This weekend, Cornell men’s hockey plays an out-of-conference series with Northern Michigan — 800 miles away on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Of note is Northern’s international-seized ice sheet which Cornell often encounters at the ECAC Championships at Lake Placid. The Red is coming off a pair of wins over Ivy rivals Yale and Brown after dropping the first two games of the season.
How to watch or listen:
You can stream the game with FloHockey (subscription required) or listen to it on the radio in Ithaca on WHCU 97.7 FM/870 AM.
The Red and Wildcats are evenly split, 3-3, in the all-time series, with Cornell emerging victorious in the most recent meeting at the now-defunct Florida College Hockey Classic in 2016.
Cornell last time out:
The Red picked up its first two wins of the season last weekend against the Bulldogs and the Bears. Sophomore goaltender Matt Galajda enjoyed a pair of rebound performances in which he made a combined 39 saves on 43 shots.
Northern Michigan last time out:
This past weekend, the Wildcats split with Bowling Green, which has had a promising start to its season including a victory and a tie against nationally-ranked Ohio State.
Scouting the Wildcats:
Much like Cornell, Northern Michigan posted its first 25-win season in more than a decade last season. Grant Potulny is in his second year as head coach. The Wildcats employ the services of a four-year starting goaltender, Atte Tolvanen, who is fresh off his 10th career shutout against Bowling Green. Offensively, Adam Rockwood posted 40 assists last season and Trey Loggins scored 23 goals.
Cornell wins if…
Special teams can get on track and Galajda continues his upward trend. So far, Cornell is a dismal 3-for-23 on power plays and just 9-for-14 on penalty kills. And while Galajda was solid last weekend, in the opening games against Michigan State, he had trouble staying in the game. If he plays more like he did against Yale and Brown than he did against the Spartans, he’ll be giving Cornell a good chance to win.
What they’re saying in Ithaca:
Head coach Mike Schafer ’86 on Northern Michigan’s start to the season: “Their 3-5 record is kind of deceiving with regard to who they’ve played. They’ve had a real tough start to the season as far as scheduling is concerned.”
Sophomore forward Cam Donaldson on playing on an Olympic ice sheet: “I love playing on Olympic sheet, use my speed, use my shot. It’s always an advantage for me. … I’m really looking forward to it.”
Sophomore defenseman Alex Green will not play this weekend after suffering a head injury in the first period against Yale on Friday. Freshman goalie Nate McDonald is sick, and thus sophomore Austin McGrath will make the trip as the team’s second netminder behind Galajda.
Northern Michigan was picked second in the preseason WCHA poll.