-in goal to Marc Cavosie only :56 into the game, the sophomore stonewalled the Engineers for the remainder of the game, keeping them off the scoreboard for the duration of the third period.
“It was a kind of a weird goal and it’s one you never want to give up,” Gartman said, describing Rensselaer’s opening score. “And I said to myself that I had to make up for that.”
Even when RPI pulled Marsters with 1:34 to go in the game, Gartman held his ground, denying Jim Vickers on a point-blank shot with about a minute left to preserve the Red’s win.
“Gartman played unbelievable,” Paolini declared. “He made a lot of huge saves and that kept us in it.”
As much as the Red desperately needed the victory, what makes the victory even more stupendous is that it came in a time of mounting adversity.
Not only was the Red down a goal less than minute into play, not only were forwards Stephen B