October 21, 2002

Red-White Game Provides First Look at M. Hockey

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After eight months of lying dormant, Lynah Rink was awakened Friday night as the men’s hockey team played its annual Red-White game. Over 1,000 hockey fans attended the unveiling of the 2002-03 Cornell icers.

Nearly the entire team participated in the event along with two members of the club hockey team, junior Nathan Brand and freshman Alex Norton. Those who didn’t dress, sophomore Mike Iggulden and junior Ryan Vesce, participated as coaches for the Red team.

The game, which consisted of one 12-minute and one 18-minute periods followed by a shootout, was won 6-3 in favor of the White team.

“It’s just a great feeling to know you’re back here, the season’s starting and everyone’s rooting for us again,” said sophomore goalie David LeNeveu, who was wearing a white jersey on Friday.

Each team was split into seven forwards and five defensemen, which allowed all the players to get plenty of playing time. Despite the abbreviated lines and only three days of practice, game speed remained at a quick tempo.

“I said to the guys afterwards, I was actually very pleased with the pace of the game because in our physical testing we were in better condition this year than we were last year,” said head coach Mike Schafer. “So I was very happy with our conditioning level and I thought for even a small roster we were able to maintain the pace of the game.”

The Red team led 2-0 after the two periods of play. The first red goal came on a penalty shot for freshman Daniel Pegoraro at 5:24 in the first period. The freshman was able to slip the puck past LeNeveu’s right pad.

The second score was an empty-netter scored by freshman Chris Abbott after Vesce pulled LeNeveu with about one minute left. Both red goalies, junior Todd Marr and sophomore Louis Chabot, had shutouts in regulation with seven and 12 saves respectively.

“There’s obviously a lot of competition out there, and everyone’s going hard and everybody’s working for a spot,” Abbott said.

The White team mounted a comeback in the ensuing shootout after regulation. Backed by LeNeveu, who only allowed a second goal by Abbott, six players scored to get the win. They were senior Matt McRae, sophomores Charlie Cook, Paul Varteressian and Mike Knoepfli, and freshmen Jon Gleed and Shane Hynes.

“It’s nice to get one on LeNeveu, he’s such a good goaltender, but any goal I’ll take,” Abbott said of his second notch.

The freshmen on the team seemed to be making the adjustment to collegiate hockey well.

“The freshmen are adapting very quickly to our systems, I think we’re miles ahead of where we were at this time last year,” LeNeveu said.

“It’s pretty easing to look down there and see you got [freshman] Shane Hynes going one-on-one with Doug Murray and holding his own,” Schafer said. “But all the freshman played well. Louis Chabot, in the second period I thought, played very very well.

“It was really good for all our players, veterans included, to get back playing in front of a crowd. If you make a mistake it’s a lot more glaring,” Schafer said.

Even though the team was pleased with its performance, it has plenty to cover in its next six practices before it faces York in its final scrimmage of the preseason.

“We only had three days of practice so there are so many things that we need to cover. We’ve got six practices next week until we play York,” Schafer said. “But we’re happy today that no one got hurt. That’s the best thing of the game tonight.”

Cornell returns to action on Sunday when it hosts York at 7:00 p.m. It opens its season on Nov. 1 at Ohio St.

Archived article by Amanda Angel