February 20, 2006

M. Hockey Splits; Harvard Takes Ivy Crown

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It took over three months to do it, but the No. 6 men’s hockey team finally exacted its revenge on Dartmouth, as the Red skated to a 3-1 win over the Green on Friday night at Lynah Rink. The game gave Cornell a split of the season series after Dartmouth manhandled the Red on Nov. 12 in Hanover, N.H., en route to a 6-1 win.

“We paid the price up there pretty bad back in November, but [there were] bigger things at stake than revenge tonight and that’s obviously to keep ourselves in contention for home ice and first place, and we did that this evening with a solid win,”said head coach Mike Schafer ’86.

With the win, Cornell (17-6-4, 12-5-3 ECACHL) remained one point ahead of Colgate (16-10-6, 12-6-2) for the top spot in the league, as the Raiders knocked off Harvard, 4-1, on Friday night before the Crimson headed to Lynah to skate with the Red the next evening. The victory also clinched a first-round bye for Cornell in the conference playoffs, as the Red is now guaranteed to finish in the top-4 in the ECACHL.

The loss left Dartmouth three points behind the top spot going into a game against the Raiders on Saturday night, and snapped the Green’s 10-game ECACHL-unbeaten streak that dated back to Nov. 25. The defeat also eliminated Dartmouth from contention for the Ivy League title, but this, however, did not seem to concern the squad’s head coach, Bob Gaudet.

“You know what? It’s an amazing thing, and I may be the dumbest guy in the world, but it has no bearing on what I do. Our goal is to win an ECAC championship,” he said. “The Ivy title is such an underground thing. Would we love to get our hands on it? Yeah, but it’s not something I’ve ever mentioned to the guys since I’ve been coaching at Dartmouth for nine years.”

Moments later, Schafer also weighed in on the subject, as a win or a tie against Harvard would give the Red the league crown.

“It’s important, but it’s also a byproduct of us doing a good job in the ECACs,” he said. “I don’t know where we are [in the Ivy standings].