February 16, 2009

Penalty Kill Falters In Loss to Harvard

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[img_assist|nid=35148|title=Line it up|desc=Junior defenseman Brendon Nash takes a shot in the Red’s 4-2 loss to Harvard on Saturday.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“It was just one of those nights we didn’t score on the power play and they did,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86.
Junior forward Colin Greening provided both of the Red’s goals on the night. The co-captain’s first tally came on a nice pass from sophomore forward Joe Devin, who was stationed behind the goal. Devin found Greening between the circles and Greening one-timed a shot past Harvard’s sophomore goalie Ryan Carroll.
“I was really proud of the guys, we came to play and we won a lot of battles,” Greening said. “The only difference is they scored more than us.”
Greening’s first goal tied the score at 1 — the Crimson drew first blood with a power-play goal 7:04 into the second period that found its way past junior goalie Ben Scrivens.
“[I’m] not happy with the first goal and how it went in,” Schafer said. “But Ben’s been playing really well for us all year long and it’s very unusual for him to give up that kind of goal.”
Both goalies were exceptional throughout the first period — Scrivens had 15 saves while Carroll had 14.
“He played absolutely phenomenal, not many nights you see that kind of performance from a goaltender,” Schafer said of Carroll, who finished with 42 saves.
Indeed, Carroll stifled the Red’s advances time and again, much to the delight of the Harvard fans. The sophomore picked up his second win of the season.
Harvard’s second goal came off the stick of sophomore forward Matt McCollem. He skated past Cornell’s defense in transition and took a pass from junior forward Doug Rogers then shot it underneath Scrivens with 5:15 remaining in the second period.
“The second goal was a breakdown,” Schafer said. “That’s a lane that we typically have covered and our defensemen obviously expected someone to be there.”
Cornell’s defense, one of the team’s strengths earlier in the season, has had its troubles lately, allowing 20 goals in the past six games.
Harvard’s third tally of the night came from freshman forward Daniel Moriarty on an assist from sophomore defender Chris Huxley, who collected the puck after a failed attempt to clear the puck by the Red penalty kill unit.
“The third [goal] was just a bad bounce,” Schafer said. “We tried to clear it and it hit one of their guys’ stick right in the slot.”
Greening, who was a force on the ice all weekend for the Red, breathed new life into the team with his second goal of the night. With 3:30 remaining in the game, he took a pass from Devin and got a shot past Carroll’s stick side to bring the Red within one, 3-2.
With 1:30 left to play, the Red pulled Scrivens for the extra skater and had a few good chances, but couldn’t capitalize. The Crimson sealed up the win with an empty-net goal with 0:12 remaining.
“You can only ask our guys to play really hard and execute and I thought we did that for the majority of the night,” Schafer said. “When you take 42 shots and get some really good chances, I think considering we were coming off of two losses, there were some good things that happened tonight.”