March 12, 2004

First to Two

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Despite a first-round bye, and home-ice advantage in the quarter-final round of this year’s ECAC playoffs, head coach Mike Schafer ’86 has one thought on his mind this weekend: parity.

With the league’s top five teams being separated by fewer than three points, this year’s photo-finish marked another typical ending to the ECAC regular season. And with the top six teams still remaining for this weekend’s round of the ECAC, anything can happen.

“Obviously all the teams left are no different than ourselves,” Schafer said. “All the four teams who came off last weekend of winning had a taste of success, and we’re no different.”

Cornell, however, is more rested than its weekend opponent — the Knights — after having earned a first-round playoff bye. The Red secured the spot by sweeping its last home weekend, which included a 2-1 win over Clarkson.

“I think what it does for you is exactly what we knew going into the last week of the year,” Schafer said of the bye week. “It’s going to give us a chance to get healthy, and that’s really been an issue with us down the stretch drive.”

Yet despite injuries to key starters —