March 27, 2005
Men's Hockey Advances to Regional Final
| March 27, 2005
The men’s hockey team came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Ohio State, 3-2, in the semifinal of the NCAA tournament’s West Regional on Saturday night at Mariucci Arena.
The Red’s first goal was scored by freshman Doug Krantz on an assist from sophomore Byron Bitz just 18 seconds after the Buckeyes took a two-goal lead. Cornell’s second tally came off the stick of junior Chris Abbott on an assist from his brother, Cam, while the game-winner was scored by senior assistant captain Mike Iggulden, with helpers going to classmate Charlie Cook and junior assistant captain Matt Moulson. The point was Moulson’s 100th of his career.
The Red will be hosted by Minnesota, the top seed in the West Regional, on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The Golden Gophers advanced after a 1-0 overtime win over Maine.
Archived article by Sun Staff
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March 28, 2005
ALBANY — Cornell and Harvard have met in the ECACHL championship game in three of the last four years. In the first two meetings between the long-time rivals, it took overtime to determine a champion. March 19 was a different story. Senior assistant captain Charlie Cook scored two power-play goals, and sophomore goaltender David McKee saved 17, as the No. 3 Red defeated the No. 8 Crimson, 3-1, at the Pepsi Arena to win its 11th Whitelaw Cup. Cornell (25-4-3) extended its unbeaten streak to 18 games (17-0-1), and earned a two seed in the NCAA championships’ West Regional. The Crimson (20-9-3), which reached its fourth consecutive final after beating Colgate in a double-overtime thriller the previous night, may have been affected a bit by fatigue. “To be perfectly honest, it was a factor,” said first-year Harvard head coach Ted Donato. “How could it not be a factor?” However, Harvard did draw first blood late in the first period. With Cornell freshman defenseman Sasha Pokulok serving a cross-checking penalty, the Crimson’s Dylan Reese scored from the left of Cornell goaltender David McKee at 18:23 in the period. The goal broke McKee’s shutout streak at 139:01. Winger Tom Cavanagh set up the goal for Reese, taking a hard slap shot on goal through a screen. “The first period went the way we wanted, we frustrated them a little bit, we got a big goal,” Donato said. “I thought even though we got outshot a little bit we did the things we wanted to do.” Though it didn’t score first, the Red remained in control of play as the pivotal second period began. Cornell kept the puck in Harvard’s defensive zone for much of the period, putting several strong shots on goal. “Getting down one nothing our team never lost focus they stayed very focused on what they were trying to do tonight,” said Cornell head coach Mike Schafer ’86. “Everybody makes a big deal about us scoring the first goal … if we score first it doesn’t really make that much of a difference rather than, how are we going to play for the whole 60 minutes.” Near the mid-way mark of the period, the Red broke through. Junior forward Daniel Pegoraro intercepted a puck in the Crimson defensive zone, just as he stepped out of the box after serving a two-minute minor for holding. Pegoraro commenced an odd-man rush with senior forward Paul Varteressian. As he skated in on net, Pegoraro passed to Varteressian to the right of Harvard goalie Dov Grumet-Morris. Grumet-Morris made a save on Varteressian’s shot, but was unable to freeze the puck, which trickled in under his leg at 9:35 in the period. “I was fortunate enough to get to [Pegoraro’s] shot,” Varteressian said. “I was out of gas but you don’t get many opportunities to take a 2-on-1, so I jumped in there and I just went as hard as I could to the net.” Fifty-five seconds later, the Red took its first lead of the game. With the Crimson’s Tyler Magura in the penalty box for hooking, the vaunted Cornell power play cycled the puck in the Harvard defensive zone. Excellent rotation by the first power play unit of Cook, freshman Topher Scott, sophomore Byron Bitz and juniors Matt Moulson and Shane Hynes allowed Cook an opening from the high point. Cook took advantage, firing a rocket that Grumet-Morris had absolutely no chance on. Moulson and Scott were credited with assists. Cook gave the Red breathing room at 6:35 in the third period, when he scored his second power play goal of the game. As Cornell’s power play unit cycled the puck around the Harvard goal, Moulson passed to Cook on the edge of the right faceoff circle. Cook blasted the puck on net, beating Grumet-Morris again. Senior captain Mike Knoepfli also assisted on the play. “I didn’t [see the shots]. They’re a very good power play … they did an excellent job of executing at the top of their umbrella,” Grumet-Morris said. “Cook put two good shots on net that found the back [of the net].” It was Cook’s second career two-goal game. His first came during his freshman season, on March 15, 2002 in an ECAC tournament semifinal game against Rensselaer that the Red won, 3-0. “It kind of goes to show what kind of team we have,” Cook said. “All year we’ve had different guys step up at different times. If you look at the stats, Moulson obviously has the most goals. Tonight I think the key was they respected Moulson and the first power play they shut us down, we stood still, but once Topher Scott and Matt Moulson were able to move around, it opened up seams and I had a clear lane into the net.” As the clock wound down, Harvard had several excellent scoring chances, all of which were turned away by McKee. With about seven minutes remaining in the game and Harvard on a power play, the Crimson peppered McKee with several shots from just outside the crease. At one point, McKee appeared to be drawn away from the net, allowing Harvard’s Dan Murphy an open shot on goal. However, McKee was able to cover the puck with his body. “Mitch Carefoot did a great job of holding the guy’s stick,” McKee said. “I think he was getting slashed, unless it would have been a great rebound for [Murphy.]” Through the ECAC tournament, McKee allowed a record-tying three goals. He matched the mark set by St. Lawrence’s Paul Cohen in 1989. Cook was named the ECAC tournament’s most outstanding player, and was joined on the all-tournament team by Moulson, Pegoraro and McKee.Archived article by Owen Bochner Sun Senior Writer
March 28, 2005
ALBANY — Despite the fact that the men’s hockey team’s 3-0 victory in the ECACHL semifinals over Vermont on March 18 was at the Pepsi Arena, one could have easily mistaken it for a typical night at Lynah Rink. The crowd was predominantly Cornell supporters, freshman Topher Scott netted a game-winning goal, and sophomore goalie David McKee earned a shutout. Junior Matt Moulson also netted a power-play goal and classmate Chris Abbott iced the game with an empty-netter late in the third period. “[It was] similar to a lot of games we won this year,” said Cornell head coach Mike Schafer ’86. Scott’s game-winner was his second in as many games, while Moulson’s tally was his 12th goal on the power play this season, which is tied for the league lead. McKee’s shutout broke both the Cornell and the ECACHL record for shutouts in a season, as he posted his 10th on the year. “I think tonight was one of those nights where a lot of people would say that Cornell’s system makes goaltenders look good,” said Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon. “But I think tonight we had some great scoring opportunities and [McKee] came up big. Tonight’s one of those nights where you say he does deserve to be a Hobey Baker finalist.” Both teams had scoring opportunities in a penalty free first period that saw the puck travel end-to-end at a frantic pace. The Red’s first quality chance came just over five minutes into the game and eventually led to Vermont’s best scoring opportunity of the period, as senior captain Mike Knoepfli fired a wrist shot on net that was deflected away and started a Catamount attack. Yet, McKee was up to task, as he first made to his right and then sprawled back to his left just in time to snag the rebound. The Red’s next opportunity came with just over 10 minutes remaining in the period as junior Cam Abbott was all alone on a breakaway, but was stuffed by Vermont netminder Joe Fallon. Just over 30 seconds later, Catamount defender Kenny Macauley hit the post on a rocket from the just inside the blue line. “They’re a good team and they got some good shots,” McKee said. “The goal post is the goalie’s best friend so, no complaints there.” Fallon, a freshman, was peppered with 22 shots on the evening, saving 19. One of the ones that got past him came with 6:38 remaining in the first period, as junior Daniel Pegoraro passed the puck to Abbott, who came around to the front of the net and put a shot which Fallon stopped, but the rebound was left out in front for Scott who backhanded the puck over Fallon’s glove and into the net. Both Pegoraro and Abbott were given assists on the play. “[Abbott] and [Pegoraro] did a really good job in the corner, working it around and Cam just shoved it in front of the net and I happened to be there at the right place at the right time,” Scott said. “I didn’t really get all of it on the shot, but it went in, so it was a pretty big goal for us.” Scott said it was such a big goal because it gave the Red confidence from that point forward in the game. “We’re a pretty confident team when we get up,” Scott said. “So with the way we play defense and the way we try to wear teams down — after we get the first goal, it’s pretty big.” In the second period, the Red’s special teams were on display. On its first power-play chance, Cornell failed to score but did not allow Vermont to clear the puck for the entire two minutes. Then, after Cornell senior Paul Varteressian was whistled for a contact to the head with an elbow penalty, the nation’s top-ranked penalty killing unit held the Catamount offense without a shot on goal. For the game, Vermont was 0-for-4 on the power play, while the Red extended its penalty-killing streak to 28. But, the third penalty of the game — on Catamount defender Jamie Sifers for holding — was the moneymaker. Just 12 seconds into the power play, Moulson fired a shot from just inside the blue line that found the back of the net. The goal — which was assisted by senior Charlie Cook — was Moulson’s team-leading 22nd of the season. “[The power play is] something we work on everyday, day in and day out in practice,” Moulson said. “And we seem to have that chemistry with the five guys on the unit.” For the rest of the game, the Red put the game in the hands of the defense and McKee, which combined to hold Vermont to just three shots on four power-play chances in the game. Both units succeeded in halting any scoring opportunities in the last period and a half. The Red’s last tally came at 1:18 left in the game, when Chris Abbott tallied an empty-netter to give the Red a three-goal lead. The win over Vermont gave the Red a spot in the ECACHL finals against Harvard, who were 4-3 victors over Colgate in the second semifinal. It also ran Cornell’s winning streak to nine and unbeaten streak to an NCAA-best 17 games, giving the Red its third appearance the league final in the past four years. Harvard 4, Colgate 3, 2 O.T. Harvard’s Kevin Du netted a breakaway goal 16:01 into the second overtime to give the Crimson a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Raiders in the second semifinal of the ECACHL playoffs at the Pepsi Arena. Harvard’s goalkeeper and Hobey Baker finalist Dov Grumet-Morris finished with 46 saves on the night. Archived article by hris MascaroSun Sports Editor