R.I. – After seeing Minnesota State, Mankato erase its 2-0
lead, it appeared like Cornell needed one of those classic momentum
shifters – a huge save, a big hit – to reclaim control
of their first-round game.
Big Red slowly maintained pressure in the offensive zone, wearing
down the Mavericks through puck possession. It's not going to
fit neatly into a six-second highlight clip, but the impact was
the same. The top-seeeded Big Red held a 25-9 shot advantage in
the second and third periods and cruised to a 5-2 win.
Minnesota State, Mankato 2
Knoepfli, M. Moulson
Marler, P. Runkel
Moulson, C. Cook
Vesce, S. Bâby
Jon Volp, 60:00, 32 saves, 5 GA
Dave LeNeveu, 60:00, 18 saves, 2 GA
MS 9/26; CC 4/8
Plays: MS 1-3; C 3-6
defense gets so much credit, it's easy to think of them as a fall-back,
trapping team. As they showed Saturday with relentless cycling
and aggressive pinching from the defensemen, that's not the case.
never seen us before, you might think we sit back and trap,"
Schafer said. "I can't stand that kind of hockey. We come
after teams, we force them to make plays against us, and we recruit
that way as a program."
At the other
end of the Dunkin' Donuts Center ice, Hobey Baker Award candidate
Dave LeNeveu did the job when called upon, but he was as lonely
as that last Munchkin you feel bad taking at your in-laws house.
first goal came on a two-on-one that resulted from an ill-timed
defensive pinch, but clearly Schafer trusts his team to take chances.
LeNeveu is usually there to make the save – if his teammates
make a mistake.
don't, and the result is a lot of time spent in the other team's
were a big, strong, physical team," Maverick head coach Troy
Jutting said. "They're smart, and they handle the puck along
the wall extremely well. We knew that going in.
a little bit surprised at how strong they were along the wall
offensively in being able to to control the puck down low,"
contributed to Cornell's territorial domination, as the Big Red
had six man advantages (three goals) to Mankato's three (one goal).
And while the first unit moved the puck crisply and unselfishly,
the second unit accounted for the first two goals (both by freshman
of balance was evident at even-strength as well. Sophomore Mike
Knoepfli also had a two-goal game – entering the day, he
and Hynes were the team's ninth- and fourth-leading goal scorers.
of production throughout the lineup – to go along with Cornell's
style of play – will go along way to dispelling the misconception
that the team with the nation's lowest goals-against average is
a defensive team.
Ohio State 0
Mike Betz, 59:14, 20 saves, 1 GA
Matti Kaltiainen, 60:00, 26 saves, 0 GA
OS 8/16; BC 9/18
Plays: OS 0-7; BC 0-5
GIANT AMONG MEN
Just one forward
on Boston College's first three lines checks in at over 5-foot-11,
the next generation in the seemingly endless parade of speedy,
skilled, little Eagles.
So it's no
surprise that Ohio State, with three centers at 6-foot-2 or taller,
looked to play a physical style in their first-round meeting.
BC defenseman Andrew Alberts – the Eagles' tallest player
at 6-foot-4 – certainly came ready for that kind of game.
got a lot of little guys, and that's part of my job on the team,
be the physical presence," the sophomore said. "I think
I went out there, I set the tone right away and throughout the
game tried to get a hit in here and there. It ended up working
out pretty well."
more than throw his weight around. He, along with partner J.D.
Forrest, matched up against Hobey Baker finalist R.J. Umberger.
And he was a key penalty killer, as the Eagles negated all seven
Buckeye power plays and scored a short-handed goal in the 1-0
three days in the past two weeks just working strictly on the
penalty kill," Alberts said. "It showed up, we went
seven-for-seven. We had two guys pressuring the forwards and that
made it easy on the defense. When they dumped it in, we just sent
it right back out."
The win was
BC's first shutout in NCAA Tournament history, and sets up Sunday's
meeting with Cornell. Alberts doesn't know a whole lot about the
Big Red, but he does know they're big and physical. He'll be ready.
Saturday's Three Stars
Doug Murray, Cornell Quieted
Mankato stars Shane Joseph and Grant Stevenson while helping
Cornell maintain offensive possession at the Mavericks' blue
Tony Voce, Boston College The
goal was, as he said and his coach agreed, "an NHL shot."
But he was the Eagles' best player throughout.
Shane Hynes, Cornell His
second goal, a beautiful tip-in through Jon Volp's legs, got
the lead back for Cornell. They cruised from there.
AND HEARD AT THE DUNK
steep ticket prices kept fans from attending both the East and
Northeast Regionals, but their proximity – about 45 minutes
apart – made it a great weekend for NHL scouts. There was
a parade of black leather jackets headed from Providence to Worcester
after this afternoon's games. Some also caught the Hockey Night
in Boston high school tournament while in the area.
Vesce's assist on Sam Paolini's third-period goal for Cornell
was Vesce's 100th career point. Paolini gathered the souvenier
puck, creating the odd sight of his four teammates celebrating
his goal without him. Maverick goaltender Jon Volp, understandably
confused, gave Paolini a little shot as the goal scorer reached
in his net.
Schafer said that his team quickly put the perceived slight by
the NCAA selection committee behind them: "I was not pleased
with the seeding at first, I made my comments and that was it.
We moved on. Mankato is a good team, and we had good preparation.
Like Shane (Hynes) said, we were playing a faceless opponent today."
Jutting likened Cornell's team to Denver's club last year. "They
were a very, very good defensive team last year with a great goalie.
Very similar teams, I think, after having played against Cornell
ice was clearly hampered in the second game, and might have contributed
to the low score as pucks bounced over sticks repeatedly. BC head
coach Jerry York brought it up after the game, but emphasized
that he expects it to be better tomorrow with only one game.
the skating Friar. Even though Providence didn't make the field,
it was good to see college hockey's best logo on the ice, and
on a handful of sweaters throughout the rink.
Tony Voce, for showing off his vertical leap on Boston College's
goal. The 5-foot-8 Voce got full extension to snag J.D. Forrest's
clearing attempt, the collected the puck and beat Mike Betz high
to the glove side for the game's only goal.
divers, in both games. Minnesota State, Mankato's Dana Sorenson
took a couple within a few minutes. One one he drew a power play
– if this was the NHL, he also would have drawn a fine.
the ticket prices, which are determined by venue, not by the NCAA.
Providence's three-game package was available for $84, while Worcester's
was $50. Single-game tickets for Sunday's Regional Final at The
Dunk are available for $32.
its first trip to the Frozen Four since 1980. The Big Red's opponent,
Boston College, has practically become a staple at the event since
1998, missing only last year.
The top two
Hobey Baker candidates from the East meet head-to-head in the
game, with Boston College's leading scorer, Ben Eaves, trying
to beat Cornell's Dave LeNeveu.