October 22, 2007

Red Ties Trois-Rivieres

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65 minutes later, the score was the same as it was during the opening face-off. That was the story Friday night, as the men’s hockey team skated to a 0-0 tie in its exhibition match with Trois Rivieres.
“Trois Rivieres is a good hockey team,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86. “They obviously have played a lot of games. … It was a good effort. It was a good test. … It was an 0-0 game our first game of the year and [Cornell was] comfortable. We had some real good opportunities. It was a good opportunity for us to get a chance to look at some things tonight and get ready to make some adjustments.”
Cornell sophomore Ben Scrivens was able to hold Trois Rivieres scoreless throughout the contest, stopping 25 shots. Scrivens and the defense kept the Patriots off the board during four power plays, including one five-on-three opportunity.
“We knew that they were a good team coming in,” Scrivens said. “They are one of the more elite teams coming out of the universities in Canada. They get a lot of skill up there. For us to hold them off the board is a pretty big feat … We knew we had to play well defensively.”
Part of the reason why Trois Rivieres was able to enjoy a 5-on-3 power play was because of the game’s physical play. The first and second periods only saw three penalties apiece, but beginning in the third, the teams clearly did not get along. In the third period, there were 13 penalties, including a 10-minute game misconduct called on the Patriots’ Samuel Beland for shooting after the whistle. Overall, the two teams combined for a total of 50 penalty minutes in the game.
The two teams got into a number of scraps, including one in the third period where a number of Cornell players, including freshman Mike Devin and junior Tyler Mugford got into a scuffle with Trois Rivieres. This scrum resulted in eight penalties — including two on Beland — and combined with a previous penalty, the Red had five players in the penalty box — Devin, Mugford, junior Jared Seminoff, sophomore Colin Greening and freshman Tyler Roeszler. There was a long delay after the skirmish while the referees sorted out all the penalties.
“We know that for [Trois Rivieres], they don’t have a lot of consequences going back,” Scrivens said. “If they get suspended, they can’t really get suspended, so they can pretty much do whatever they want. We knew that it had the potential to get a little bit chippy. … It kind of falls on us to make sure we stay out of that but if one of our guys is in there, we have to stick up for each other and make sure no one is getting hurt out there. It’s unfortunate that it slowed the game down for the fans.”
“I thought out guys played physical throughout the course of the game, and that’s the way we have to play from that standpoint,” Schafer said. “We have to be really involved. I thought we brought that aspect to the table here today.”
Cornell’s offense had a few chances, but could not slip one by Trois Rivieres netminder Sylvain Michaud, who stopped 33 shots. While Cornell was short-handed in the second quarter, Mugford had a breakaway, but was tripped up and couldn’t convert the shot. In the third, junior Evan Barlow passed it to classmate Michael Kennedy, who had a good look in front of the net, but could not convert.
The power play unit was also unable to capitalize on five chances. At the end of overtime, the Red had a chance on the power play, and senior co-captain Topher Scott was looking to make a move, but fellow senior co-captain Raymond Sawada was called for a high-sticking penalty, ending the extra-man opportunity.
“We have a lot of new guys, a lot of different faces out there,” Schafer said. “We went into the game trying to figure out who is going to be our power play guys. … I think we had 15 different guys on power play tonight to give them an opportunity in game conditions. I want to see what combinations and who feels comfortable and we’ll go from there.”