In Saturday night’s contest versus Yale, the No. 13 Red clinched the Ivy League championship title from the hands of the three-time defending Bulldogs. Cornell, having not won the title in the past seven years, was lifted to victory by a strong performance by senior center and alternate captain Sean Collins.
Everything the Red (13-6-6, 10-3-5 ECAC Hockey) offense did, from the initial face-off to posing with they Ivy League trophy, seemed well rehearsed. The Yale Bulldogs (10-13-2, 7-10-1) put 34 shots on goal compared to Cornell’s 25, but fell to the Red, 2-4.
Junior forward Greg Miller, hungry to add to his season goal count, had three slapshots at point blank range, which were all deflected by Yale’s junior goalie Jeff Malcom.
“How Miller, Mowrey, and Ferlin didn’t score tonight is unbelievable — they had to have seven or eight scoring chances,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86 after the game.
Collins had more luck, sending two pucks into Yale’s net in the first period. His line mate freshman John McCarron shot from the near dot and the puck was loose in the slot. Collins stepped in to finish the job and give the Red an initial lead.
“The puck was just laying there in the crease and I tapped it in,” Collins said.
At the 16:49 mark, Collins crossed in front and shot as he was falling down, lighting the torch again.
“For the second one, I chipped it past the defenseman, found a shooting lane and it went through [the goalie’s] arms,” he said.
The Red went on to score two goals in the second period, heading into the third with a comfortable 4-0 lead. After a roughing penalty to sophomore winger Armand de Swardt, senior forward Locke Jilson took a slapshot from the near boards and found nothing but net.
“To get a shorty was big. I though they were going to dump it, but Locke just kept on going and took the shot,” said Schafer.
Freshman forward John McCarron is credited with the final Cornell goal on Collins’ assist.
With less than five minutes left in the Contest, one of Yale’s shots finally made it past sophomore goalie Andy Iles. Senior defenseman Nick Jaskowiak and senior captain Brian O’Neill knocked two in, the latter on a 5-on-3 power play that resulted from an on-ice brawl between the two Ivy League teams.
“I don’t think we really like them as a whole,” Collins said, “We haven’t had a lot of success against them in the past so it was nice to get two wins.”
The Red’s coaching staff attributed its ability to shut down Yale’s No. 7 power play unit, which went 1-for-8, to lots of smart hits.
“[It’s] how we have to play to be success full. We were physical last night and we were physical again tonight,” Schafer said.
Yale put 15 shots on goal in the final frame in comparison to Cornell’s two, which demonstrated the Bulldog’s continued intensity. Iles made big saves on viable shots by Yale forwards sophomore Kenny Agostino and junior Antoine Laganiere.
With their four point weekend, the Red clinched its 20th Ivy League trophy.
“It’s great to win the Ivy League Championship at home in front of our crowd. We can’t do that with the ECAC championship,” Collins said.
To date, Cornell has lost fewer than 20 percent of games in front of the Lynah Faithful since the rink opened in 1957.
With the plaque safely in the locker room, and junior forward John Esposito capable of playing a full weekend again, the Red will head North to battle Clarkson and St. Lawrence this weekend. Only one home weekend remains in the regular season for the young squad. The two wins eased the Red closer to securing a top-four position in the ECAC, which comes with a first round bye in the playoffs. A win on Friday would guarantee the position. Cornell trails Union by one point and will host the current league leader on Feb. 24
Original Author: Rob Moore