The men’s hockey team did everything but promise a win after a disappointing 2-1 overtime loss at Colgate on Thursday. Saturday night at Lynah Rink, Cornell followed through on its prognosis with a 3-1 victory over the Raiders.
The win gave the Red (17-4-0, 12-2-0 ECAC) a share of first place in the ECAC with Harvard — which beat Brown on Friday — with one game in hand. Colgate (10-13-3, 5-7-2) remains in the hunt of a top-eight position within the conference and a home playoff series.
Cornell held the Raiders to as many shots as it had goals in the first period. The team played a more physical game than it presented on Thursday and was helped by an early penalty on P.J. Yedon. Despite several chances and a senior Mark McRae shot that hit the post, Cornell could not capitalize on the man advantage.
The Red did capitalize when senior captain Doug Murray caused Colgate’s Ryan Smith to cough up the puck with a huge hit on the boards. That play set up freshman Chris Abbott’s second goal of the season when he picked the upper right corner of the net from the left faceoff circle. Twin brother Cam Abbott and junior Greg Hornby assisted on the goal.
The second Red goal was also a result of a twin effort after senior Matt McRae won a faceoff in Colgate’s zone. Mark McRae got the puck and took a shot from the slot. Freshman Shane Hynes and senior Sam Paolini both got shots on Steve Silverthorn’s rebounds, but Paolini’s went in with 22 seconds left in the first.
“I was lucky to get my stick on it actually, and I thought it went it, but the goalie got his paddle on it and it was just lying there for Sam to knock it home,” Hynes said. “I was behind the net with my stick up; I thought I had it.”
The play evened up in the second period, as both teams were able to generate scoring chances, many of them due to the nine penalties assessed during the period — five on the Raiders, four on the Red. As was the case on Thursday, head coach Mike Schafer ’86 was not pleased with the calls.
“I thought those were the two most poorly officiated games that we’ve had back to back this year. I didn’t think it was a very good officiated game, that’s as far as I can probably go,” he said following the game.
Hornby, who has become a fan favorite at Lynah, was the recipient of two of the questionable calls. In the first game, he was given a five minute major and game misconduct barely three minutes into play. Saturday, he was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after what appeared to be taking a hit in the facemask.
“I don’t know what Greg Hornby took a penalty for. He had two great hits and then he took a punch to the head,” Schafer said. “I talked to Greg, he didn’t say anything to the official, I don’t know what the call was for.”
Hynes was also penalized for a roughing penalty in the first, a penalty which might have stemmed from Cornell’s overwhelming size advantage over ‘Gate.
“They are a smaller team than us. I got a penalty hitting a guy, the guy was about this high,” he said bringing his hand to the middle of his chest. “It’s not easy getting that hit. I hit him in the head, where else was I going to hit him, you know? But I guess we just have to stay more disciplined.”
Fortunately for the Red, Colgate didn’t capitalize on any of its six power plays, including a brief five on three at the beginning of the second.
“We shouldn’t put ourselves in a position like that, especially the way we were dominating in the first period, it’s unreasonable for us to come out and take stupid penalties,” Murray said.
Cornell had four power plays of its own and was able to take advantage of its final. The second unit scored on an odd-man rush courtesy of freshman Daniel Pegoraro at 16:08 of the third. The first unit has not scored a goal since Jan. 18 when the team played Rensselaer.
“You only get concerned on the power play when you’re not generating chances, which we did, we generated an awful lot of them,” Schafer said.
Sophomore goaltender David LeNeveu, who leads the nation in shutouts with five on the year, was two minutes away from tying Cornell legend Ken Dryden ’69 for the season shutout record, but Joey Mormina snuck a laser from the point past LeNeveu.
Next on the Red’s schedule is Ivy foe Dartmouth whom no current member the Red has beaten. However, the upset in Hamilton has reminded the team of its distaste for losing.
“After that loss, it hit home right there. We don’t want to lose another game for the rest of the year,” Hynes said, “that will drive us for the rest of the year, definitely.”
Archived article by Amanda Angel