Jason Wu/Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Cornell huddles before puck drop at The Frozen Apple at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 26, 2022.

November 24, 2023

PREVIEW: Men’s Hockey Looks to Snap Three-Game Skid When It Returns to MSG

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No. 16 men’s hockey (4-3-1, 2-3-1 ECAC) will look to snap its losing streak when it faces No. 5 Boston University (9-3-1, 5-1-1 Hockey East) on Saturday at Madison Square Garden for the biennial Red Hot Hockey matchup. The winner will take home the coveted Kelley-Harkness Cup.

It’s been a rough stretch for the Red, who have slipped to 4-3-1 on the season after beginning the season 4-0. The Terriers, however, will arrive in the Big Apple on a five game winning streak, including a 3-2 win over No. 3 Quinnipiac and two wins over No. 10 Maine. 

BU will be the first top-five ranked opponent that the Red face this season. Cornell tends to favor well in these tough contests, going an impressive 8-1-1 in its last 10 matchups against teams ranked within the top five, per USCHO.com poll. Further, three of Cornell’s four games against top-five opponents have been shutout victories. All three are credited to junior goaltender Ian Shane, who hasn’t played since getting pulled at the 10:20 mark of the first period on Nov. 17 against Quinnipiac.

Cornell will face a familiar foe in net for the Terriers, as former Brown University goaltender Mathieu Caron transferred to BU to replace star netminder Drew Commesso, who signed a professional contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. The transition between goaltenders hasn’t been easy, as BU’s defense ranks a mediocre 26th in the nation, allowing 2.85 goals per game.

It will be a good out of conference test for the Red against a strong BU team, including standout freshman forward Macklin Celebrini. The highly touted potential first overall pick in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft is tied for first in the country with 22 points, amassing 18 over the past eight games. Sophomore defenseman Lane Hutson, who was named a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award last season, also returned for the Terriers. Hutson scored the game-winning goal in the dying seconds of the third to give the Terriers the 4-3 win over the Red in their only regular season matchup on Jan. 14. 

They met once more in the postseason when Cornell’s chance to make the Frozen Four last spring was cut short at the hands of the Terriers in the regional final where the Red lost 2-1. 

Despite these two matchups, recent history favors the Red at MSG, with Cornell sweeping the last three editions of Red Hot Hockey in 2017, 2019 and 2021. Cornell also holds a 17-8-2 record all-time at MSG, going 6-1-1 in its last eight contests at The World’s Most Famous Arena. The Red’s most recent contest at MSG was a 6-0 domination of then-ranked No. 6 Connecticut.

Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be streamed on ESPN+.