Aaron Snyder/Sun Sports Editor

Dalton Bancroft was one of three skaters who scored two goals for Cornell.

February 4, 2023

Cornell Hits Double Digits in Dominant Win

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This story has been updated.

On Friday night, men’s hockey relied on its defensemen to defeat RPI by two goals. On Saturday, Cornell received production throughout the lineup in a dominant 10-1 win over Union.

Seven skaters scored, 13 registered points, and nine had multiple points as Cornell (15-7-1, 12-4 ECAC) completed a six-point weekend.

“Everyone was pitching in on the score sheet tonight,” said freshman forward Dalton Bancroft. It’s nice that everyone was able to get a touch, everyone was having a lot of fun tonight.”

The offensive onslaught was led by two goals apiece from freshman forwards Bancroft and Nick DeSantis as well as senior defenseman Sam Malinski. 

Six of the Red’s 10 goals were scored in the first period, including four in a span of 54 seconds.

The Red controlled play from the start, firing the game’s first shots and eventually getting the game’s first power play when Union’s Chaz Smedsrud went off for hooking. Just 12 seconds into the power play and 2:42 into the game, senior forward Jack Malone tipped a Gabriel Seger cross-crease pass past Union goaltender Connor Murphy.

Not long after Cornell’s first goal, Nick Young laid a high hit on Malone. Nothing was originally called on the play, but Malone alerted head coach Mike Schafer ’86 that he thought the play might warrant a penalty. Schafer challenged, and after a lengthy review the Red was awarded a five-minute major power play.

“It’s one of the few challenges that worked for us this year,” Schafer said. “We just talked to our guys about whatever happens, happens. You never know with the camera angle or whether they caught it on video.”

Senior forward Max Andreev started off a productive few minutes by scoring on a quick wrist shot off a pass from Seger.

The Red continued to sustain offensive pressure, with a nice passing play that ended up in the back of the net. Bancroft got a stick on Andreev’s pass into the slot, and the puck trickled slowly into the Union net.

11 seconds after Bancroft’s goal, sophomore forward Ondrej Psenicka joined the rush down the ice, received a quick pass and wristed the puck over the glove of Murphy. Freshman forward Nick DeSantis followed up with a goal of his own another 11 seconds later.

“On the power play, before you know it, it’s two, three, four. It just escalated for us,” Schafer said. “Our guys did a good job throughout the course of the night and always stayed disciplined.”

The series of goals on the all-you-can-eat power play put the Red in firm control of the game.

“I think [Friday’s] game we had a little bit of a tougher time on the power play, we couldn’t really get things set up,” Bancroft said. “We watched a lot of video today. The main thing on the power play is if you out work the other team you’re gonna get your chances and we did that tonight and we were able to capitalize.”

The Red’s power play expired, but Cornell was not done. Bancroft notched his second of the night at even strength, chasing Murphy from the game and prompting Union to use its timeout.

Just over 12 minutes into the game, Cornell led 6-0.

With an all but insurmountable lead, the Red focused on staying disciplined to finish the game while also respecting its opponent. Cornell mixed up its power play lines and gave playing time to new faces, including freshman defenseman Jack O’Brien who made his collegiate debut after dressing but not playing on Friday.

“Every hockey player has been in that kind of game. There’s kind of a code. You don’t play your power play, you don’t go for big hits,” Schafer said. “It rarely happens where you get that kind of a lead, but in that situation you just want to play simple hockey.”

Union notched its lone goal of the night on a power play in the second period, but Malinski and Penney each scored to give Cornell an 8-1 lead heading into the third.

Malinski and DeSantis each scored their second goals of the game in the third period, and Cornell closed out a 10-1 victory.

Malinski’s two goals extended his scoring streak to four games and put him in a tie with Bancroft for the most goals on the team at 8.

“I did a ton of work on shooting over the past summer and I guess that helped, but it’s not necessarily something I predicted,” Malinski said.

The Red will look to build on the momentum from the lopsided win in its home-and-home series with Colgate next weekend.