While Lynah Rink is usually almost full around 7 p.m. on any given winter Friday night, tonight, it will probably be almost empty. Anyone looking to see the No. 8 men’s hockey team (13-4-2, 9-2-1 ECACHL) will have to wait another hour, as tonight’s contest against Clarkson (7-15-2, 3-8-1 ECACHL) will be nationally televised at 8 p.m. on CSTV’s Friday Night Game of the Week. Tomorrow, the Red’s game against St. Lawrence (13-10-1, 7-5-0 ECACHL) will start at the regular 7 p.m. time.
Despite having a better record than both squads, head coach Mike Schafer ’86 thinks the team must be preapred to battle over the weekend.
“They will come in here very, very hungry,” said Schafer. “Everyone is fighting for a different place in the standings and you know [St. Lawrence head coach] Joe Marsh and [Clarkson head coach] George Roll obviously did an awesome job last year at coming in here and preparing against us. We will get their best effort like we always do and it’ll be two games very similar to the ones we just played against Dartmouth and Vermont this weekend — tough and physical.”
Following the aformentioned four-point weekend last week against the Green and the Catamounts, the Red remained unbeaten at home, posting a 9-0-0 record this season.
Overall, Cornell has won nine of its last 11 games, and currently sits in second place in the ECACHL standings, one point behind Colgate, and both squads have each played 12 games. Freshman Topher Scott was named ECACHL Rookie of the Week for the first time this season after tallying one goal and five assists in last weekend’s games. He is currently tied for third on the team in scoring with 12 points.
This weekend marks the first time since the 2000-2001 season that the Red has first faced its North Country rivals at home. Cornell has faired well recently in the regular season against both Clarkson and St. Lawrence at home, going 5-0-1 against the two in the past three seasons. While the Red ended the regular season last year with a 2-1 win against the Golden Knights, the two teams faced off in the second round of the ECAC Playoffs. After Cornell won the first game 5-1, Clarkson rebounded to win the next two games 5-4 and 5-1, prematurely ending the second-seeded Red’s season.
“I dont think [there will be any added juice to the game],” Schafer said. “Year by year things are so much different. Some players will hold on to that and some wont and Ithink it is more important to focus in on right now and this year. It is something that the fans will probably remember a lot more than our players. Our players obviously remember playing and losing here. It is something that is embarrassing and diappointing and upsetting and angry and all the emotions that we went through at that point in time. It is a whole different year and a whole different environment now.”
The Golden Knights come into tonight’s contest with a 3-3 record since the beginning of the new year. Clarkson began the season by losing 11 of its first 16 games. The team is paced on offense by seniors Jay Latulippe and Chris Blight, who are first and second on the team in scoring with 23 and 21 points respectively. Latulippe and freshman Steve Zalewski are tied for first in goals with 10 each. In goal, junior Dustin Traylen and sophomore Kyle McNulty have each seen significant time this season, with Traylen compiling a 3-9-1 record and McNulty posting a 2-5-1 record.
Last weekend, one Clarkson player was kicked off the team and four others were suspended for undisclosed violations.
“Well I dont know anythng about their situation,” Schafer said. “It always takes a a strong coach to defend your athletes and it is so easy to sweep some things under the rug and not pay attention. It just shows [Roll] is made of strong character and he stands by what he says. I’m sure it will do nothing but benefit the hockey team.”
St. Lawrence has been on a tear of late, winning six of its last seven games. The Saints had its five-game winning streak snapped by Rensselaer last weekend at home, but rebounded to beat Union the following night. Junior T.J. Trevelyan leads the league in goals scored with 16 and is second in scoring with 31 points. Goalie Mike McKenna has played all but 191 minutes this season, posting an 11-9-1 record, a 2.94 goals against average, and a .904 save percentage.
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach
Sun Staff Writer