While celebrating Senior Night, the last regular season game of the year, with a 5-2 win over Union, the men’s hockey team also ensured that it will return to Lynah Rink once more this season for a quarterfinal matchup in the ECAC Hockey tournament. With the victory, Cornell is guaranteed a first-round bye in the tournament and no lower than the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament.
On a night to recognize the eight graduating seniors on the Cornell roster, it was rising junior center Riley Nash who put on an offensive show. He racked up two goals and two assists and seemed to be at the center of most of the Red’s chances on offense.
After being picked 21st overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2007 NHL entry draft, rising junior Riley Nash came to Cornell in the face of big expectations. In his rookie season, Nash did not disappoint his coaches, teammates or the Lynah Faithful, as he performed exceptionally well in all aspects of the game.
Nash’s line of 12 goals and 20 points in 36 games in 2007-08 was good enough to earn him several honors and awards, including Ivy League Rookie of the Year and ECAC Hockey Freshman of the Year. Coming into this season, Nash is expected to provide even greater production for the Red.
Riley Nash could not have picked a better time to break his scoring drought. The sophomore center buried his first two goals of the early 2008-09 campaign — helping Cornell edge Harvard, 2-1, in front of 4,267 raucous Cornell supporters Friday night at Lynah Rink. The victory snapped the Crimson’s four-game winning streak in the bitter Ithaca-Cambridge rivalry.
“It’s nice to see Riley score a couple of goals and relieve some of the pressure on him,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86. “There’s no question he was pressing. I think any offensive player takes a lot of pride in wanting to score goals. He’s had his chances and tonight it was nice for him to get us a couple [goals].”
Saturday night, the stands at Lynah Rink filled up to see the men’s hockey team in action for the first time this year, as the Red played to a 3-3 tie against the U.S. National Under-18 Team. The exhibition was the earliest one scheduled by an Ivy League team.
Though the Red offense overmatched Team USA by a mile statistically — holding the shooting edge, 32-16 — the youngsters from across the country still managed to pace the scoring on Saturday. Cornell held the lead for only 31 seconds in the contest.