Julia Nagel/Sun Photography Editor

Sean Donaldson scored his first collegiate goal, but Cornell fell, 4-2, on the second night of its series at Minnesota Duluth.

October 29, 2022

Men’s Hockey Swept by Minnesota Duluth

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Men’s hockey could not avoid a road sweep on Saturday night, as it fell, 4-2, to Minnesota Duluth.

On Friday night, Cornell (0-2) responded to each of Duluth (3-4)’s first two goals, but ran out of time to answer the Bulldog’s late third period goal. On Saturday, the Red was quick to bounce back after conceding the first goal of the night, but could not keep pace with the Bulldogs for the rest of the game.

The Bulldogs struck first for the second night in a row. Just over five minutes into the first period, a long pass from Duluth’s defensive zone sent Dominic James on a breakaway. James beat freshman goaltender Remington Keopple cleanly to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.

Keopple made his collegiate debut after sophomore goaltender Ian Shane got the start on Friday night. It was a tough night for Keopple, who finished with 11 saves on 15 shots before being pulled for Shane after the second period. Duluth used breakaways and power plays to beat Cornell’s young netminder.

UMD’s early lead did not last long. Less than a minute after Duluth scored, Cornell got on the board. Freshman forward Sean Donaldson cut from the outer hash marks to the net and snuck a shot around UMD’s Zach Stejskal to even the game at 1-1.

Duluth broke the tie just past the halfway point of the first period. Wyatt Kaiser, who scored for the Bulldogs on Friday night, cut to the net and took a shot that hit Donaldson’s skate in the crease and found its way into the net.

Duluth took its 2-1 lead into the second period after Cornell killed a cross-checking penalty on senior forward Matt Stienburg and an interference call on senior defenseman Sam Malinski negated a Cornell power play.

Cornell had a strong second period but came away with nothing to show for plenty of high quality chances. Stejskal made a few excellent saves to preserve UMD’s lead, and the one time the Red caught Stejskal out of position, senior forward Jack Malone hit the post on an open look at the left side of the net. 

Instead, it was Duluth that pulled ahead in the second period. In the waning seconds of a Cornell power play, Duluth blocked a shot that bounced out of the zone and set the Bulldogs up with a two-on-one on the other end. The Bulldogs converted on the breakaway opportunity to extend their lead to 3-1 with seven and half minutes left in the second period.

Cornell had a few opportunities to cut into the deficit on a power play a minute later, but a series of rebounds and saves by Stejskal prevented the Red from converting.

With less than a minute to go in the period, senior forward Max Andreev was sent to the box for a rarely called faceoff violation penalty. UMD made the most of the good break, scoring on the power play after Keopple allowed a rebound to the slot with a second to go in the period.

With Shane in the net, Cornell got to work trying to chip away at a 4-1 deficit at the start of the third period. The sophomore goaltender stopped all nine shots that he saw.

The first piece of the comeback effort came with 17:30 left in the game. Sophomore defenseman Michael Suda fired a shot from the point after a clean faceoff win by the Red. Senior forward Ben Berard tipped the shot at the inner hash mark and it got past Stejskal to cut Duluth’s lead to 4-2.

The early third period goal was as close as Cornell would bring it. The Red went on three power plays, including a brief five-on-three, but was unable to even things up.

The loss completed a disappointing opening weekend for the Red. Both games were competitive, but the late goal on Friday night and the breakaways in the second game proved costly. Cornell finished the weekend 0-10 on the power play.

Cornell will start ECAC play next weekend on the road against Princeton and No. 7 Quinnipiac.