forward Matt Moulson is Cornell's leading scorer through
19 games with 13 goals and 13 assists.
You rarely know what to expect in the ECAC
Hockey League. There are very few flagship programs such
as Boston College, North Dakota, Michigan or Minnesota to
hold ground among the nation’s elite on an annual
Harvard has been in the NCAAs for four straight
years, but that’s not the program that has been the
standard bearer for the ECACHL. Cornell was the last ECACHL
team to make a Frozen Four (2003), have a Hobey Baker Hat
Trick Finalist (Dave McKee, 2005) and hold a No. 1 ranking
(2005). Four of the last six ECACHL regular season and playoff
trophies awarded reside in Big Red trophy cases.
A quick glance at Cornell shows that not much
has changed. The Big Red is ranked in the top 10 with a
13-4-2 record, are in the hunt for another ECACHL regular
season title (two points behind Colgate) and are eighth
in the nation in scoring defense by allowing just 2.11 goals
Cornell is winning games the way they’ve
done it for the last five years. Timely goals, detail-oriented
defense and sound goaltending has carried the Big Red all
year. Momentum from one hard hit or one solid shift builds
when Cornell is playing well. So what better time than the
present to start building momentum for the playoffs?
The Big Red started a five-game home stand
with big wins over St. Lawrence and Clarkson. Yale and Brown
visit this weekend and that could set up a first place showdown
with Colgate on Feb. 3-4.
The weekend sweep of St. Lawrence and Clarkson
started with a board-banging display as Cornell players
punished the Saints (in first place at the time) during
the opening shifts. Hulking winger Ray Sawada did his part
with two big hits to set the tone.
“I think our team is playing really
well in the first five minutes of every game. Everybody
is coming out, everybody’s hitting and we just try
to gain momentum right from the start which carries on,”
The one thing that might plague this edition
of Cornell is perception. They’re not as good as last
year’s top-ranked squad, nor the Frozen Four team
When head coach Mike Schafer and a group of
hockey players give the devoted Lynah Faithful so much to
appreciate, even the smallest errors stand out. Occasional
defensive miscues, an average power play and some soft goals
allowed by McKee have all caused some concern. But the end
result is that Cornell is in excellent shape to make some
noise in the postseason.
Looking at potential and possibility isn’t
how things are done around the Cornell hockey program. Even
a hint that a mid-January victory could give his team a
boost was rejected by Schafer.
“It’s momentum only if we win
the next five,” he said.
Taking one game at a time is a reasonable
approach, but with momentum on its side, Cornell takes things
one after another, and they have the look that they’re
ready to do it again.
Great Weekend Getaway
Lawrence at Clarkson (Fri.)
Clarkson at St. Lawrence (Sat.) Clarkson’s last win was an impressive
6-2 win over the Saints in Ottawa on Jan. 7. That’s
the good news. Their last ECACHL win was on Thanksgiving
Weekend against Harvard, and the Golden Knights have
lost four straight. That’s the bad news.
St. Lawrence can tell a similar story. The good news
comes from wins over Wisconsin, Vermont, and New Hampshire
and a hold on first place in the league. The bad news
is that it’s a former grip on first place after
being swept by Cornell and Colgate last weekend.
While You’re There: Sellouts are guaranteed
at Cheel and Appleton this weekend as the North Country
rivalry brings out the best in the fans and the teams.
Wear some elbow pads on Saturday. It will help you
fight for space in the cozy bleachers at Appleton
it going Yale? Quite well, I’m sure. With zero
losses in their last seven league games,
the Bulldogs are tied for fifth place with a 6-6-1
league mark. Yale is 6-2-2 since Dec. 1 with the only
losses coming to New Hampshire and Nebraska-Omaha..
keeps finding ways to lose in the last minute.
A recent loss to UNH featured a penalty shot opportunity
for the Wildcats. On Saturday, Dartmouth went on the
power play with 1:55 remaining in a tie game. Wouldn’t
you know it? A Big Green giveaway in front of its
own net was cashed in by Holy Cross’s James
Sixsmith for the game-winning short-handed goal with
just 28 seconds left.
• Building progress continues on the
new athletic complex at Quinnipiac. The university chose
to celebrate the placing of the last steel beam of the facility
with a ceremony on Wednesday. The first hockey game in the
new facility is scheduled for Jan. 13, 2007 against Yale.
More details are provided by the New
• Yale’s 5-0
victory over Rensselaer ended two streaks for the Engineers.
RPI scored at least one power-play goal in 10 straight games
before the blanking by Yale, and had killed off 20 consecutive
penalties before the Bulldogs' Jeff Hristovski scored a
power-play goal in the second period.
• T.J. Fox
is Union’s leading scorer and has increased his production
since the Dutchmen lost Josh Coyle. Fox has 11 points in
the last eight games and has recorded multiple points in
five of those eight games.
• Brown has
played seven overtime games already this season. Five of
Brown’s last seven games have been stretched past
60 minutes. The Bears have yet to win an overtime game,
with five ties and two losses ...
• ... Like
Brown, Colgate has also played seven OT games, but has a
returns to the ice and faces Rensselaer on Friday –
20 days after the Crimson’s last game – against
Rensselaer on Jan. 7.
Mark Agnew found his scoring touch against RIT. The sophomore
scored three goals during the two-game set at RIT’s
Ritter Arena. Agnew managed just one goal in his first 36
games for the Bobcats.
• The Daily
Princetonian features background stories on the
unique paths that Grant Goeckner-Zoeller, Kyle Hagel, and
Will Harvey took to campus.
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report.