In its last home weekend of the season, Cornell men’s hockey will welcome Rensselaer and Union to Lynah Rink. Following a subpar weekend in New Haven and Providence, the Red will look to finish strong at home.
How to watch or listen:
The Red will host RPI on Friday and Union on Saturday, both at 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 and online.
Series with the Engineers:
While Cornell owns a 63-37-11 all-time series lead over RPI, Rensselaer has been causing problems for the Red recently, starting when the Engineers took down then-No.1 Cornell last year. Earlier this month, RPI tied the Red behind freshman goalie Owen Savory, whose 40-save showing kept the score even at 1.
Series with the Dutchmen:
Cornell’s 40-21-9 all-time record against Union has become even more dominant recently, as the Red has gone 6-1-1 against the Dutchmen in the teams’ last eight meetings. In their last matchup, Cornell shut out Union, 4-0.
Cornell last time out:
In its final two Ivy matchups of the season, the Red tied with Brown and lost to Yale, both on the road. In Friday’s game at Brown, Cornell was up 3-0 in the third period when the Bears came back to score three unanswered goals in the span of 53 seconds. The final score was 3-3.
The 5-2 loss at Yale on Saturday marked the team’s first loss in regulation play since November. The Red trailed 3-0 early in the game and tried to come back twice, but Yale kept Cornell at bay and answered with two goals of its own. During the loss, sophomore goaltender Matt Galajda was pulled and then reinserted after fellow sophomore Austin McGrath allowed another goal.
Rensselaer last time out:
The Engineers played two strong games last weekend, one resulting in a 6-2 victory over Princeton and the other in a hard-fought 2-1 loss against No. 6/5 Quinnipiac.
Union last time out:
Union tied Quinnipiac 1-1 last Friday and beat Princeton 3-2 on Saturday.
Scouting the Engineers:
RPI (9-18-3, 6-10-2 ECAC) got off to a rough start this season but has since improved and is playing at just above .500 in its last 12 games. The change has stemmed from the three transfers that RPI got mid-season — two forwards and a defenseman — and freshman goaltender Owen Savory coming forward as a skilled backstop. Savory is fourth in the nation in save percentage.
Scouting the Dutchmen:
Union (15-9-6, 8-8-2 ECAC) has found more success playing out-of-conference this season, defeating high-quality teams like No. 1 St. Cloud State. But ECAC play has provided some challenges to the Schenectady squad, which did manage to claim three of the four available points against conference teams last weekend.
Sophomore forward Liam Morgan, who has a plus-12 rating, is the Dutchmen’s leading scorer after netting his second goal against Princeton with under 15 seconds left in last Saturday’s game.
Cornell beats Rensselaer if:
… the forwards keep pressure on the freshman Savory. The Red’s biggest issue come Friday will be getting past the young goalie — being assertive on its home ice will be key to Cornell’s victory.
Cornell beats Union if:
… as freshman defenseman Joe Leahy puts it, the defense can “step up” and sustain its dominance as waves of injuries continue to plague Cornell’s blue line. With sophomore defender Cody Haiskanen’s season over, other players need to pick up the slack and take on larger roles to fill the holes that have been left.
What they’re saying in Ithaca:
Senior forward and captain Mitch Vanderlaan on extra playing time and seeing RPI again: “I think guys have done a good job taking on the extra minutes and extra responsibilities … things weren’t going our way [the last time we played Rensselaer] so it would be nice to get that one back, especially at home.”
What they’re saying in Troy:
Savory on last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Quinnipiac: “It’s tough to swallow for everyone. The last week has been an unbelievable effort by everybody in our locker room and that is what we made sure to remember tonight. We’re a positive group in there and we’re not getting down.”
What they’re saying in Schenectady:
Senior forward and captain Cole Maier on playing at Colgate and Cornell: “It’s never easy going to either of those places.”
Head coach Rick Bennett on hopes for the Dutchmen as the season draws to a close: “We are not looking for eighth place. We are not celebrating eighth. We are shooting for fifth. There are still a lot of points left.”
It is unclear who among the lineup will be healthy to play this weekend: Haiskanen is out until next season with an arm laceration and freshman forward Max Andreev remains absent with his broken collarbone. Sophomore forward Cam Donaldson is day-to-day with a nagging shoulder ailment.
This Saturday’s senior night will conclude with the Red’s five graduating members taking laps around Lynah to commemorate their final regular-season home game.