February 6, 2011

Cornell Kicks Off Weekend With Blowout Win Over Clarkson

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On its first of two home wins this past weekend, the Cornell men’s hockey team (10-9-3, 8-5-2 ECAC Hockey) notched a 5-2 win over Clarkson (12-12-2, 6-7-1).  The victory over the Golden Knights brought the Red’s record to 2-0 vs. Clarkson this season, and spring boarded it into Saturday’s game against the St. Lawrence Saints.

The Red, capitalizing on a 4-on-3 situation in the first period, demonstrated patient passing and retained control of the puck for the entirety of the power play.  Clarkson junior goalie Paul Karpowich made several saves before senior defenseman Mike Devin’s first goal of the game found the top right corner and sent Karpowich’s water bottle flying.  “I just said go out and do whatever you want. Get good movement and get good shots,’” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86 concerning his special teams advice.

The second and third periods brought about a louder Lynah as the Red traded goals with their opponent.  A missed drop pass by Clarkson allowed the Red to transition into their opponent’s zone, enabling sophomore forward John Esposito to bring the score to 2-0 after a pass from his line-mate senior Patrick Kennedy.

The Golden Knights answered quickly.  Assistant captain Brandon DeFazio put the moves on Cornell goalie Mike Garman at 6:00 into the second before Cornell pulled ahead again with senior winger Joe Devin’s not-so-unlucky 13th shot of the game.  Devin went on to score two more goals on the Lynah Rink ice before the weekend was out.  “Joe is always around the net.  There is a reason why he scores goals… He knows where to get to…  Great stick and eye coordination for tipping pucks…Good offensive habits,” said Schafer.

Both teams exited Friday’s contest with even shots on goal and three periods of hard play, but the Red seemed to deliver more, scoring three goals in extra-skater situations compared to Clarkson’s one.  “To be good at special teams is huge in this league,” said the Red’s Joe Devin.  In both Friday and Saturday’s games, the Red’s shots on goal numbers peaked in the first period, but their scoring did not follow said pattern.

Clarkson demonstrated some impressive skating during the game, with senior defenseman Bryan Rufenach skating it all the way up the ice for a shot that split the Cornell defense at 14:10 in the first.  Rufenach’s attempt, like many other well-formed offensive plays, fell short due to the efforts of Mike Garman between the pipes for Cornell.

On a similar play, Cornell’s junior center Sean Collins scored on a short-handed breakaway, giving the Red enough insurance to survive a quick retaliation by Clarkson that beat Garman glove side.

With just 21 seconds remaining, Cornell veteran forward Tyler Roeszler put the final nail in the Clarkson coffin with an empty-netter that lit up both the crowd and the red torch simultaneously.  Concerning the progress of his team this season, Schafer said, “Every journey is different.  We are focused on the present.”

Original Author: Rob Moore