This story has been updated.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Men’s hockey won its 25th Ivy League title after it defeated Yale, 5-1, on Saturday night.
“It means a lot,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86. “We talked about it – if we want this we gotta go on the road and earn it. We gotta go win an Ivy League championship, and it’s gonna be tough.”
The commanding win will send Cornell into a bye week on a high note after a dominant weekend. Cornell scored five goals for the second night in a row.
After recording a shutout on Friday, sophomore goaltender Ian Shane made 21 saves on Saturday, including two important stops on breakaways in the first period.
“I thought that was the difference in the game,” Schafer said. “He’s been doing that for us, he did it last night with a huge save to keep us in it.”
Freshman forward Winter Wallace scored the first goal of the game from right in front of the crease off a pass from freshman forward Nick DeSantis a few seconds after a Cornell power play expired.
It was another strong first period for Cornell in terms of possession. The Red outshot Yale 14-6 and won 11 out of 18 faceoffs in the opening frame.
“Not much was going in for us early on,” Schafer said.
Things started to open up in the second period. Two-and-a-half minutes into the period, junior forward Kyle Penney came up with a turnover on the forecheck and launched a backhand from the high-slot past Yale’s Connor Hopkins and into the back of the net. Hopkins entered the night with a .808 SV% but got the start for the Bulldogs on his senior night.
“I walked off the wall and let it rip with my backhand,” Penney said. “Luckily it went in.”
Despite Hopkins’ low numbers, Cornell stayed disciplined and waited for quality chances in the offensive zone.
“That was a big key of ours tonight, staying patient and sticking with our process,” Penney said.
Three minutes after his goal, Penney made a nice play to reach up and grab the puck to keep it in the zone and found sophomore forward Jack O’Leary open in front of the net. O’Leary converted to put Cornell up 3-0.
“Kind of picked up a loose puck and heard O’Leary calling for it back door,” Penney said. “I sent it over there and he finished it off.”
Freshman forward Nick DeSantis scored his ninth goal of the year early in the third period to give the Red a 4-0 lead.
“That’s been the story for us all year. We’ve been getting contributions from everybody,” Schafer said. “It was awesome to see.”
Cole Donhauser put Yale on the board midway through the third period to end Shane’s shutout bid.
Senior forward Ben Berard regained Cornell’s four goal lead with just over six minutes left in the third period with his team-high tenth goal of the season.
Cornell’s two victories on the weekend and out of town results have put the Red back into position for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Cornell will return to action on March 10 when it hosts an ECAC quarterfinals series. The Red will have to wait until next weekend to learn who its opponent will be.
“It doesn’t make a difference who we play at home, the games are gonna be tough,” Schafer said. “Whoever we play, it’s gonna be tough.”