@CORNELL 3, Dartmouth 2 | @CORNELL 1, Harvard 1 (OT)
We had a battle on our hands both nights and a lot of support from the Lynah Faithful. Saturday night crowd was one of the loudest ever heard at our place, and it was certainly terrific.
Friday night could have been a long one, after Dartmouth scored the first goal at 7:53 of the first period. This season, Dartmouth was 7-0-2 when scoring first, the only team that we’ve lost to and we didn’t capitalize on our chances. After junior forward Tristan Mullin tied the score with a power play goal at 15:32 of the first period, we failed to put them away. It was Mullin’s team-leading, fourth power-play goal of the season.
Dartmouth regained a 2-1 lead, just 1:10 into the second period and and kept it until junior forward Cam Donaldson scored his fourth goal of the season at 15:12, with assists going to sophomore forward Michael Regush and senior defenseman Yanni Kaldis. The rest of the second period was scoreless and we went into the final stanza out-shooting Dartmouth, 22-16. Our guys found out that every game is a battle. You need to work every night to come out on top.
The game seemed we were following the same script we had in Hanover. We had all kinds of scoring chances, hitting posts, and just not capitalizing on our opportunities.
Early in the third period, senior forward Jeff Malott hit the ice after serving a penalty and scored 12 seconds later, putting us up, 3-2. Jeff took the puck off the wall toward the middle of the ice and zipped a shot under the goaltender’s glove for his fifth score of the year.
We won the battle but I was disappointed in how we executed our game-plan because we didn’t follow what we had been practicing and that led to a lot of turnovers.
Junior goaltender Matthew Galajda made 20 saves, including nine in the second period, while the Dartmouth netminder stopped 35 shots. Our penalty-kill was excellent, holding the Big Green to 0-for-4, after being a perfect 0-for-7 vs. Northern Michigan. We were 1-for-3 on the power play.
Against Harvard, before an electrifying sellout crowd on the second night, offensive opportunities were at a premium. It was a defensive battle with neither team generating quality shots. There were a total of 10 shots on goal in the first 20 minutes and Harvard did amp it up to 12 shots to our five in the middle stanza. Matty did a great job keeping us in the game in the last 45 minutes. We just didn’t get a lot of scoring chances because we turned the puck over too often.
In the final period, Harvard took the lead on a shot from the slot with just 4:05 remaining in regulation. I made a mistake on a line change, sending four freshmen against the top line in the ECAC and the visitors took advantage of it.
With less than 3 minutes left, we pulled Galajda for an extra skater. Moments later, Harvard’s lone goal-scorer was penalized for slashing giving us a 6-on-4 advantage. Ten seconds later, Regush tied the game with his eighth goal of the season. Junior forward Morgan Barron won the draw back to Kaldis. Yanni found Michael with a great pass and he tipped the puck into the net with 46 seconds remaining. The roof nearly blew off Lynah Rink!
We dominated puck possession during the overtime period but had only one shot. The crowd’s energy both nights was just phenomenal even though there was not a whole lot to cheer for in Saturday’s games as far as goals were concerned.
Galajda made 29 saves for us and the Harvard goaltender (not the one we played against in Cambridge) stopped 16 shots. We were 1-for-4 on the power play and they were 0-for-2.
We are now 14-1-4 overall and 9-1-2 in the ECAC and still have an unbeaten streak of eight games (4-0-4).
We had the pleasure to honor the undefeated 1970 team this past weekend and what a great group of guys came back to campus. I’m sure the crowd’s warm welcome during the intermission introductions made for a few spine-tingling moments. Here are photos from the introductions.
Three of our next four league games are on the road. This weekend we travel to Quinnipiac on Friday night and Princeton on Saturday. The next weekend in the Colgate home/away series. We hope you can attend more games down the stretch and see a great team in action.