November 21, 2001

M. Icers Renew Rivalry at B.U.

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The men’s hockey team (5-1-0, 3-1-0 ECAC) will make its second trip to Boston in as many weeks. This time instead of stopping in Cambridge, the men will visit No. 5 Boston University (6-1-1, 3-1-1 Hockey East) for a pair of games on Saturday and Sunday.

Its the first time the teams have met since the 1995-96 season, when the Terriers dismantled visiting Cornell by a 7-1 mark, in which 13 icers tallied at least one point. That contest marked the 500th win for legendary Boston University coach Jack Parker.

At that time, Parker’s crew was the No. 1 team in the country.

Cornell and the Terriers historically enjoyed one of the most heated rivalries in college hockey. Until 1985, Boston University was a member of the ECAC. The Terriers parted ways with the league that year to become a charter member of the Hockey East conference.

After the Terriers’ departure from the ECAC, the rivalry laid dormant until the 1988-89 season when the two teams met in a game dominated by the Red. Cornell skated to an 8-2 blowout victory in that meeting.

The two teams played the inaugural match of the series in the 1924-25 season. Cornell is 19-16-1 overall against the Terriers.

Both teams enter the season surrounded by increasingly high expectations. The Red returned one of the top power play units in the nation last year along, strengthened by a solid recruiting class headlined by netminding sensation David LeNeveu.

The Terriers are anchored by goalie Sean Fields, dubbed the No. 19 goalie in North America by the Central Scouting Service. The squad began the season undefeated in its first seven games before eventually falling to beantown rival Boston College last Saturday night. The Eagles dominated all facets of the contest en route to the 3-1 victory. Bean Eaves lit the lamp twice for Boston College in the winning effort.

The Terriers have played four other ECAC teams beside Cornell, including Ancient Eight members Yale and Harvard. A particularly strong sophomore class has fueled BU’s quick start. Second year icers have accounted for nine of the Terriers 29 goals to date. Perhaps the most highly touted of the sophomores is Frantisek Skladany who has recorded nine points on five markers and four helpers. He needs just one more point to equal his total output from his freshman campaign.

Like the Red, BU sports a deep roster. The third line has been the most prolific for the Terriers. This line features Skladany and Gregg Johnson with Kenny Magowan centering the pair. The potency of the line is owed largely to the lethal combination of Skladany’s scoring ability coupled with Johnson’s playmaking skills. Johnson is the Terriers most magnanimous player leading the squad with 8 assists.

The weekend affairs should be marked by a defensive style. Cornell has historically been a low-scoring, physical team and the hosts sport the best team defense in Hockey East giving up just 1.80 goals per game.

The Red returns to action after splitting last weekends series. Cornell fell to Harvard 4-3 in overtime, before bouncing Brown 4-1 the following evening. Juniors Sam Paolini and Mark McRae led the way for the Red in the contest against the Bears, notching three points each. LeNeveu played solidly in goal, making just his second start of his collegiate career. He will likely split time in this weekend’s series with starting netminder senior Matt Underhill.

Cornell dropped to No. 11 in the latest USA Today Poll, down three slots from its previous ranking.

The games will begin at 3 p.m. on both days at Walter Brown Arena.

Archived article by Gary Schueller