February 4, 2008

Greening’s Goal Sends Red to Overtime Win

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Sophomore Colin Greening has scored 17 goals in his college career, and numerous more throughout his life. But according to the co-alternate captain, none was as important or exciting as Greening’s overtime game-winner on Friday night at Lynah Rink, which propelled Cornell past Colgate, 2-1.
“In all honesty, I don’t think I’ve ever scored a goal that exciting,” Greening said. “Obviously the fans went nuts and the guys on the bench went nuts, so it was a pretty special moment. I don’t score many overtime goals, but when you get them, it’s kind of hard to believe.”
Greening’s game-winning tally came a little more than a minute into overtime, right after a Cornell power play had ended. Colgate controlled the puck near mid-ice, but turned it over to Greening. The sophomore then fought past two Raider players, and managed to get off a low shot that went past senior netminder Mark Dekanich for the score.[img_assist|nid=27238|title=Play hockey|desc=The men’s hockey team won both its games against Colgate this past weekend.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“I was actually pretty tired at the end of the shift and I was actually thinking of changing,” Greening said. “I just tried to front the guy so he wouldn’t be able to put the puck in the zone, but he kind of bobbled it, and I was able to get my stick on it, push forward and then I just tried to skate as hard as I could. There were a couple of bodies in my way. I think a stick broke, and that kind of helped me. I came down, waited for the defenseman to front me, and tried to shoot it between his legs, hope for the best, and I guess it went in.”
“Just a tremendous play by Colin Greening to fight through,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86. “He has such a heavy shot. I thought it was a great shot to beat the kid.”
Greening’s score was not his only offensive contribution of the night. He also assisted on Cornell’s first goal, which came with five minutes left in the second period. Greening shot wide of the net, and then got his own rebound in the corner. He then fed streaking freshman Joe Devin, who gave the Red a 1-0 lead going into the second intermission.
Despite giving up Greening’s goal and assist, Dekanich was able to turn away 29 Cornell shots. Overall, the Raiders outshot the Red, 36-31.
Cornell (11-7-3, 9-4-1 ECAC Hockey) was also buoyed by the solid play of sophomore Ben Scrivens, as well as the entire penalty-kill unit. Scrivens made 35 saves, and the penalty kill held Colgate to one power-play goal in six chances. The Raiders’ only score came in the third period, when senior Tyler Burton tipped a shot from the point from freshman Wade Poplawski.
“[The defense blocked] an unbelievable amount of shots,” Scrivens said. “The ones that did get through were wristers that I could see the whole way. I could track them in, control rebounds. Pretty much give credit where credit is due, and that are the guys in front of me that are blocking shot, taking away passing lanes.”
The game was extremely physical, and between the two teams, there were 23 total penalties called, including 11 for Colgate (10-12-4, 4-7-3) and 12 for Cornell. 10 penalties were for hitting after the whistle and there were 12 penalties in the second period alone.
“It was unfortunate it was chippy,” Schafer said. “Especially after the whistle, there is nothing good coming out of that after the whistle. Pushing and shoving is just wasted energy.”
Cornell also lost two players to injury. Senior Chris Fontas left after the second period, and junior Michael Kennedy had to leave during the third after a hit to the head by freshman Brian Day.
“We were definitely upset with it,” Greening said. “I thought it was a high hit. I definitely thought there was a penalty on it. Supposedly, they are cracking down on shots to the head, and that was a shot to the head, but the ref is a mere mortal. He can only judge what he sees. Obviously I think it was a penalty, but it fired us up.”
The loss of Fontas and Kennedy also forced Cornell to shake up its lines.
“Tonight was difficult, especially when you lose Mike and Chris, both centers, but we shifted [senior co-captain] Topher [Scott] who has played center here for many years … so the guys adjusted to it quite well,” Schafer said.