The fish flew, but it was the defense and the goaltending that was the story in Lynah Rink Friday night.
Cornell and Harvard skated to a 1-1 tie to start the men’s hockey team’s weekend, giving both teams a valuable point in the ECAC standings.
The opening period was marked by six penalties, three on each side, making it difficult for either side to establish control.
“I don’t think there was a style of hockey tonight. I think with the officiating it was basically a special teams game,” head coach Mike Schafer ’86 said.
However, due to outstanding defense, there were only 13 shots on goal in the first stanza, with Harvard’s Oliver Jonas making seven saves, and Cornell senior Ian Burt stopping six pucks.
The second period saw yet more penalties, but neither team could capitalize on the man-advantage.
Despite the terrific play by the defense, Cornell was able to get on the scoreboard in the middle period. Sophomore defenseman Mark McRae found junior David Francis along the right boards, who raced up to the face-off circle. From there he blasted a shot at the net, and while Jonas seemed to get some padding on the puck, it was not enough as it trickled into the net.
“I was coming down the wing and Mark McRae made a great pass. I pretty much just closed my eyes and hoped it went in,” Francis said.
Sophomore Sam Paolini also earned an assist on the goal scored at the 3:11 mark of the period.
Just over a minute later, Harvard almost got the equalizer as Tim Pettit caught the Red on a line change and raced in on Burt. But the senior was equal to the task, turning away the shot to preserve the one-goal lead.
“We had our lines changing up, and they got a break in on [Burt] and he did a great job of making that save,” Schafer said.
“I was thinking I had time to go play it, and I got half way and I stopped — I was scared I was going to get caught. So I just tried to get back, and I got lucky I guess,” Burt said of the play.
The Red defense played well in the remaining minutes of the period, as Burt was forced to make four saves in the middle twenty minutes.
“I thought we did a real good job defensively, limiting their offensive chances.”
But Cornell was unable to increase its lead, including on a 5-on-3 power play for 27 seconds. On the night the Red went 0-for-9 on the power play, while the Crimson was 0-for-7.
Its futility on the power play came back to haunt Cornell in the third period, as Harvard would score the equalizer with just 12 minutes remaining in the third period. Derek Nowak found Peter Capouch at the point, who fired a shot. Francis tried to block the blast, but only managed to tip it and change the trajectory, which caused Burt to lose track of the puck as it went into the net.
“Fran tried to block it, and he got a piece of it. I lost it, but I think it hit someone else and it got in,” Burt said of his lone allowed goal.
“I did everything I could to block that shot, but sometimes that’s not always the best move, it kind of catch[es] your goalie off guard,” Francis said.
The game remained tied until the end of regulation, forcing overtime.
During the extra session, sophomore Stephen B