It took one look at the record books after No. 2 Cornell’s Jan. 17 6-0 win over Union to notice — one glance to see that sophomore goalie David LeNeveu’s five shutouts put him one away from tying the school record set by Ken Dryden ’69 in the 1967-68 season. He, head coach Mike Schafer ’86, and the team had been dodging questions about this feat, as time and again the opposing team ended a shutout bid with a late goal. Friday night against RPI, though, LeNeveu, helped by a defense which allowed 12 shots on goal, accomplished the feat to become the single-season shutout record leader with Dryden.
As the final seasons ticked off the scoreboard, LeNeveu hoisted his stick, as he skated out of the crease to be swamped by his teammates to the roar of the Lynah Faithful, as he led Cornell (21-4-1, 16-2-1 ECAC) to a 5-0 win over the Engineers (9-21-3, 3-12-3).
“I’ve been wanting to get it, it’s a goal I’ve been trying to achieve, and a couple close calls with less than five minutes in the third period, it did get a little bit frustrating,” LeNeveu said. “But it’s my job to give the team a chance to win. But as long as I’m doing my job, and we’re winning I know that it will eventually come. So that frustration was just taken away by the fact that we were getting wins.”
The feat earned admiration from members of the team as well as the fans.
“It’s a very big thing to do. You saw how we reacted towards the end. After a 5-0 win, you’d think we’d won the championship. But our team has a lot of pride in defense,” senior defenseman Mark McRae said.
The offense helped distance the Red from RPI just 5:20 when senior Matt McRae won a faceoff cleanly and twin brother Mark took a shot that beat Engineer goalie Kevin Kurk stick side.
“We wanted to come out and get after them right away. That was our game and by doing that right off the bat I think it really basically upset their game plan,” said Mark McRae of the first goal.
Freshman Shane Hynes got the first of his three points as he netted the Red’s second goal in the waning seconds of the first period. Senior Sam Paolini and junior Ben Wallace assisted.
The same line accounted for the Red’s fourth goal, courtesy of senior Matt McRae when he tricked the defense and skated through the slot to put a goal through Kurk’s legs. The score put Cornell ahead 4-0 with 1:32 left in the second period.
“I was actually looking to pass with both Sammy and Hynes on the side of me I guess the D thought I was going to pass, too. So they left me wide open and I took the shot,” McRae said.
The line of Matt McRae, Paolini and Hynes capitalized on only a few of several chances throughout the entire game and accounted for six points in the game.
“When we get out there five-on-five its really going well. I’m excited about that down the stretch. Hynes is flying and so is Sammy,” Matt McRae said.
Freshman Matt Moulson notched the Red’s third goal on the power play at 13:10 in the second with a laser that grazed over the falling Kurk. Mark McRae finished the scoring with another power play tally. Senior captain Stephen B