January 25, 2008

M. Icers Look to Fight Off Ivy Foes

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While the Red does not have a mascot nearly as intimidating as Yale or Brown (in fact, Touchdown the Bear is an unofficial mascot), the men’s hockey team knows that names can be deceiving. Having already defeated Yale (8-7-3, 4-4-3 ECAC Hockey) and Brown (1-12-4, 1-6-3 ECAC Hockey) earlier in the season, the squad aims to complete a season sweep of both teams this weekend at Lynah rink.
“We have to come out with the same intensity both nights,” said senior alternate captain Doug Krantz. “Every night we have to go out and battle and we have to figure out how to come with that same intensity every night.”
After a disappointing loss to Clarkson last Sunday, the Red (8-7-3, 6-4 ECAC) is ready to rebuild its confidence and claim its home ice advantage by putting up a fight against Brown tonight. The Bears have not logged a win since their last face-off against Cornell and are on a four game losing skid. However, Brown’s sophomore goalie Dan Rosen has played strong in the net, posting a .897 save percentage. According to senior co-captain Raymond Sawada, the Red will need to keep the shots coming in hard and fast in order to get ahead in the contest.[img_assist|nid=26847|title=Through the chaos|desc=Sophomore Joe Scali (28) looks for a passing lane during the Red’s 4-2 to Clarckson on Jan. 20.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“We want to learn from our mistakes and realize we can’t lay back,” Sawada said. “We have to come out ready to play from the drop of the puck or else we will get ourselves in that situation.”
When the two teams last met at Ingalls Rink in New Haven, Conn., the Bulldogs left with their tails between their legs, having suffered a 2-1 loss at home. With rankings on the line, the Red needs a win to stay in the three-way tie and prevent Yale from joining the fourth-place party in the ECAC Hockey standings. A loss for the Red could cost it the coveted first-round bye in the ECAC Hockey playoffs.
“It’s getting down to crunch time now,” Krantz said. “You look at the league and there aren’t a lot of points separating first to last. Everybody is right up there. One bad weekend or one good weekend could either put you right up top or take you right out of the race. We have to look at this not as different teams, but four points we have to come out with.”
Since both goalies, sophomore Ben Scrivens and junior Troy Davenport, saw playing time last weekend it should be a surprise to see who starts in net this weekend.
Either way, the Red is intent on being mentally and physically prepared to play an intense and aggressive 120 minutes of hockey in front of the ever-faithful Lynah fans.
“This team has the mental toughness and the chemistry to overcome adversity with any game,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86. “That’s never in doubt — great work ethic and mental toughness. What they don’t have yet is the ability to mentally focus and string things together as far as victories are concerned. The guys need to quickly have a short-term memory and get refocused on the next opponent in a hurry.
“That is the only thing that’s going to carry us to the top of the league is to have that mental toughness. That goes from being humble about having a good game … to how they handle that and how focused they are on wanting that feeling of victory again.”