POTSDAM, N.Y. – For just the second time in his illustrious career, junior goaltender David McKee was pulled from a game.
In what ended up a 3-1 loss for the No. 3 men’s hockey team on Friday night at Clarkson’s Cheel Arena, head coach Mike Schafer ’86 decided to sit the Irving, Tex., native after one period because he had lingering flu-like symptoms after battling the virus for most of the week.
Senior Louis Chabot replaced McKee in the Cornell net for the final 40 minutes of the game, allowing just one goal.
Yet, the night belonged to the opposing goalie, Clarkson sophomore David Leggio, who made 23 saves, and was just 6:18 away from recording his first career shutout.
“Any time you play Cornell it’s special,” Leggio said. “I thought both teams played very well. We laid it on the line tonight, and it’s just great to come out with a win.”
The win was the Golden Knights’ first regular season win over the Red since the 2000-01 season, and gave Clarkson (14-13-3, 7-9-2 ECACHL) two crucial points, as the team moved into eighth place in the conference – which is the last seed in the conference to host a first-round playoff series. It also improved the Golden Knights’ home record to 10-2-2 on the season.
“We’ve been awfully good in this building, and that helps our confidence,” said Clarkson head coach George Roll. “That’s even more reason why we’ve got to try to get one of those top-8 spots.”
One might think that the loss for the Red (16-5-4, 11-4-3) was a little easier to swallow knowing that Colgate’s loss to St. Lawrence allowed the team to keep its first-place standing going into Saturday night’s game against the Saints. This, however, was not the case, as the team went 0-for-6 on its power-play chances on the evening.
“[The game] was a pretty weak effort,” said senior assistant captain Jon Gleed. “We really didn’t come ready to match their intensity. They seemed to be more ready to play than we did.”
As Gleed noted, Clarkson came out strong right from the get-go, as the squad opened the scoring on Friday night just under four minutes into the contest, when freshman defender Tyrell Mason netted his first career goal on his classmate Shea Guthrie’s 16th assist of the season. On the play, Mason corralled a rebound and slid the puck just inside the left post past McKee.
“I just threw the puck on net and was fortunate enough to go in,” Mason said. “The goalie didn’t see it, I’m sure, because it wasn’t that hard of a shot. It feels great, against Cornell especially.”
The Golden Knights capitalized on another solid scoring chance just under 10 minutes later on a power play, when Guthrie skated down McKee’s left side, sidestepped freshman defender Jared Seminoff, and ripped a shot from the right circle that rang off the post. Despite the miss, Clarkson senior assistant captain Jeff Genovy, who was trailing the play, was able to knock the rebound into a wide-open net. The score came while sophomore Raymond Sawada was serving an obstruction-interference infraction.
The goal, which was assisted by Guthrie and defender Michael Grenzy, was Genovy’s eighth of the season and proved to be the game-winner.
The lead was almost extended to three about nine minutes into the second period, when senior captain Matt Moulson’s attempted pass to the point was picked off by Clarkson center Steve Zalewski, who skated down against junior defender Evan Salmela, and wristed a shot in the direction of Chabot. But the goaltender was up to task, recording a slick glove save – one of his career-high 14 stops on the evening.
Throughout the second period, Leggio stole the show, making numerous highlight-reel saves to keep the Red off the scoreboard.
Leggio and the Golden Knights, however, lucked out on Cornell’s next scoring chance, as junior Ryan O’Byrne, who was playing in his first contest after a two-game absence due to injury, rang a shot off the post from the just inside the center of the blue line.
Yet, the nail in Cornell’s coffin came when Clarkson netted its third goal of the game, a wrister from the right faceoff circle that came off the stick of assistant captain Nick Dodge and flew past Chabot’s right shoulder for his 15th goal of the season on an assist from David Cayer.
According to Mason, this stretch of play typified the game.
“The bounces were going our way tonight,” he said. “They [hit] a few posts out there tonight. It could have been a whole different game.”
While the Red got on the board with junior Byron Bitz’s fifth tally of the season on an assist from Moulson with 6:18 left in the game, the squad had plenty of chances late in the game to draw closer.
At the 7:19 mark in the third, an apparent goal by Moulson was waved off because a Cornell player was in the crease, and then, with just 1:25 left in the game another Moulson shot rang off the post.
Despite the end of the game, Roll believed that the contest was one of his team’s most solid outings thus far this season.
“I thought for 60 minutes, even though they hemmed us in in the third, we competed for every loose puck and didn’t take any shifts off,” he said. “That’s playoff hockey, what you saw tonight. It was a solid 60 minutes for us.”
Archived article by Chris MascaroSun Sports Editor
The women’s basketball team (7-14, 4-4 Ivy) entered last weekend’s home stand with two tests – a difficult match-up with the Ancient Eight’s second-place squad, Brown, and a much easier contest against Yale.
In the first game, Cornell came up just short of beating Brown (13-8, 7-1), falling 71-68. The team bounced back the next night, however, handily defeating last-place Yale (2-19, 1-7) by a score of 79-68 behind career performances from rookie Jeomi Maduka and sophomore Lindsay Krasna.
“It would have been nice to get the Brown win,” Krasna said. “We were going into the game expecting to win.”
The Red had to play both contests without the services of two of its regular starters, junior Claire Perry and freshman Kayleen Fitzsimmons. Both are out indefinitely due to concussions. Perry sustained her injury in last week’s action and Fitzsimmons suffered her ailment in practice last week.
Fitzsimmons – the team’s point guard – was replaced by senior Hillary Seidel in the starting lineup, while senior Sarah Brown broke into the starting-five for Perry. Although the two were making their first starts of the year, both players brought needed experience to the Ivy League’s youngest team as it faced a Brown squad looking to win the Ancient Eight title for the first time since 1994.
In a game that had nine lead changes, the Red came back from a 10-point deficit to take a two-point lead halfway through the second frame. But the Red allowed a late 7-1 run by the Bears, and despite getting two shots at the game-tying field-goal, it missed both attempts. The Red’s shot at the buzzer went off the front of the rim to the disappointment of both the home team and its fans.
“I think it was a good effort by the team. It should never have come down to what it came down to,” said Maduka, who led Cornell with 19 points and 10 rebounds, her eighth career double-double. “We had the momentum the whole time.”
Maduka was upset that she only went one-of-two from the free throw line in the closing minutes, missing a point that she felt could have swung the outcome of the game. But Krasna disagreed that only one play was to blame for the loss.
“I thought we put up a good fight,” Krasna said. “I think we struggled a little bit on [defense]. They really shot the lights out. It always seems like teams do that to us. It was very back and forth.”
The Red allowed the Bears to shoot over 48 percent from the floor, while the Bears held the Red to only 39.6 percent. The Red shot 75 percent from the free-throw line and was out-rebounded 37-29. Cornell had a season-low nine turnovers in comparison to Brown’s 13 miscues.
Senior Brittani Rettig had a career-high 11 points while Seidel also had a career-high in points – notching 12 along with her five assists.
In the Yale victory, Cornell led by as many as 20 points on its way to an 11-point victory.
Led by career-highs in points from Maduka and Krasna, the Red built a 10-point halftime advantage, a lead they would never relenquish.
“They’re a scrappy team and they’re really aggressive. But we did a really good job of being aggressive,” Krasna said.
Maduka had 29 points for the Red – the highest total of any Cornell player this season – going 11-of-14 from the free-throw line while adding eight rebounds. Making the feat more impressive, she played only 26 minutes after fouling out.
“I stepped up at the free throw line,” Maduka said. “For some reason, whenever I shoot well at the free throw line