January 11, 2004


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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Senior forward Greg Hornby made up for lost time last night, scoring Cornell’s lone goal midway through the first period, but his efforts proved not to be enough. Hobey Baker candidate Yann Danis lived up to his top billing, making 31 saves, as No. 15 Brown edged the No. 9 men’s hockey team, 2-1, in overtime.

Cornell went to work early on Danis, peppering the goaltender with shots from every part of the ice. The Red was held scoreless on its first power play, but found an even strength opportunity minutes later, as the Hornby-Abbott line took the ice.

Sophmore Chris Abbott brought the puck out of the Cornell end and tried to slide it by Danis stick side, but was blocked. Cam Abbott, immediately behind his brother, hacked at the rebound, but was also deflected. The brothers then flipped the puck out to Hornby, who took the final shot from the top of the crease, blasting the puck past Danis.

“I just came off the bench and Chris threw it out in the slot. I was just lucky I was in the right spot, and put it in the back of the net.” said Hornby, who missed last season’s Providence contest while serving a one-game suspension.

But Cornell’s lead wouldn’t last.

Brown went the length of the ice just minutes later, creating a one-on-one matchup that it failed to score on. Cornell defenseman Jeremy Downs was called for holding on the play, however, giving the Bears a two-minute man advantage.

The Bears’ offense immediately seized its opportunity, as Brown’s Les Haggertt broke to the net with the puck. His shot was deflected, but served its purpose, forcing freshman goalie David McKee to cover the left side of the net. Brown’s Brian Ihnacak then caught hold of the rebound and scored before McKee recovered, knotting the game at one.

The second period proved to be a back-and-forth battle, with both teams generating a similar number of chances. Cornell seemed to solidify its attack with six minutes left to go, generating several shots on the Brown netminder over the next three minutes. The Red’s best chance to pull ahead occurred at 5:52 when sophomore winger Matt Moulson sent a pass to an oncoming Downs. The defenseman crashed the net, but Danis was there to stop the puck from crossing the goal line.

The line of junior Mike Iggulden, and freshmen Mark McCutcheon and Mitch Carefoot seemed to continue the work that Moulson’s line had started, with each player working to cycle the puck and chase rebounds. The trio was able to create several scoring opportunities, and proved to be a bright spot in Cornell’s loss.

“They’re the one line that showed a lot of energy and enthusiasm tonight,” Cornell head coach Mike Schafer ’86 said. “I know they had one that hit the post, another one hit the post, and I thought they played very well.”

Each team generated plenty of scoring chances in the third, with Brown taking control of the game after the halfway mark. After McKee made several stops, Cornell appeared to be gaining momentum in the third, earning a power play with just 1:35 left in the game. Brown’s defense, however, was able to hold Cornell scoreless for the remainder of regulation.

Overtime began with Cornell on the man advantage, and the Red benefited further when Brown’s Mike Meech was called for cross checking. Despite an extended power play opportunity, however, Cornell could not close out Brown. Instead, Brown’s forwards engineered a three-on-two breakaway, screening McKee in the process. Meech used the advantage to net the game winner, and hand Cornell its first league loss.

“I thought that they played very solid defense like they always do and that they were very, very patient,” Schafer said of Brown. “That patience paid off right up to the very end.”

“I was very disappointed in our hockey team for not coming out with the same intensity, knowing that this is a tough place to play in and a tough team to match,” he added.

Senior captain Ryan Vesce, who agreed with his coach’s assessment, also took some of the blame himself.

“We made some mistakes, I made a mistake on the penalty kill on the first period, on that last goal we made another mistake,” said Vesce. “If you play a good team, they’re going to capitalize on your mistakes. Hopefully this loss will be a reminder to everyone to minimize the mistakes we’re making.”

“Obviously its very disappointing to get a loss, especially in overtime,” Hornby emphasized. “The guys are pretty upset with the loss, and we just want to get back out there and redeem ourselves.”

Archived article by Matt Janiga