No. 12 Cornell men’s hockey (2-0-0, 0-0 ECAC) completed its weekend sweep of the No. 11 University of Minnesota Duluth (3-2-2, 0-0 NCHC) on Saturday, Oct. 28 at Lynah Rink with a 3-0 shutout win. Junior goaltender Ian Shane and Cornell defensemen were integral in keeping the Bulldogs from finding the back of the net, with the team combining for a total of 20 blocked shots compared to Duluth’s total of three.
Earning its first loss of the season at the hands of the Red on Friday, the Bulldogs came out with something to prove, controlling the puck right off the initial faceoff and playing predominantly in the Red defensive zone. Both teams alternated control, playing with a higher level of physicality.
“We knew that they were gonna have a big push coming out, I thought we just got off to a little bit of a slow start, didn’t do the things we did last night [right away],” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86.
Just under halfway through the first, Duluth had an opportunity to open the scoring as senior forward Gabriel Seger was called for goaltender interference, giving the Bulldogs the man advantage. Ranked second in the nation with a 0.429 power play conversion rate, Duluth did not make it easy for the Red to kill off the penalty. Junior goaltender Ian Shane and penalty killers stood strong, blocking the flurry of shot attempts by the Bulldogs, keeping them off the scoreboard as time ran out on the Seger penalty. Junior forward Kyle Penney had a great shorthanded chance that was just deflected to the right.
Cornell had a chance on the power play when Duluth’s Jack Smith went to the box for interference. However, the Red had very few chances and was unable to convert.
Despite the physical play and puck possession of both teams, shots on goal were limited, with the first period concluding with Cornell outshooting the Bulldogs, 3-1.
The second period saw an offensive surge by both teams, but especially for Duluth with four shot attempts in the beginning four minutes. Unable to find the back of the net, possession alternated back and forth, and it was the Red who struck first.
A slick pass from sophomore forward Dalton Bancroft found Penney right in the crease, who tipped it right past Duluth goaltender Matthew Thiessen to give Cornell the 1-0 lead.
Just under two minutes later, Seger put one past Thiessen to double the Red’s tally. With back-to-back goals, momentum favored the Red who maintained possession and continued to keep the puck in the Bulldogs’ defensive zone.
Frustrations became evident for the Bulldogs, who in desperation to get on the board, took a shot after winning the faceoff in the Cornell defensive zone, only to have it covered up by Shane. A scrum quickly ensued in the crease and Duluth’s Quinn Olson went to the box on a cross-checking call, giving the Red a chance to further cement its lead on the power play.
On the man-advantage, Seger found the back of the net for his second of the night, giving Cornell a commanding 3-0 lead.
Duluth had another chance to prove its skill on the power play after freshman defenseman Hoyt Stanley went to the box on an interference call. However, they were once again unable to convert as Shane stood strong, with three back-to-back pad saves to keep the Bulldogs’ off the scoreboard.
“The powerplay and special teams rose to the occasion this weekend,” Schafer said. “We only gave up one power play goal this weekend and the power play got it done on [Friday] night and [had] a big goal to make it 3-0.”
The final two minutes of the second frame found the Bulldogs’ in desperation mode once again, dominating offensive zone time forcing Cornell defensemen to get down and make some critical blocks as time winded down. The second period concluded with an even 10 shots on goal by each team.
Both teams came out of the gate for the final period strong, going back and forth offensively. Each team had some good looks, forcing Thiessen and Shane to make critical saves, including a great shot by freshman forward Luke Devlin on a breakaway that was deflected just wide.
Seger, with a chance for a hat-trick, had a nice opportunity to tack on to the Cornell lead, but it was just stopped by Thiessen. Another scrum ensued, with Seger and Duluth’s Owen Gallatin ending up in the box for cross-checking and roughing calls, respectively, allowing for two minutes of four-on-four play.
Just after time expired on both penalties, Cornell headed to the power play after Duluth’s Joey Pierce was called for holding. Despite some good looks, the Red was unable to cash in on the man-advantage.
With just under three minutes remaining, Bancroft was assessed a major penalty after an interference call which resulted in a game misconduct for the forward.
On the power play for the remainder of the game, the Bulldogs’ opted to pull its goalie for another attacker, giving Duluth the six-on-four advantage for the rest of the night. Shane and the rest of the penalty killers stood strong until time ran out, securing the shutout victory.
“We had 18 blocked shots before we entered the third period,” Schafer said. “The guys are doing a tremendous job of just sticking with it in the third and even on the six-on-four, it gets in other team’s heads when guys get down and block shots like that …if you’re gonna be successful, you gotta have that kind of effort.”
It was the ninth-career shutout of Shane’s collegiate career.
“I thought Ian did a good job controlling rebounds, jumping on them and so it was [overall] a good team effort.”