Head coach Mike Schafer ’86 said his veteran skaters needed a “kick in the ass” after their first loss of the season, a 4-0 shellacking at the hands of Clarkson Saturday night.
Though a loss to now-No. 5 Clarkson isn’t the end of the world for the Red, being outworked and outplayed at Lynah was a shot at the team’s pride. Schafer said Clarkson played “grittier” than his squad.
“Moving forward, we got to know that no one can come into our rink and take it to us like that,” junior forward and captain Mitch Vanderlaan said after the loss. “We take a lot of pride on our home ice and we can’t let that happen again.”
Cornell (7-1, 5-1 ECAC) gets a quick chance to put the loss in the rearview mirror and will look to bounce back Tuesday in a non-conference pre-Thanksgiving matchup with Niagara (6-3-1, 5-1-1) that precedes the Madison Square Garden tilt with Boston University the following Saturday, Nov. 25.
“We still have a lot of games left and we should definitely have confidence going forward,” sophomore defenseman Yanni Kaldis added after the Clarkson loss. “It’s our first loss of the year, it’s not the end of the world, and we have to have our best game of the year on Tuesday.”
The Purple Eagles, owners of six wins, have already outdone their five-win 2016-17 performance. Under first-year head coach Jason Lammers, the team is led offensively by junior forward Tanner Lomsnes’ eight goals.
Niagara is not a new non-conference foe for the Red. The teams have played 17 times, and Cornell holds a commanding 15-2 series edge.
Cornell’s special teams — dominant in its 7-0 start — faltered in the loss to Clarkson, allowing two power play goals and going 0-for-7 with the man advantage.
“Our power play was awful,” Schafer said after the loss. “Both groups just didn’t play with the poise they needed to play with.”
“We learn from this but we still have to have confidence in our power play going forward,” said Kaldis, a blueline anchor of the Red’s primary man-advantage unit.
The Red and Purple Eagles face off at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Lynah Rink.