Though most of the Cornell campus will be empty for much of the next five days, Lynah Rink will be full on Saturday night when the No. 13 men’s hockey team resumes its non-conference schedule with a game against Mercyhurst.
The Red (3-2-3, 3-0-1 ECAC) enters the game following another substandard home weekend, which saw the icers tie Bowling Green and fall to No. 9 Ohio State. Although Cornell did not emerge from the weekend with a win, the team is confident that the level of play is continuing to improve as the season goes on.
“The guys want to get right back out and play and redeem themselves. I watched the videotape of Ohio State and I thought our guys did a great job,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86. “We had tons of scoring chances in the third period to put the game away, and they got one at the very end that was kind of frustrating.”
Mercyhurst (5-4-0, 3-2-0 Atlantic Hockey) broke a three game losing streak its last time out with a 7-4 win at Western Michigan. The Lakers scored four power play goals in the game, while goalie Andy Franck made 37 saves.
“There’s a team that’s beaten two teams that beat us here at home,” said Schafer. “They beat Ohio State at Ohio State, 3-2, and they just beat Western Michigan, 6-4. We know they’ll have a very good power play, great goaltending, and obviously they’re a team that’s been very tested in their competition. We’ll definitely have our hands full this weekend against them.”
The Red, meanwhile, has struggled on the offensive end in recent weeks, mustering a total of eight goals since the team’s 7-0 thrashing of Princeton on Nov. 8. Cornell has gone 1-1-2 over that stretch.
“It’s kind of funny, two weeks ago we were the No. 1 scoring offense and now we’re struggling to put the puck in the net,” said senior captain Ryan Vesce, “but we’ve just got to confident with ourselves and the puck will go in the net.”
Most notable in recent weeks has been the Red’s inability to win a game at Lynah Rink.
After going 15-0-0 at home last season, the Red is 0-2-2 thus far at home. None of these games, though, have been in conference.
“We’re playing better each week,” Vesce said. “We’re going to get the wins at home, no doubt about it. We’re excited and anxious to get these guys a home win.”
The puck will drop at 7 p.m. Saturday evening. Cornell returns to ECAC play a week from Friday, when it welcomes Brown and Harvard to Ithaca.
Archived article by Owen Bochner