January 24, 2003
Hockey Team Hopes to Defend Four-Game Win Streak at Home
| January 24, 2003
The scene inside of Lynah Rink yesterday afternoon was a little more relaxed than it has been almost every other Thursday since early December — well, at least the Thursday’s preceding weekend games anyway. Instead of packing up everything from medical tape to skate sharpeners, Shortstop lunches to extra sticks, the team casually dribbled out of the locker room and went home.
For the first time since Dec. 1 when Boston University played the second half of its two-game series in Ithaca, the men’s hockey team (14-3-0, 9-1-0 ECAC) will skate on Lynah Rink, and ECAC foes Clarkson and St. Lawrence will visit it and not the other way around, for a change.
“Our guys are looking forward to playing in front of the crowd, just the atmosphere, it’s been a long time and so our guys are really excited,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86.
These two teams are fresh in Cornell’s mind as the Red just visited the North Country three weeks ago. Senior captain Stephen B
We are an independent, student newspaper. Help keep us reporting with a tax-deductible donation to the Cornell Sun Alumni Association, a non-profit dedicated to aiding The Sun.
January 27, 2003
Playing in front of the Lynah Faithful for the first time in over two months, the men’s hockey team (15-3-0, 10-1-0 ECAC) defeated Clarkson (8-13-1, 5-5-1) 3-0 in a physical, defensive slugfest. The game lived up to its advanced billing, as the two teams, both sporting top-10 defenses in the nation, limited the opposition’s scoring chances. The No. 4 Red struggled early despite playing in front of a rowdy home crowd. Cornell had an opportunity to take an early advantage, as freshman Dan Pegoraro hit the post on a breakaway effort just four minutes into the game. For the remainder of the period, however, Clarkson’s defense frustrated the Red, blocking numerous shots from the point and controlling the puck along the boards. In the period, the Golden Knights limited the Red to just four shots on net. “The biggest problem is that we were too excited to get back with everybody running around, trying to hit people in front of the home crowd,” senior captain Doug Murray said. “We didn’t really focus on our game in the first period.” “I think maybe we were a little too excited, too anxious, and we really didn’t settle into our system until the second period,” sophomore Mike Knoepfli said. “In the second period, we got things going and on track.” After a scoreless, lackluster first period, the Red regained its focus. Knoepfli and the second power play unit gave the Red the lead on a two-man advantage with his fourth goal of the season 6:52 into the second. With Clarkson defenseman Randy Jones in the box for tripping, and another Clarkson player serving a bench minor for too many men on the ice, sophomore defenseman Charlie Cook wristed a shot off the chest of Golden Knights’ goalie Mike Walsh. Freshman Shane Hynes’ rebound effort was also stopped by a sprawling Walsh before the puck found its way to Knoepfli, who slid it in along the left post. “We have a great role model in the first power play,” freshman Matt Moulson said of the second unit. “We’ve been practicing a lot. We’re moving the puck quicker as a unit and we’re knowing each other better. That helps a lot, just knowing where each other is going to be.” Although Cornell kept Clarkson on its heels with 17 shots in the period, the Golden Knights seemingly tied the game with a little over four minutes left in the second. After a face-off win in the Red zone, Dave Reed’s wrister beat Cornell sophomore goalie David LeNeveu but hit the crossbar. The puck then fell to the ice behind LeNeveu and looked like it crossed the goal line. The referee, however, quickly called off the goal. “The guy shot it, I think it might have been tipped and it just hit the very corner of the crossbar where it meets the post, and it hit me on the side of my head on the way back, and it landed right on the line,” LeNeveu explained. “I just put on glove on the puck right before it crossed the line. It was close but it was a good call by the ref.” Walsh, who made 27 saves on the night for Clarkson, kept the game close with a number of jaw-dropping saves, including one on Pegoraro five minutes into the third period. With a two-on-one, senior Shane Palahicky streaked down the right wing and centered the puck to an onrushing Pegoraro, who redirected the puck towards the back post. Walsh, however, slid across the crease and denied the Red a two-goal edge. “I thought Mike Walsh was unbelievable. Seventeen shots in the second period and some great chances — I think he played an awesome game,” Cornell head coach Mike Schafer ’86 said. Cornell, however, would not be denied, as Moulson deflected junior Ben Wallace’s shot into the net for an insurance goal 7:53 into the third period. Junior Ryan Vesce and Wallace picked up assists on Moulson’s sixth of the season. Cook finished the scoring with 1:38 remaining with a hard wrist shot over Walsh’s blocker. Murray and Vesce were credited with helpers on the play. Clarkson, which came into the game as one of the most penalized teams in the country, lived up to its reputation, committing 18 penalties in the game. For the most part, the Red was able to maintain its composure. “We knew that it’d be a scrappy game with Clarkson coming in; they have the most penalty minutes in the ECAC,” Murray said. “We expected it and we were ready to be disciplined, and I think our guys did a pretty good job.” “It was pretty evident they were trying to get the game into a four-on-four to try to open the ice a little bit,” Schafer said of Clarkson’s instigation tactics. “It didn’t really work for them.” In blanking the Golden Knights, LeNeveu made 16 saves to earn his nation-leading fifth shutout of the season. The sophomore goaltender also leads the country in goals against average. “My guys played really well in front of me, and kept the shots to the outside,” LeNeveu said. “I controlled my rebounds well tonight and that minimizes all my shots and makes my job a lot easier.” “We didn’t give a whole lot of chances, and again David was back on his game tonight. He didn’t give a lot of rebounds, and our guys again just played solidly from the second period on,” Schafer said. “I was pretty happy with the last 40 minutes.” Archived article by Alex Ip
January 27, 2003
The men’s basketball team (7-8, 2-0 Ivy) escaped Levien Gymnasium Saturday night with a hard fought 55-53 victory over Columbia (2-13, 0-2 Ivy) after squandering a 14-point halftime lead to improve to 2-0 in the Ivy League for the first time since the 1994-95 season. After taking a 37-23 lead into the break, Cornell allowed the Lions to tie the game at 50 with under two minutes to play, but late free throws by sophomore guards A.J. Castro and Cody Toppert helped the Red avoid an embarrassing defeat. “Their game plan was to sag down and make you shoot from the perimeter. Basically, they just try to make it such an ugly game. Fortunately, we were able to hit some shots and come out with a win,” said a relieved Eric Taylor, who finished with six points and a game-high nine rebounds. While Taylor struggled offensively, the Red’s attack was led by junior point guard Ka’Ron Barnes’ game-high 17 points and 14 points from freshman forward Lenny Collins. Columbia was led by Allan MacQuarrie’s career-high 13 points, while Tito Hill contributed nine off the bench. Center Chris Wiedeman added four points and eight rebounds. Cornell dominated the game from the outset, jumping out to an 8-0 lead. Dragutin Kravich scored the Lions’ first points to make it 8-2 with just over twelve minutes to play in the half, capitalizing on a loose ball that translated into an easy layup. However, the Light Blue continued to struggle offensively throughout most of the first half, turning the ball over 15 times and shooting just 34.8 percent from the floor. Forward Marco McCottry’s 3-pointer with 4:39 left put Columbia in double-figures, closing the Red’s lead to 22-11. A flurry of 3-point activity from both teams in the final five minutes brought the score to 37-23, capped by Toppert’s trifecta to end the half. Toppert scored seven of his eight points by halftime, with Barnes adding 11 by the break. Collins, a three-time Ivy Rookie of the Week, led all scorers with 12 at the break. “I was able to get to the free throw line early and it really got me going. Hitting the free throws got me warmed up and into the game from the start. Plus, a lot of guys were just able to find me down on the wings for open shots, and I was able to hit them. I didn’t want to force anything, so I just let the opportunities come,” Collins said of his breakout performance in the first half. For the game, Collins was 3-5 from the floor, including 2-3 from beyond the arc. At the line, he was a perfect six of six. On defense, the freshman had four steals. As a team, the Red shot 54.5 percent from the floor in the half, and also outrebounded the Lions 15-12. The second half began with a beautiful wraparound pass from Barnes that found Taylor in the paint for an easy lay-up to extend the Red’s lead to 39-23, but the Lions quickly countered. Columbia guard Jeremiah Boswell connected on two of three free throws after being fouled beyond the arc by Barnes, and a three-pointer by Dalen Cuff cut the lead to 39-28 with 15:28 to go in the game. After a media timeout, Wiedeman scored, cutting the lead to single digits for the first time since an early 10-2 lead by Cornell. After a Castro free throw extended the lead to 40-30, Hill connected on two field goals to reduce the deficit to 40-35 with ten minutes to play. The Red seemed to reassert control, scoring four consecutive points to extend the lead to nine, but Columbia refused to fade. Energized by the play of the seldom-used MacQuarrie, Columbia methodically cut the lead to one at 46-45 after Taylor goaltended a MacQuarrie drive down the lane. Collins converted on his only field goal of the second half to make it 48-45, but was countered by two MacQuarrie free throws to cut the Cornell lead back to one. The teams traded baskets to bring the score to 50-49, but Wiedeman stepped to the foul line with a minute and a half left with a chance to take the lead. He connected on the first to knot the game at 50, but missed the second. “I thought we got a little rattled with the crowd atmosphere and defensive pressure, but Ka’Ron was able to step up and hit shots down the stretch for us. Once he did that, that really got the ball rolling for us