November 20, 2015

Mitch Gillam Saves 30 Shots as Cornell Men’s Hockey Ties No. 10 Yale

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By JACK KANTOR

It was a defensive battle at Ingalls Rink Friday night as the No. 18 Cornell Red (5-1-1, 3-1-1 ECAC) and the No. 10 Yale Bulldogs (4-1-2, 2-1-2 ECAC) faced off in a well-fought game, with both teams walking away with a point; neither team was able to break through, ending with a score of 0-0 for Cornell’s first tie of the season.

When the Red traveled to New Haven last season, the team was shutout by the Bulldogs and let up four goals. Nevertheless, Cornell came into tonight’s game ahead of Yale in the ECAC, but was facing a few significant injuries.

“A lot of guys stepped up tonight,” said head coach Mike Schafer ‘86. “Trent Shore played forward and Holden Anderson played forward, with the injuries that we have. A lot of guys stepped in and did a solid job.”

Cornell put on some pressure early. Notably, on the Red’s second scoring opportunity of the first period, sophomore forward Alex Rauter had a breakaway chance. However, Rauter could not convert on a one-one-one situation with Yale’s goalie Alex Lyon.

There were 15 shots on goal combined by both squads and not many quality scoring opportunities.

While it was a quiet period, there were a few select scoring chances from each side.

In addition, there was a lot of hitting, and it was certainly a physical first period.

“Good teams play physically. [Junior center] Eric Freschi had a couple big hits tonight, other guys played well.”

Junior forward Jeff Kubiak pinged one off the crossbar over the shoulder of Lyon at only 1:26 in the second period. Then Yale came right back at 2:24 when Carson Cooper took an almost point-blank shot, which junior goalie Mitch Gillam saved. Both sides came out in the second with high energy.

“Their goaltender played very well, our goaltender played very well,” Schafer said. “You’re going to get into games like that. We did generate chances.”

Freshman forward Anthony Angello was called for interference at 8:14 for the first penalty of the game.  Yet, Cornell effectively prevented Yale from getting many chances on the powerplay despite a small scare at the end of the two minutes.

Midway through the game, it was still knotted up at zero, but with much more action in the second period, as Cornell played stout defense throughout the lineup.

“I thought our forwards did a tremendous job in the neutral zone, advancing pucks when they had to,” Schafer said. “I thought they did a great job getting ahead of the Yale forwards…and they played with poise.”

At 14:58 in the second period, Cornell had their chance on the power play due to a penalty by Yale’s Rob O’Gara. However, the Red could not cash in with the man advantage.  

With 11:38 in the third, Cornell had their second and last power play of the game with a boarding penalty on Cooper. Yale absolutely shut down the Red, reducing their chances and their time in the Yale zone to hold the game scoreless.

With three minutes left in regulation, Cornell got a pair of very good chances including a wrister from the high slot from junior defenseman Patrick McCarron. A minute and some change after, Stu Wilson of the Bulldogs had an open chance at the Red goal from the right side, but Gillam buckled down and made the save. The game, therefore, headed into overtime.

It looked as if Yale might break through for the win as Cooper hit the pipe of Cornell’s goal with 2 minutes remaining in extra time. In addition, sophomore Dan Wedman was called for tripping and the Red had to go on to the penalty kill for the final minute of the contest.

“I don’t like [the call],” Schafer said. “It looked like the same kind of play that they took Christian Hilbrich down going to the net. They called it in overtime but they didn’t call it in regulation.”

Cornell’s chances of picking up a win were struck down there, except for a shorthanded attempt from junior forward Jake Weidner, whose shot went wide of the Yale net.

The Red killed off the rest of the power play, and the game ended—no goals awarded to either squad.

“It was a great college game, 0-0 tie,” Schafer said. “The guys followed a good gameplan, we were disciplined, and we were patient. It was a good point on the road…Now we have to regroup and play against Brown.”

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