Cornell's checking line anonymously leads the
Big Red to victory
3, Harvard 1
Cavanagh, D. Murphy
Pegoraro, M. Carefoot
Scott, M. Moulson
Moulson, M. Knoepfli
Dov Grumet-Morris, 58:07, 29 saves, 3 GA
David McKee, 60:00, 17 saves, 1 GA
H 5/10; C 3/6
Plays: H 1-3; C 2-5
David McKee, Cornell
D: Charlie Cook, Cornell (MVP)
D: Joey Mormina, Colgate
F: Matt Moulson, Cornell
F: Kevin Du, Harvard
F: Daniel Pegoraro, Cornell
– Cornell's so-called stars were escorted to the post-game
press conference to meet with the awaiting media. You get to be
a star by scoring goals, or stopping them in Dave McKee's case.
So there they went, Charlie Cook, Paul Varteressian, Shane Hynes,
and McKee with the championship trophy.
Back in the
locker room area, Cornell captain Mike Knoepfli and linemates
Mitch Carefoot and Mike Iggulden were celebrating with the rest
of the team. If you subscribe to the "goal scorers are stars"
theory, you probably wouldn't have noticed what Knoepfli, Carefoot,
and Iggulden did on Saturday night at Pepsi Arena, where Cornell
won its 11th ECACHL playoff title.
was matched up against Harvard's most dangerous offensive trio
of Tom Cavanagh, Brendan Bernakevitch, and Ryan Maki all night
long. Cornell's checkers were tenacious in their defensive zone
and methodical when they had the puck. Most of the time, it wasn't
as if Cornell was checking Harvard's top line, it was the other
way around. The Harvard big guns had to get the puck back from
the Big Red.
try to stay above guys and frustrate them," Knoepfli said.
"I've got two great linemates and we all do our job very
well. We know how talented the guys we're playing against are
and we try to keep it in their end. The more it's in their end,
the less offensive chances they're going to get."
bothered by a lack of recognition and notoriety. They know what
they have to do, execute it every night, and get plenty of "attaboys"
from their teammates. It's no wonder that the word "pride"
was used by Knoepfli, Carefoot, and coach Mike Schafer.
go unrewarded in the media and stuff but everybody has a role
on our team and the guys who score goals appreciate us as much
as we appreciate them," Knoepfli said. "We really love
our job and we take pride in it."
a lot of pride knowing that you're doing what it takes to shut
them down," Carefoot said. "We've got our goal-scoring
line and our power play is clicking right now."
team is better at recognizing what it takes to win than any other
team in the nation. They have the utmost appreciation for the
little things – a blocked shot, a backcheck, tying someone
up in front of the net, chipping the puck out of the zone.
take them for granted.
take great pride in shutting down the other team's top line. They've
played against some great players in the last couple of weeks
starting with the Clarkson series and last night with Mitchell,
Mifsud, and Corey," he said. "If you can go into a weekend
knowing you can shut down another top line down, we have such
depth it gives us great line matchups. Tonight it freed up Bitz,
Moulson, and Hynes and those guys to really kind of get us going
and they did that in the second period."
2, Vermont 1
McKinnon, K. Wilson
Burton, J. Smyth
Smart, M. Lutz
Steve Silverthorn, 60:00, 34 saves, 1 GA
Joe Fallon, 58:57, 18 saves, 2 GA
C 12/24; V 10/20
Plays: C 2-9; V 1-12
FOR A WIN
It's no secret
that Colgate coach Don Vaughan relies on a handful of players
in all kinds of situations. You'll see Joey Mormina, Darryl McKinnon,
Jon Smyth, Adam Mitchell, and Kyle Wilson on both special teams
units and logging lots of ice time.
burden became an even bigger issue for the Raider players when
Friday's semifinal game against Harvard went to double overtime
and ended after 11:30 p.m. It meant a quick turnaround for Saturday's
third-place game, which was a 5 p.m. start.
preparation for Saturday began in the immediate aftermath of Friday's
loss. The coaching staff allowed the players to settle their emotions
for 10-15 minutes and the team caught a late dinner before going
to bed. A 9:30 team breakfast was optional for those who preferred
to sleep in. Instead of a morning skate, there was an extended
45-minute team stretch before lunch at noon. The players arrived
at Pepsi Arena at 3 p.m.
control its preparation. What it had more trouble controlling
was the flow of the game and amount of penalties. Referee Tim
Kotyra whistled 22 minors over the course of the game, which put
an even greater strain on Colgate's most-used players.
that is what made tonight's effort that much more impressive to
me as a coach. We went to well over and over again," Vaughan
said. "It's the same six guys that we use up front and we
use about four defensemen and tonight we had to go to some other
guys on D because it was Joey (Mormina) and Spinner (Justin Spencer)
in the box. Absolutely not the type of game we wanted to be in.
It's a very helpless feeling as a coach to see it unfolding like
that on the ice."
strain on the penalty-killing unit came late in the second period
when Colgate was two-men short for 1:35. Mormina, Mike Campaner,
and Dave Thomas were penned in the zone for over a minute, and
swatted away several centering passes and rebound attempts in
front of Silverthorn.
INCH's Three Stars of the Weekend
Dylan Reese, Harvard
sophomore defenseman showed his playmaking skills on Friday
night and scored the Crimson's important goal in the championship
game. The lead didn't hold up.
Joey Mormina, Colgate
Mormina made coaches who voted him honorable mention
All-ECACHL look silly by dominating at both ends of the
ice – and rarely leaving it.
Mike Knoepfli, Cornell
There's no better captain for this Cornell team
than Knoepfli. By sacrifing personal glory and doing the
necessary job, he makes the Big Red one of the nation's
AND HEARD AT PEPSI ARENA
Burton opened the scoring for Colgate just 5:17 into the contest.
It was a big goal, just the kind that Burton always seems to come
up with. Burton's participation in the game was in doubt through
most of the day. Colgate's coaching staff considered sitting Burton
due to an injury.
Peter Feola drew the ire of Harvard coach Ted Donato when Feola
called Ryan Lannon for a tripping penalty at 5:31 of the third
period. It put Harvard two men short for 32 seconds. On the play,
Lannon dove and poked the puck away from a Cornell forward, before
the Big Red player tripped over Lannon's stick. Donato made an
animated argument at the time of the call, and again after Cornell
scored a power-play goal to go up 3-1.
senior Brady Leisenring, one of the best offensive players in
the ECACHL, was lost for the season with a groin injury after
just six games. He was granted a medical redshirt and will return
to the lineup next year. Leisenring was on hand for the games
in Albany this weekend and said he's about a month and a half
away from being 100 percent. He is working with the Vermont training
and strength staff and an outside physical therapy firm to rebuild
strength in his legs. When Leisenring's role was reduced to that
of an assistant coach, teammates gave him the nickname "Reggie
classy, and accurate, comments after the loss to Cornell: "Ultimately
you have to give Cornell a lot of credit. I think we were outplayed.
They deserved to win. They're a great team and I wish them the
best of luck in the NCAA Tournament. Sometimes at the end of a
game you've got to take your hat off and say we got outplayed.
That was definitely the case tonight."
pep band was on hand for Friday's semifinal, but didn't stay for
the championship game. The Crimson band returned to Cambridge
for the Harvard women's hockey NCAA Tournament game at the Bright
Hockey Center. It would've been nice to hear "10,000 men"
to counterbalance Cornell's "Davy."
Vermont star John LeClair was on hand to lend his support to his
alma mater in the early game.
attendance for Saturday's games was 8,637. It's the largest attendance
for the championship since 1992, when the tournament was held
at the Boston Garden. The two-day attendance was 16,217.
Ouellette was the tournament's leading scorer with 10 points.
It's the first time that the tournament's leading scorer didn't
play in the championship weekend.
was the 10th Cornell player to be named Most Outstanding Player.
He was the first defenseman to earn the honor. Seven of the previous
nine MOPs for Cornell were goalies.
hockey team didn't advance to the championship weekend, but Alexa
Veeder did. She regularly performs the Star-Spangled Banner at
Messa Rink, and expertly handled the anthem duties at Pepsi Arena
captain Jaime Sifers is one of the most respected people
in the ECACHL, regardless of the fact that he's also one of the
league's elite players. As Vermont was headed from the Crowne
Plaza hotel to Pepsi Arena, Sifers took time to stop in the lobby
and wish Harvard's players
well in the championship game.
of the worst penalties of the weekend was taken by Cornell's Sasha
Pokulok and it cost his team. After Cornell had gained possession
of the puck, Pokulok gave a parting shot to Harvard's Kevin Du.
The problem was referee Peter Feola was standing right next to
the players, and had an easy call in sending Pokulok to the box.
Dylan Reese scored to give Harvard a 1-0 lead 22 seconds later.
Joey Mormina scored a tap-in power-play goal at the left post,
converting Tyler Burton's pass from the right wing corner with
21 seconds left in the first period. It proved to be the game-winning
goal. It's a play that Colgate runs with such great regularity,
that you wonder how Vermont wasn't able to recognize it from advance
and Colgate are all bound for the NCAA Tournament. This marks
the first time that three ECACHL teams have made the national
tournament since 1998 when Clarkson, Princeton, and Yale represented
hockey program embarks on a new era next fall when they'll compete
in Hockey East. The Catamounts return excellent leadership in
captain Jaime Sifers, plenty of offensive talent, and should be
brimming with confidence after an excellent 2004-05 campaign.