Led by big games from junior assistant captain Topher Scott and senior Mark McCutcheon, the men’s hockey team trounced York University, 11-1, on Saturday night. In the exhibition game at Lynah, the No. 14 Red used five first-period goals to break the game open and never looked back, dominating the Lions for three periods.
“We were just happy we got the green light to go out there and hit someone after the long off-season,” said junior forward Raymond Sawada.
The Red utilized its superior size and speed to dominate the Lions, out-shooting York by a decisive 52-24 margin. The York goalie, junior Kevin Druce, had a hellish evening, making 41 saves on 52 shots in what was certainly a forgettable night.
It was a big night for McCutcheon, who had two goals and an assist. Scott played well in the victory, notching one goal and three assists.
After a slow start during which the Red offense struggled to maintain possession in the offensive zone, York freshman Scott Boomsma turned the puck over in a compromising position, sending an errant pass from the corner in front of the net. McCutcheon was in the right place at the right time, and buried a wrist shot top shelf to give the Red a 1-0 lead on the shorthanded tally.
“You don’t get lucky look like that every day,” McCutcheon said, “I don’t even think the goalie knew what was coming.”
The Red would add three goals in just over two and a half minutes, which blew open the game and provided Cornell with some breathing room. Sophomore Evan Barlow and junior Chris Fontas got on the score sheet, while senior Mitch Carefoot added a power play goal. Scott made it a 5-0 game with another power play goal before intermission. The Red dominated play in the first period, peppering Druce with 20 shots.
“Overall, I thought our intensity was pretty good for practicing for five days. I think guys will get better as we keep practicing as a team,” said Cornell head coach Mike Schafer ’86.
The Red did not relent in the second period, and continued to press against the Lions. Freshman Colin Greening almost made it 6-0 when, after coming back on the ice after a power play, he took a pass and had a free breakaway. Druce made a diving, sprawling save to deny Greening’s deke.
McCutcheon would add another goal just over six minutes in, after another turnover in the defensive end from York. Freshman Justin Krueger gathered the puck, and fired it over to McCutcheon, who beat a helpless Druce.
With less than three minutes until the second intermission, Scott made it 7-0 on a power play goal, with assists going to senior captain Byron Bitz and freshman Justin Milo. Milo, who had a goal and an assist in the contest, and fellow freshmen Brendon Nash and Greening all made big impacts on the game, and Schafer liked what he saw from the newcomers.
“I thought all the freshmen got opportunities to get a feel for what the crowd was like. I didn’t think they showed any kind of jitters whatsoever. I thought they played well, and they’ll only continue to get better,” Schafer said.
“It was great to play in front of the crowd. The fans were great, and it felt really good to get out there,” Milo said.
[img_assist|nid=19120|title=m hockey|desc=Sophomore forward Tyler Mugford (21) scores Cornell’s 11th and final goal in the third period of the Red’s victory over York in Lynah Rink Saturday night.|link=popup|align=left|width=100|height=71]
Sophomore Taylor Davenport made it 8-0 after yet another York defensive turnover hung Druce out to dry. York would finally get on the board in the third period, with freshman Kyle Searle beating freshman goalie Ben Scrivens on a low shot from the point. With York on the power play, sophomore Sean Langdon found Searle, who unleashed a hard and low slap shot that found its way through traffic to make it 8-1.
The game gave Schafer a further opportunity to look at his goalies. As of yet, he still has not decided if sophomore Troy Davenport, who played the first half of the game, or Scrivens will be the starter come opening day.
“[I] still haven’t made a decision. We’ll get the opportunity to look at some video,” Schafer said, “I thought Troy made some good saves early on, and Ben faced some five-on-threes. Overall, I think Ben saw a little more action.”
While neither goalie was particularly busy, they each had to face their fair share of York power plays. Cornell took 18 penalties in the game, while York also had trouble staying disciplined, taking 17 penalties. However, the Red was able to utilize its superior special teams play to its advantage, going a sterling 6-for-12 on the power play, while holding York to 1-for-12.
“We are expecting a lot of calls this season,” Scott said, “This game was good for us, and we have to be ready for special teams play all season.”
Cornell would complete the rout with three third-period goals. Sawada, Milo and sophomore Tyler Mugford added goals to make the score 11-1.
The Red are back in action on Thursday, when Robert Morris comes into town for the season opener.