Cornell has gone 13 straight games without losing in regulation — that’s since November. This weekend, the Red looks to continue this trend and pick up a couple more wins over Ivy rivals Brown and Yale.
How to watch or listen:
The Red will play at Brown on Friday and at Yale on Saturday. Gametime both nights is slated for 7 p.m. Both games will be available on ESPN+ (subscription needed, international stream here). Radio in Ithaca on WHCU 97.7 FM/870 AM. Updates available on Twitter via @DailySunSports.
Series with the Bears:
Not only does the Red lead the series all-time against Brown, 79-43-7, but Mike Schafer ’86 owns a stellar record of 37-7-5 over the Bears as the Cornell head coach. The Red most recently added a win to this record in their last game against Brown in November, with a final score of 3-2.
Series with the Bulldogs:
The Red also claims the majority of the victories in the all-time series against Yale, with a record of 85-60-8; Cornell beat the Bulldogs 4-2 back in November. Playing at Yale, however, has proven tricky for the Red as of late: it’s gone 1-0-2 in its last three matches at Ingalls Rink.
Cornell last time out:
Cornell annihilated then-top-10 nationally ranked Clarkson at Lynah last Friday, 5-0 — a welcome sight to all that might have been wondering whether the Red was ready for this last leg of the season. The next night, Cornell put St. Lawrence away neatly, 3-1. Sophomore goaltender Matt Galajda has had three shutouts in his last six starts.
Brown last time out:
Brown has come back from a rough start to the season and won eight of its last 11 — the Bears currently sit at .500. Their most impressive win was their last one, in which they took down No. 5 Quinnipiac, 4-1, on Saturday.
Yale last time out:
Yale allowed eight goals and scored just once in back-to-back losses last weekend against Quinnipiac and Princeton. They continue to cling to a winning record at 11-9-3.
Scouting the Bears:
Brown is hotter right now than it’s been in a long time — the Bears are looking at the possibility of hosting a playoff series for the first time since 2013. There’s a smattering of offensive powers throughout the lineup, with six different players each having scored five or more goals — a statistic shared with Cornell.
The Bears’ regular starting goalie, junior Gavin Nieto, recently went down with an injury and has been replaced by sophomore Luke Kania. On Monday, Kania was named ECAC Goalie of the Week.
Scouting the Bulldogs:
Unlike Brown, Yale has one very specific threat in the form of senior forward Joe Snively, who Schafer calls the best forward in the ECAC. Snively has almost twice as many points as any other Bulldog.
The team struggles with goaltending, however, and switches off between starting senior Sam Tucker and junior Corbin Kaczperski in net.
Cornell beats Brown if:
… they stay level-headed and unintimidated by the Bears’ recent dominance. Brown played its last five on the road, so their homecoming might add some extra fuel to the fire — a fire that the Red needs to douse with precise plays and quality shots.
Cornell beats Yale if:
… it can shut down Snively. Given the Bulldogs’ offensive woes last weekend — and the fact that the Red already beat Yale this season — it is possible to slow down the forward. Cornell isn’t planning on changing its play too much in order to focus on Snively, but he will certainly merit some special attention from the defense.
What they’re saying in Ithaca:
Junior forward Noah Bauld on facing Snively: “You definitely have to respect him … We’re not going to completely change our game plan just to play against Snively, but definitely the biggest thing is just being aware when [he’s] out there and not changing the way you play but just being aware and respecting them.”
What they’re saying in Providence:
Junior goaltender Gavin Nieto on the strength of Brown’s roster: “We’re getting production up and down our lineup — it’s not just one line or a small group of guys that are producing for us … That’s been a big positive for us — that we don’t have to rely on one specific line or a set group of people, we can kind of roll lines and be confident that anyone can go out there and produce for us and help us win games.”
What they’re saying in New Haven:
Junior goaltender Corbin Kaczperski on his struggles in goal: “I really haven’t liked my season so far … I went through a stretch where I got pulled out for two or three starts, and I couldn’t seem to figure out what was wrong. Thankfully for me, I have a really supportive coaching staff that sat down with me and had several talks with me about the mental side of the game and how to get through those tough times.”
Sophomore defenseman Cody Haiskanen is out indefinitely after suffering an arm laceration in the second period of Cornell’s rout of Clarkson on Friday. Haiskanen underwent a surgery that night and a follow-up procedure on Thursday. The team will need a couple of weeks before re-evaluating the injury and determining a timetable for his return.
Sophomore forward Cam Donaldson went down the next night during the win over St. Lawrence. Donaldson suffers from a nagging upper-body injury that also forced him to sit for part of last season. He will not play this weekend.
Freshman forward Max Andreev is still out with a broken clavicle and senior defenseman Brendan Smith remains day-to-day.
Though neither Brown nor Yale is ranked in the USCHO.com hockey rankings, they each received votes this past week, suggesting that, while they may not be Cornell’s strongest foes in the ECAC, these games are big opportunities for the hosts.