TROY, N.Y. — The college hockey gods are a fickle bunch; anyone who disagrees need only look at Cornell’s slim 2-1 win over Rensselaer on Friday night. In a game marked by special teams and two disallowed goals, the Red held on to win by the slimmest of margins.
The Red (20-6-2, 16-3-2 ECAC)fought from behind before the game even started. During the warmup, senior goaltender and scheduled starter Matt Underhill took a puck off the knee that sent him onto the bench. Freshman David LeNeveu was only given the start after the warmup session ended. However, Cornell’s season long goalie rotation paid off, as the rookie stopped 32 of 33 shots.
“[Underhill] took a shot off the leg in warmup and he hurt himself, so it was one of those freaky things that happened tonight. David did a great job tonight of stepping in and taking his place,” head coach Mike Schafer said.
LeNeveu was tested early, as junior defenseman Doug Murray and freshman Charlie Cook were sent to the box within 23 seconds of each other a mere two minutes into the game.
“It got me into the game real quick. There were a lot of shots,” LeNeveu said.
“It was unfortunate that our guys had to take that penalty,” he added about Cook’s hooking call on Mark Murley, “but it was a good penalty to take. Their guy was on a breakaway.”
RPI (15-12-4, 9-9-3 ECAC), fighting for home-ice in the conference quarterfinals, capitalized as Matt Cavosie ripped a shot from the point which snuck by LeNeveu’s glove side.
However, the Engineers relinquished the momentum after they gave Cornell a power play at 11:41. The first unit looked as sharp as it has all season when Murray found junior Mark McRae at the top of the right circle. With classmate Sam Paolini applying the screen, McRae was able to slip a goal over RPI goalie Nathan Marsters’ left shoulder.
“It took some perseverance to come back, especially starting the game with a five-on-three,” junior captain Stephen B