Freshman Tristan Mullin picked a good time for his second collegiate goal. He then picked an even better time for his third.
Two goals by the rookie powered Cornell (22-3-2, 16-2-2 ECAC) to a 3-2 Senior Night win over Yale (14-12-1, 9-10-1) on Saturday.
Mullin’s second tally of the contest came with just 1:47 remaining in the game. Sophomore defenseman Yanni Kaldis took a shot from the point that ricocheted off the end boards, and Mullin corralled a quick pass from senior forward Dwyer Tschantz before sending a shot over the shoulder of Yale goaltender Corbin Kaczperski.
“I just had to get around the net and get gritty,” Mullin said. “It was a lot of relief to get that goal.”
— Cornell On ILN (@CornellOnILN) February 18, 2018
The comeback victory gives the Red its first undefeated slate of Ivy League games since 1996.
In addition to the game-winner, timely goals throughout the night were a welcome sight for Cornell, whose offense had fallen victim to a tough slump entering the contest, scoring just four goals in the team’s last four games.
“That was a fun hockey game to play in,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86. “The effort and competing level that we had for 60 minutes was outstanding.”
As a whole, the matchup was a fast-paced affair, marked by 11 total power play opportunities. Yale, entering the game with the country’s worst power play unit, scored both of its goals on the man advantage. Mullin’s first goal, which tied the game 1-1, also came on the power play.
After a scoreless first period, the Bulldogs, entering the contest riding a five-game winning streak, took a 1-0 lead in the second as sophomore forward Jeff Malott served his second game misconduct penalty in as many games.
“We weren’t that disciplined,” Schafer said. “[In the] first period, we took a [penalty on the] power play. We took another undisciplined one in the second period.”
The Red was able to tie the game on a power play when Mullin tipped in a shot from freshman Brenden Locke with 1:51 left in the middle frame.
While Yale was able to respond with a quick tally in the third, senior Jared Fiegl scored his fourth goal of the month to ensure the lead didn’t last much longer than the intermission.
“Sitting on the bench before that play, I noticed that when the defense would roll there was an open lane to the net,” Fiegl said. “I figured just throw something to the net, you’ll never know what will happen. It just happened to go in. I was lucky to have big Dwyer Tschantz around there screening the goalie. It’s impossible to see the puck around that guy.”
Mullin put the final touches on his clutch performance when he buried his second tally of the night with just 1:47 left in the game.
Freshman goaltender Matt Galajda made 30 saves to hold on for the win.
The Red emerged victorious despite missing arguably its two best defensemen. Junior Brendan Smith was out again with an injury, and classmate Alec McCrea was inactive after getting hurt in Friday’s win over Brown. Senior captain Alex Rauter moved from his usual forward spot to the depleted blue line for Saturday’s contest.
“Alex had to move back and play on defense, and Senior Night that’s kind of fitting for him that he had to sacrifice playing forward to go back and help his team playing on defense,” Schafer said.
With victories in its final two regular season home games this weekend, the Red will travel to RPI and Union for its final two games before it enjoys its first-round playoff bye.