February 17, 2013

M. HOCKEY | Longest Losing Streak In Twenty Years Finally Ends

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Cornell’s longest losing streak in two decades has come to a close. After dropping seven consecutive games for the first time since the 1992-1993 season, the Red picked up a much-needed 4-2 victory at Dartmouth on Friday night, followed by a hard-fought 2-2 tie against rival Harvard on Saturday.

Finishing 1-0-1 on the weekend, the Red (9-13-3, 5-10-3 ECAC) maintained space on Harvard (7-15-3, 4-12-2) in the ECAC standings and gained ground on No. 17 Dartmouth (12-9-4, 8-7-3) going into the final four games of the season.

After a scoreless first period against Dartmouth, the Red struck in the second after sophomore forward Joel Lowry pegged his ninth goal of the season — capitalizing on a rebound from a block on sophomore defenseman Joakim Ryan. Just two minutes later, sophomore forward Madison Dias netted the first goal of his Red career to extend Cornell’s lead to 2-0.

The Red continued to capitalize on opportunities, as senior forward Greg Miller scored on a wrister, assisted by Ryan and freshman forward Christian Hilbrich. The Big Green roared back with goals at the end of the second and beginning of the third period to cut the lead to 3-2, reminiscent of the Red’s squandered lead against Dartmouth in the fall. Cornell remained composed in a hostile Thompson Arena, however, containing the Dartmouth offense in the third period and putting the game out of reach on a shot by sophomore forward John McCarron that helped finalize the score at 4-2.

Against Harvard, the Red topped last week’s 39-shot effort against Princeton with a stunning 40 shots on goal, en route to a 2-2 come-from-behind tie. Senior forward Greg Miller notched goals on back-to-back nights, scoring in the first period to give the Red a 1-0 advantage. Although the Red only accumulated three penalties on the night to Harvard’s four, the Crimson got on the board with a power play score to knot the game at 1-1 at the end of the first.

Down 2-1 in the waning minutes of the second, the Red got more help from its veteran leaders as senior defenseman and tri-captain Nick D’Agostino struck on his fourth goal this season with assists from Lowry and sophomore forward Brian Ferlin. After a scoreless third period and overtime — during which the Red outshot the Crimson 21-12 — the buzzer sounded with a final score of 2-2.

The Red will look to follow up its weekend breakthrough with two more big games next week. Up first is a Friday-night grudge match with RPI (14-11-5, 9-6-3), the team that caused sophomore forward Cole Bardreau’s season-ending neck injury and the beginning of the seven-game skid. Then on Saturday, the Red seniors will say goodbye to Lynah in the regular season home finale against defending ECAC champions Union (15-10-5, 8-6-4).

Original Author: Chris Mills