Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor

Despite a dominant start to the tilt, Cornell couldn't pull off a win on Saturday night.

January 11, 2020

No. 2 Men’s Hockey Can’t Overtake Dutchmen, Salvages Point in 3-3 Tie at Union

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This post has been updated.

Saturday night’s final tally of 3-3 kept Cornell men’s hockey from achieving a four-point weekend and delivered a lackluster finale to a suspenseful game against Union.

The tie brought Cornell’s 2020 record to 2-0-2. Clarkson took sole position of the top spot in the ECAC standings with a win over Quinnipiac Saturday night.

“Certain guys I didn’t think brought it tonight for our hockey team,” head coach Mike Schafer ’86 said. “I gotta be able to make some changes when I see that. My instinct says that I gotta trust my gut.”

The Dutchmen (6-15-2, 4-7-1 ECAC), following a controversial call the night before resulting in a loss to Colgate, came out of the gates weak, with Cornell (12-1-2, 8-1-1) dominating throughout the first 10 minutes. Junior forward Tristan Mullin scored four minutes into the game to put the Red up early in what at first looked to be an easy game for the Red.

But after the first half of the first period, Union upped the ante, putting the pressure on Cornell. The Dutchmen answered with a goal of their own 14:45 into the period to knot the game at one exiting the first frame. Union took control of the puck and never allowed Cornell to regain the lead.

Cornell’s offensive edge in the first period culminated in 13 shots on goal as compared to Union’s seven. But Union goaltender Darion Hanson, who ended the game with 31 saves, kept the Dutchmen in the game for all 65 minutes.

The Dutchmen responded to their second chance with a power-play goal in the waning minutes of the second period. Going into the third, Cornell was at a 2-1 deficit.

Cornell’s power-play struggles continued in the tilt, with the Red going 0-2 while Union went 2-3 on the man advantage. All three Cornell penalties were called on freshmen.

Meanwhile, Union’s special teams performed throughout the contest.

“[Union] did a tremendous job,” Schafer said. “Capitalized on their power play and we didn’t do a very good job killing. They did a great job on their penalty kill.”

The Red entered the third frame with a vengeance and sophomore forward Michael Regush notched his sixth goal of the season 1:23 into the period, assisted by Mullin, who ended the night with three points, and freshman defenseman Sebastian Dirven. The point was Dirven’s first of his collegiate career. The score was tied again, this time at 2-2.

When Union went on its next power play, the Dutchmen bombarded Cornell with shot after shot — four were fired in rapid succession before the fifth found its way past Galajda. Union was back on top, but not for long: junior forward Brenden Locke, less than 40 seconds later, sank the equalizer — and the last goal either team would score all night.

“Guys fought back and got the tie after going down twice and did a good job there,” Schafer said. “And, you know, I thought overall, we just made some technical mistakes that we got to correct.”

Overtime came and went without a victor crowned. Both teams saw several opportunities, but the equality of play in the final five minutes prohibited anyone from scoring a fourth goal.

“Playing [11] of our first [15] on the road, it’s been a challenge,” Schafer said.

The Red last played at Lynah on Nov. 23 — before it had lost its first game. The 3-3 result Saturday marks the end of Cornell’s seven week-long road trip.

Cornell will return to East Hill next weekend in a two-game series against Northern Michigan. Gametime Friday is slated for 7 p.m.