By February 27, 2006
Going into this past weekend, the No. 7 men’s hockey team held a one-point advantage over Colgate and Dartmouth in the ECACHL standings.
In fact, both the Green and the Raiders leapfrogged the Red, leaving the squad as the third seed in the conference playoffs. This power shift was a result of Cornell’s weekend split on the road, as Rensselaer blanked the Red, 2-0, before Cornell took down Union the following evening by a 2-1 score.
The split, which ended the Red’s regular season, left the team with an 18-7-4 overall record and a 13-6-3 mark in league play. As the third seed in the playoffs, Cornell will host the winner of the Union-Yale series in a best-of-three series beginning on Mar. 10. The Engineers will open the playoffs this coming weekend at home against Quinnipiac, with Colgate awaiting the winner of the series.
Colgate’s sweep of Union and Rensselaer, and Dartmouth’s wins over Clarkson and St. Lawrence, left each team with 30 points in league play and identical 14-6-2 records, earning each squad a share of the Cleary Cup – given to the ECACHL champion.
On Friday night at Rensselaer’s Houston Field House, the Engineers’ Mathias Lange made 34 saves and the squad got a pair of goals within a 1:37 span of the first period to preserve the win. Oren Eizenman opened the game’s scoring with his 14th goal of the season on a feed from Kevin Croxton at the 16:41 mark. On the play, Eizenman slid a backhanded shot past junior goaltender David McKee after sidestepping a Cornell defender. The assist was Croxton’s team-leading 23rd of the season.
Croxton matched Eizenman’s team lead in goals with his 14th at the 18:18 mark, when he put a rebound attempt over McKee’s shoulder. On the play, Kurt Colling put a wrist shot on net from the left side, which McKee swiped away, but Croxton was there to corral the puck and fire it home.
The rest of the night belonged to Lange, who tallied his second shutout of the season. Lange was tested late, as Cornell put 15 shots on him in the third frame. But the goalie was up to the task to preserve the win.
The Red loss was eerily similar to its 1-1 tie against the Engineers on Nov. 18 at Lynah Rink, in the sense that the team outshot Rensselaer by a wide margin (34-17) as it did earlier this season (36-13), but could not come away with a victory.
The next night, the Red edged out the Dutchmen at the Achilles Center, as senior captain Matt Moulson notched his 16th goal of the season at the 5:37 mark in the third period off feeds from classmate Daniel Pegoraro and junior Byron Bitz. The goal was scored after Moto Mayotte’s 20 stops, to earn the win.
Archived article by Chris Mascaro Sun Sports Editor
By February 27, 2006
For four years, senior David Lisle has shone in practice but struggled in games for the men’s basketball team. But on Friday night, the crowd at Newman Arena got to see what coaches and teammates have always known Lisle to be capable of, as he led the Red to a 68-64 victory over Yale with a career-high 16 points.
“It’s coming down to the end now, and I just don’t want to have those regrets in my head,” Lisle said. “I went out there tonight, and I have been for the last three games, just playing, not thinking too much, and just doing what I’ve been doing since I was seven years old.”
“Obviously, David Lisle was tremendous,” said Cornell head coach Steve Donahue. “No one deserves it more than him. What he’s done for our program – whether he plays the whole game or whether he plays absolute zero – I mean he’s had that as much as anybody, a rollercoaster to his career. But never attitude, [his] attitude has been unbelievable.”
It was a night of breakout performances for the Red (11-15, 6-6 Ivy), as freshman Brian Kreefer came off the bench and registered a career-high 10 points – including eight points in nine minutes on the floor in the first half – to go with two steals and two rebounds.
“I think [Kreefer] has does good things in practice and he deserves an opportunity,” Donahue said. “And at this time [of the year] some guys are tired and you need someone to come in and give you a lift, and he’s a player that can do that.”
Junior Jason Hartford rounded out the stellar play of the Red’s bench, scoring all nine of his points in the second half.
“I guess I just found myself open,” Hartford said. “Guys just passed the ball around and I was the one that was open, so I just shot it. Other than that, I don’t think there was anything different.”
The usual suspects also contributed in the victory, as senior Lenny Collins and junior Andrew Naeve each had a team-high eight boards to go with seven and six tallies, respectively.
The Red handed out 16 assists as a team – including four each from Collins and junior Graham Dow – and edged the Bulldogs on the glass, 35-32.
Yale’s Dominick Martin dominated in the paint, posting a double-double with 17 points and 15 caroms in the losing effort. Casey Hughes and Sam Kaplan tossed in 11 tallies each for the Bulldogs (15-12, 7-5).
Despite shooting just 45.5 percent from the field and 25 percent from beyond the arc, the Red held the Bulldogs to only 46 percent shooting from the field, including 30 percent from downtown. Eric Flato, who led Yale with 17 points in its 74-65 win over the Red on Feb. 10, was held to just four points on 1-of-8 shooting.
“We did a very good job of limiting their penetration,” Donahue said. “They have so many guys who can put it on the floor, and they make other players better. They had 20 assists down there, they had 11 here. I thought it was critical that we made guys take hard shots.”
“We did a better job of making shots in the first game at Yale,” said Yale head coach Scott Jones. “I thought that was a huge difference for us, making shots. Also defensively, I thought we did a really poor job of guarding their basket cuts.