February 9, 2009

M. Icers Beats Quinnipiac On Sudden Death Goal

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On Friday, senior forward Evan Barlow’s overtime goal earned a 2-1 victory for Cornell over Quinnipiac, putting the Red back in the win column after a two-game losing streak. Junior defenseman Brendon Nash assisted on Barlow’s goal and added a score of his own to help his team in the win.
Both of the Red’s goals on Friday came in penalty periods; the Red was 2-of-10 on power play opportunities. According to Barlow, the Red’s ability to take advantage of power plays is integral in winning games.
[img_assist|nid=34867|title=Sticky|desc=Senior forward Evan Barlow (20) picked up a pass from Brendon Nash to score the game winner against Quinnipiac.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“We have a lot of success when we are moving the puck around on the perimeter and getting the opposition’s penalty killers sliding out of position,” Barlow said. “We look for seams, and I think that any time we can do that we are successful. We had good spurts of that tonight and we were able to capitalize on two.”
Quinnipiac kicked off the scoring early as senior Bobcat defenseman Brett Dickinson lit the lamp just 1:30 into the opening period. The play started as junior forward Mike Atkinson drove hard to the net with the puck. Cornell junior goalie Ben Scrivens knocked the puck off of Atkinson’s stick with a quick poke-check, but the puck ended up right on Dickinson’s stick at the point. Dickinson then unloaded on a slap shot that made its way through traffic, over Scrivens’ blocker, and into the back of the net. Dickinson‘s first goal of the season put the Bobcats up, 1-0.
After his team allowed the early goal, Cornell head coach Mike Schafer ’86 wanted to make sure that his players did not panic.
“We gave up the goal right off off the get-go,” Schafer said. “Our approach to the game allowed us to continue to be focused and we didn’t get frustrated.”
When Bobcats’ winger David Marshall was called for a hooking penalty at 15:03 of the first, the Red went on their second power play of the night. Cornell won the ensuing face-off in the Bobcats zone and quickly set up its power play cycle. Sophomore forward Riley Nash gathered the puck at the top of the circle and calmly passed it over to his brother, Brendon, at the right point. Brendon immediately fired a slap-shot that beat Quinnipiac goalie Dan Clarke glove-side 15:10 into the first period, tying the game at 1-1.
Brendon Nash explained that his team’s intense work in practice this past week enabled the Red to maintain possession of the puck, helping to set up multiple scoring opportunities.
“We knew we were all over them all game long,” Nash said. “Especially after they got the first one, we bounced back and were able to play well for the next two periods. … We came out to play after a hard week of practice and got it going tonight.”
The second period was much quieter than the first, with a lot of neutral zone play eating up time. Both teams managed to put just four shots each on net in the second frame, all of which Scrivens and Clarke easily steered away. While the Red attempted a total of 16 shots in the second, Bobcat defenders blocked eight and four went wide of the net.
Brendon Nash thought that the Quinnipiac defensemen did a tremendous job of cutting off the Red shooting lanes, thereby making it difficult for the Red to put the puck on net.
“It’s always tough when you have guys going down to block shots, but you just try to get it through as best as you can, get it around the net so that the guys down there can do the work,” Nash said. “If that doesn’t work then I guess you have to try something else. We ended up trying a couple of other things and trying to get a couple of other chances, but in the end it was two point shots that went in.”
In the third period, the game opened up a little more as both teams were pressing for the go-ahead goal.
Just 1:54 into the third, the Bobcats came in on a two-on-one. Quinnipiac forward Sean Coughlin received a pass and one-timed a snap shot on net. Scrivens came sliding across the crease to make a crowd-pleasing glove save as he nabbed the puck out of the air.
“You have to give Ben Scrivens credit too,” Schafer said. “The save he made at the start of the third period, that was the biggest chance of the third period for Quinnipiac and he made a tremendous glove save to keep the game at 1-1.”
With time winding down in regulation, the Red narrowly missed on a couple of opportunities, as both Colin Greening and Dan Nicholls rang shots off of the cross-bar. The third period came to a close with the score knotted at 1-1, sending the game to overtime.
Quinnipiac forward and NCAA point-leader Bryan Leitch was called for slashing at 2:22 into the overtime period, giving the Red an opportunity with the man-advantage. Schafer called a timeout to give his players a chance to catch their breath before the ensuing power-play.
Cornell won the face-off and set up its attack in the Bobcats zone. Blake Gallagher collected the puck and sent a pass to Brendon Nash at the point. Nash then relayed the puck across the ice to Evan Barlow, who one-timed a low slap shot that beat Clarke, clinching a 2-1 Red victory.
“We knew it was crunch time on the power-play there,” Barlow said. “Any time you get a power-play in OT it is a big chance to win. It got up to Brendon there and Brendon slid it across to the right spot there. I just hit it and I think the puck had eyes. It was nice for a change.”
Schafer thought his team showed great energy and desire in earning the win. The Red coaches and players were very happy to come away with two points on Friday, especially considering how close it is at the top of the ECAC standings.
“It’s a real dogfight but you expect that,” Schafer said. “You look forward to it and that is what you play for. …I thought we were much more hungry for pucks, around pucks, beating people to pucks. It is the first step. We want to continue that way in practice for the rest of the year.”