Coming off a third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, Cornell men’s hockey — armed with a nine-member freshman class and a more experienced junior core — will drop the puck on its 2019-20 season the first weekend in November.
Here’s an early look at the team’s 29-game schedule, which includes a Red Hot Hockey clash with Boston University, non-league games against Michigan State and Northern Michigan and a January trip to Las Vegas for the Fortress Invitational:
*Home games in bold; road games in italics
Oct. 18: Red/White Game
Oct. 20: Nipissing University (exhibition)
Oct. 26: U.S. NDTP Under-18 Team (exhibition)
Nov. 1-2: at Michigan State
After hosting the Spartans at Lynah Rink on last season’s opening weekend, the Red heads to East Lansing to kick off 2019-20 against the Big Ten opponent. Cornell will hope to get off to a faster start than it did in 2018, when it dropped two straight games to Michigan State to start the season.
Nov. 8-9: Brown, Yale
The Red starts Ivy League and ECAC play with the Bears and Bulldogs, two teams it beat at home early last season en route to an Ivy League championship. Cornell last met Brown in the ECAC semifinals at Lake Placid, where it beat down on the Bears to earn a spot in the conference championship game.
Nov. 15-16: at Clarkson, at St. Lawrence
Cornell will get the notoriously tough North Country road trip out of the way early this season, heading to Potsdam and Canton for the second weekend of ECAC games. The Saints, led by new coach Brent Brekke — most recently an assistant at Clarkson and previously an assistant at Cornell under Mike Schafer ’86 — will be looking to improve upon its last-place finish last season. Against Casey Jones ’90 and Clarkson, the Red will hope to avenge a heartbreaking and controversial overtime loss in last season’s ECAC championship game.
Nov. 22-23: Quinnipiac, Princeton
The Red hosts new-ish rival Quinnipiac and Ivy League foe Princeton in its final home games of the fall semester. The Bobcats reestablished themselves as a national power last season, finishing in a tie with Cornell atop the ECAC regular season standings. The Tigers, meanwhile, will look to reverse their ninth-place finish after winning the conference tournament two years ago.
Nov. 30: Red Hot Hockey vs. B.U. at Madison Square Garden
Cornell takes on its oldest rival at the world’s most famous arena. Last season, Cornell turned in a “lifeless” performance in New York City against Harvard.
Dec. 6-7: at Harvard, at Dartmouth
Last season’s gritty win at Harvard proved to be a turning point in what, up to that point, had been a shaky season. Cornell faces the hated Crimson at “Lynah East” in early December again this season before hosting Harvard and Dartmouth in late January.
Jan. 3-4: Fortress Invitational in Las Vegas
In its first ever trip to the Las Vegas tournament, Cornell will take on Ohio State on Friday and will face either Army or Providence on Saturday. The Vegas Golden Knights, the NHL’s newest franchise, is hosting the event. Cornell, Ohio State and Providence all reached the NCAA Tournament last season; the Red’s season ended at the hands of the Friars, who beat Cornell in the national quarterfinals to reach the Frozen Four.
Jan. 10-11: at Rensselaer, at Union
The Red gets second-half ECAC play started with a trip to the Capital Region, where it will take on Rensselaer and Union, the latter of whom Cornell beat in last season’s best-of-three league quarterfinals. The Dutchmen took game one before Cornell won games two and three to punch its ticket to Lake Placid.
Jan. 17-18: Northern Michigan
Cornell earned a pair of road wins against Northern Michigan last November and will welcome the Wildcats to Lynah for a weekend series for the first home games of 2020.
Jan. 24-25: Dartmouth, Harvard
Jan. 31-Feb. 1: at Quinnipiac, at Princeton
Feb. 7-8: Colgate, at Colgate
Cornell’s annual home-and-home with its crosstown rival will take place in early February. After winning on the road last season, freshman Raider goaltender Mitch Benson stole one from the Red in Ithaca, ending an eight-game Cornell unbeaten streak.
Feb. 14-15: Union, Rensselaer
Feb. 21-22: at Yale, at Brown
Feb. 28-29: St. Lawrence, Clarkson
Cornell’s regular season ends with home matchups against its North Country rivals and Schafer’s friends Brekke and Jones. The Red’s Senior Night game against Clarkson will be the teams’ second meeting since last year’s ECAC championship game.