game of a first-place showdown between Cornell and Colgate was
exactly what everyone expected it would be. Power-play chances
for both sides provided the best scoring chances. Goaltenders
Dave McKee of Cornell and Steve Silverthorn of Colgate were steady
when faced with challenges.
The end of the game was fitting too. With about a minute and a
half left in the game, on a defensive zone face-off, Cornell defenseman
Jeremy Downs slapped the puck around the boards. Mike Knoepfli
made a safe, patient play to tip the puck to the neutral zone
where Chris Abbott was supporting the play. It set up a two-on-one.
Abbott drew the Colgate defenseman, and slid the puck over for
Mike Iggulden’s shot past Silverthorn.
A patient, methodical, fundamental build-up led to the game-winning
goal that Cornell needed to push its lead in the standings to
three points over the second-place Raiders. You get the feeling
that Cornell likes doing things this way.
“That’s Cornell hockey,” McKee said. “This
is how we want to play, we want to be in these situations. We
thrive on this. We know that we’re a good, physical team
and we can play good defense and get our chances and capitalize.”
Of course, things are always fun when you’re winning, and
Cornell’s doing a lot of winning these days. The Big Red
are 7-0-1 in their last eight games and stand comfortably in first
place, and are chasing a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Cornell games regularly end with scores like 1-0 and 2-1, and
that drives the Big Red players.
“We love it. We love to battle, we love going head-to-head,”
senior forward Mike Iggulden said. “It makes it a lot more
exciting when games are close. We thrive on these close games.
We’d rather have a four-goal lead going into the third but
it really gets you pumped up when games are tight.”
The success in those tight games is a result of excellent goaltending,
defensive responsibility, special teams proficiency, and team
unity. Everyone on the Cornell roster comes to the building with
the same priorities. It builds confidence, because of trust in
teammates. Matt Moulson and Dave McKee get the statistical recognition,
but the fact that a part-time forward or leftover defenseman can
step in and keep things headed in the right direction speaks volumes.
“A strong point of our team is that we have a lot of depth,”
junior center Chris Abbott said. “We roll four lines most
every night and our D, come to play every night. Everyone has
confidence in what everyone else is doing and I think that helps
out a lot.”
The team’s depth will be challenged again as standout freshman
defenseman Sasha Pokulok was injured during the Colgate series
and will likely miss the remainder of the season. That means increased
playing time for Dan Glover or Evan Salmela. Junior defenseman
Jon Gleed is expected to return to the lineup in the near future.
AND HEARD IN THE ECACHL
Learning at the Beanpot: Take it as no surprise
that Harvard was involved in a defensive struggle in their first-round
Beanpot matchup, a 2-1 double-overtime loss to Northeastern. It’s
the type of concentrated defensive effort that the Crimson sees
from most teams in the ECACHL.
“Going into this game we knew it was going to be low-scoring,
and it was very similar to a league game. It was a tough loss,
but we’ll learn from it,” Harvard forward Kevin Du
said, whose goal on Monday was featured as one of SportsCenter’s
As the second and third periods passed, and the score remained
1-1, the game reached a stage where a great play, a mistake, or
a bounce could be the difference. The Fleet Center stands filled
up for the overtime periods. It felt like a playoff game, and
that’s a good feeling to get now before it truly matters
“Anytime you can put yourself in a situation where you’re
under extreme pressure and one goal can decide it, we can learn
a little lesson and take a piece out of this that can help us
down the road,” Harvard coach Ted Donato said.
Get ready for Freakout!: This time of year in
Boston means that college hockey fans are focused on the Beanpot,
and the incredible streak that Boston University has in advancing
to the championship game in 23 of the last 24 years.
This time of year in Troy, N.Y. brings about the annual Big Red
Freakout! at Houston Fieldhouse and the host Rensselaer Engineers
have a success streak that might make BU jealous. The Engineers
are 10-0-4 in the last 14 Freakout! games, and have a 16-7-4 overall
Freakout! record. Brown is RPI’s most common opponent for
the Freakout! and the Engineers have beaten the Bears in all six
Saturday’s game, always a sell-out at Houston Fieldhouse,
will be televised by CSTV. The Engineer faithful will get to turn
the clock back two decades as the 1985 national championship team
will be honored prior to the start of the game.
Great Weekend Getaway
Lawrence at Dartmouth (Fri.)
Clarkson at Dartmouth (Sat.)
These are important games for all three teams as Dartmouth
pursues Vermont for fourth place and the first-round playoff
bye. St. Lawrence and Clarkson look to rack up some more
ECACHL points and get home ice for the first round.
You’re There: It’s Winter Carnival weekend on
Dartmouth’s campus in Hanover, N.H. Opening ceremonies
were held on Thursday with fireworks, a snow sculpture and
other entertainment. This is the 95th carnival.
Full credit goes to Colgate
goaltender Steve Silverthorn. After losing 1-0
to Cornell last Friday, he said, “I let in the goal
that cost us the game.” Let it be noted that the goal
came on a 2-on-1 rush for Cornell that started with a face-off
in Colgate’s offensive zone. He chose not to point
fingers toward team defense or a lack of goal support.
the other end of the spectrum, with no convenient officiating
gripe to rely on, Mike Schafer complained about
ice conditions in his home rink. Here’s what
he told the Ithaca Journal about Colgate’s
second goal in Saturday’s 2-2 tie. "The second
goal, was really, really frustrating. People were probably
wondering what the delay was. As we came out, there was
a lot of water laying around. Our defense got a real bead
on the puck going down (in the Cornell zone). And the puck
hit a patch of water and stops and causes a turnover."
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
• Clarkson is now on a three-game winning streak.
The last time the Golden Knights had a four-game winning streak
in the regular season came during the 2001-02 season. Dustin Traylen
was a big part of Clarkson’s success in last year’s
playoff run and appears to be getting hot again. He’s won
all three games, and stopped 96.7 percent of the shots he’s
• Here’s hoping that everyone can make it to Albany
for the ECACHL Championship game, but if you can’t
be at Pepsi Arena in person, there’s good news
to report as legendary hockey play-by-play man Mike Emrick will
be handling the announcing duties for CSTV, joined by analyst
• Last year, Colgate swept the home-and-home weekend against
Cornell to cement itself at the top of the standings and solidify
its place as a title contender. The Raiders’ mental
approach for this year’s important set with the Big Red
was to not place too much emphasis on the big picture, and just
concentrate on the games.
“There’s a lot of hockey left. We tried to guard against
making this the season and I’m sure that Mike did the same
thing over there,” Colgate coach Don Vaughan said.
• Union got a break from league play and
defeated Holy Cross to snap a seven-game losing streak. Joel Beal
watched most of the second and third periods from the bench before
scoring a crucial power-play goal in the victory. Dutchmen senior
Matt Vagvolgyi, a defenseman for his first three years, has been
moved to the right wing, where he’ll be playing for the
rest of the season.
• Vermont has sold out its last 10 home games
at Gutterson Fieldhouse, and it’s anticipated that the last
four regular-season home games will be sellouts as well. The Gut
holds 4,003 for hockey.
• Yale scored the last four goals of the game,
all in the third period, in a 5-2 win over St. Lawrence.
• Colgate’s Adam Mitchell recorded two assists
against Cornell on Saturday and now has 101 career points, the
43rd Raider to accomplish the feat and the first since Cory Murphy
• More milestones — St. Lawrence
goaltender Mike McKenna will become the all-time leader in games
played at that position for the Saints with his next appearance.
He’s currently tied with Bill Sloan, an All-America goaltender
for the Saints in the 1950s, with 85 career games played.
• Princeton’s tie at St. Lawrence was the
Tigers' first point in the North Country in four years.
of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report.