January 26, 2007

M. Hockey Stays Winless in 2007

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HAMILTON, N.Y. — As the Cornell and Colgate men’s hockey teams were standing on the ice at Starr Rink last night listening to the national anthems, each squad was hoping to snap its “0-for-07” streak by the end of the night.

But only the Raiders found satisfaction, scoring three power-play goals to end the 0-for-28 drought that has plagued them since the New Year and securing a 4-2 victory to improve to 5-5-3 in the ECACHL and 11-12-4 overall. The Red, on the other hand, boarded the bus to Ithaca with it winless streak intact, slipping to 5-5-3 in league play and 9-8-3 on the season. Cornell suffered the loss despite tying the game early in the third period at 2-2 after goals from junior Doug Krantz and senior Mark McCutcheon.

[img_assist|nid=20934|title=Out of reach|desc=Junior Raymond Sawada (12) looks to score in front of the Colgate net. The Red was only 1-of-9 on the power play in last night’s 4-2 loss to Colgate, making the team’s consecutive winless streak seven games.|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=67]

The seven-game stretch without a win is the longest in the tenure of Cornell head coach Mike Schafer ’86, who is in his 12th season at the helm of the Red.

“It’s disappointing with an upside,” McCutcheon said. “Any time you lose with the team we have now, it’s disappointing. I thought we outplayed them.”

Cornell scored on just 1-of-9 power plays, while Colgate converted on 4-of-6 extra-man opportunities.

When Cornell senior Mitch Carefoot was handed a two-minute penalty for interference in the first period, Colgate wasted little time taking advantage of home ice. Sophomore David Sloane rocketed a centering pass from the left faceoff circle in front of Cornell sophomore goaltender Troy Davenport to his Colgate teammate, junior Tyler Burton, who was waiting on the far post to send the puck home. The forward’s 11th goal of the season gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead.

Cornell outshot Colgate, 14-3, in the first period — and by a 41-14 margin in the game — but could not manage to put an equalizer past Colgate junior goaltender Mark Dekanich, who made 39 saves on the night.

“Their kid played an awesome game in net,” Schafer said. “He made big save after big save and I give him credit.”

Despite a derth of opportunities, Colgate managed to capitalize when given the chance. Although the Red managed to kill off a penalty with junior Ray mond Sawada in the box for boarding, the defense broke down soon after freshman Brendon Nash was sent to the sin bin for holding with five seconds left on Sawada’s penalty.

Colgate quickly went on the attack, increased its lead to 2-0 when sophomore Jason Fredericks sent a pass from the left point to freshman David McIntyre in the corner. McIntyre fired a shot that beat Davenport glove-side for his sixth goal of the season.

Davenport was benched after McIntyre’s goal, notching four saves before being replaced between the pipes by freshman Ben Scrivens, who finished with six saves.

With the clock winding down to the second intermission, it looked as though Cornell would be shut out for a second period. But with Cornell sophomore Michael Kennedy and Colgate junior Jesse Winchester both in the box for interference and 20 seconds left in the frame, freshman Tony Romano found Krantz in the crease, sending in a pass that Krantz sent top shelf to beat Dekanich for his fourth goal of the season. Junior assistant captain Topher Scott also assisted on the goal.

“The lockeroom was great [after the second period],” McCutcheon said. “I don’t think anyone had a doubt [we could win]. We were playing our game and we’re a third period team.”

The Red pulled even with 15:27 remaining in the third, with McCutcheon finding the back of the net on the power play after Colgate sophomore Tom Riley was sent out of the game with a major penalty after checking sophomore Taylor Davenport from behind. McCutcheon collected a pass from Scott at the blue line and beat Dekanich stirck side for his sixth goal of the season. Senior captain Byron Bitz also assisted on the goal.

“Good teams will do that,” Dekanich said. “We knew they wouldn’t give up, we expected it. I just focused on the net and that’s all I can do.”

The Raiders answered just less than four minutes later, however, when senior Marc Fulton gathered the rebound from sophomore Nick St. Pierre’s shot and put it past Scrivens top shelf for the game-winning goal. It was his 14th goal of the season, and Winchester also assisted on the score.

Dekanich protected the lead down the stretch, stopping 16 of Cornell’s 17 shots in the third period and bringing the home crowd to its feet again and again.

“Our better guys stepped up and played well tonight, starting with out goalie,” said Colgate head coach Don Vaughan. “[Dekanich] does it every night for us.”

Dekanich’s final save came on a mad scramble in front of the net, during which he managed to protect a loose puck from multiple Cornell sticks despite being fully prone on the ice. Bitz was sent to the box for roughing in the same scrum, and Winchester collected a pass from senior Mike Campaner that he sent into Cornell’s empty net to ice the win.

The two teams will meet for the second time this season tomorrow night at 8 p.m. in Lynah Rink.

“We pride ourselves on how we play and things will turn for us,” Schafer said. “[They are] a pretty determined, resilient group.”