It was a sobering night for the men’s hockey team as the men were unable to topple No. 1 Quinnipiac, going down 1-0 in the ECAC quarterfinal best-of-three series.
Despite the 5-2 losing effort, the Red opened the scoring early off Jake Weidner’s stick just under four minutes into the game on a slick shot just below the crossbar. The Bobcats responded with one of their own in the first, and then notched two quick goals to open the second.
Cornell cut the lead to one after a Jeff Kubiak power play goal beat Quinnipiac netminder Michael Garteig on the far side. The Bobcats then improved their lead on a power play goal as the second period wound down, and then sunk an empty-netter from the red line to seal the deal.
The Red let 41 shots get through to goalie Mitch Gillam.
“I thought they played well and I don’t think we played well,” head coach Mike Schafer ’86 said. “I don’t think we did the things we did last week, which was pick guys up around our own net and be solid on special teams.”
Even though Cornell didn’t regain the lead after the first goal, Schafer said he was happy with the ability of the team to recuperate and stay in the game when down.
“We had life, but that goal to make it 4-2 was huge for them going into the third,” Schafer said.
The story of the game was special teams. Even though only two goals came off the power play, there were a grand total of 10 penalties between the two squads — a combined total of 20 minutes; a full period of play.
“Officials are officials,” Schafer said. “I didn’t think they forced us into penalties. We took a couple penalties. There were a couple questionable calls both ways. I don’t think it was that chippy of a game and penalties are penalties.”
Schafer did note, however, that it is up to the team to turn the performance around and the men cannot rely on the officials.
“We have to play better, it’s not about the officials,” he said. “We have to be above [Quinnipiac], be strong around the net, control them in transition and bring pucks physically to the net in the offensive zone.”
Schafer also mentioned that changes to the Cornell lineup will be coming on Saturday’s game, the second of the series.
“We are focused on tomorrow night, a bunch of new guys are going to play,” he said. “We are getting ready to get back after it again.”
Game two is tonight at 7 p.m. in Hamden, Conn.