Cornell men’s hockey’s decorated sophomore Matt Galajda was today awarded his latest accolade: the title of February ECAC Goaltender of the Month.
Throughout the month, Galajda provided the Red with an invaluable last layer of defense over seven outings while notching two shutouts and allowing a total of 12 goals for a league-leading 1.61 goals against average and putting up a .929 save percentage.
The lone hiccups in the month for Galajda came on the weekend of Feb. 15. Against Brown on that Friday, the netminder conceded three goals in the span of 53 seconds in the third period to tie the game, and the following night against Yale, the sophomore was pulled after his team went down 3-0, before returning to the net when classmate Austin McGrath allowed the Bulldogs their fourth goal.
But as a whole, Galajda provided a steady hand to help Cornell finish with a 4-2-2 record in the month and later a share of the regular season championship.
Galajda’s latest performance at Clarkson showcased his aptitude at backstop, even if the game didn’t end the way the team had intended. Throughout a first period in which the rest of the Red’s performance was subpar, Galajda made save after save to hold the deficit to one. Ultimately, the game resulted in a 2-2 tie on a goal in the last minute that Galajda had no chance at stopping.
“Matty was great,” senior defenseman and alternate captain Matt Nuttle said after the game. “We probably should’ve been down two or three nothing at the end of the first period.”
In that first period, Clarkson had 14 shots on goal as compared to Cornell’s three. By the game’s end, Galajda had made 33 saves — his season high.
“[He] kept us in the game,” said freshman forward Mike Regush.
Some of Galajda’s previous honors include All-American status from last year, first freshman ever to be named a Hobey Baker finalist, Ivy League Player of the Year amid a slew of other weekly honors.
With the Red having a bye this weekend, Galajda will next take the ice March 15 at Lynah against an opponent to be determined.