@CORNELL 3, USA HOCKEY UNDER-18 0
Saturday night’s exhibition game revealed great improvement in just one week. Going into the game, I told the team I wanted us to be consistent and I think we did that. It was our plan to take time and space away from this team because they can really skate up and down the ice. Our guys really moved their feet and crowded them coming out of their zone through the neutral zone.
Sophomore forward Max Andrew scored at 5:45 of the first period, with assists to sophomore forward Michael Regush and junior forward Morgan Barron. Barron’s initial shot rung off the post and Max converted the rebound. That was all the scoring for the first period; we had eight of the game’s first nine shots on goal.
At 8:55 of the second period, junior forward Brenden Locke made it 2-0, taking a pass from senior forward Noah Bauld who had taken the puck away from a defenseman. Senior defenseman Yanni Kaldis, seeing his first action of the season, received an assist. Yanni came back on Saturday and we’re working on building chemistry, something we’re still lacking at this point.
Midway through the third period freshman forward Jack Malone gained possession of the puck along the right wall. The puck was poked away only to go to junior forward Tristan Mullin who skated to the top of the right circle and unleashed a shot over the glove hand of the goaltender to make the score 3-0.
Junior Matthew Galajda played the first two periods in goal with eight saves. I thought he was really solid, controlled his rebounds and didn’t let anything pop out. He’s been sharp in practice and is on top of his game. Classmate Austin McGrath made five stops in the third period. The USA goaltender made 23 saves. We were 0-for-7 on the power play and they were 0-for-3.
We dressed 22 skaters (three more than the limit in the regular season) trying to find the best combinations on the ice. With all those guys on the bench, it was hard to find continuity with lines. We used guys in a lot of different roles just to see where we are.
Freshmen defensemen Sam Malinksi, Travis Mitchell, Sebastian Dirven and Peter Muzyka all saw big minutes in both exhibition games and looked solid even with the exhibition game fluidity of D-pairs. Mitchell, Dirven and Malinski have been giving us quality minutes. They’re playing in all situations and as a group, they haven’t looked out of place at all.
The season starts for real this weekend. We open the 2019-20 campaign on Friday at 7 p.m. at Michigan State and again on Saturday evening. Playing in East Lansing will bring back memories of my first trip to play the Spartans. Twenty-five years ago, I began my head coaching career behind the Cornell bench vs. Michigan State. Our last trip to East Lansing was at the beginning of the 2005-6 season.
If you are near East Lansing and want to support Cornell Men’s Hockey, please join us for a tough opener against Michigan State. They are 2-2 overall. Last weekend, they split with Colorado College losing the first game 3-1 and winning the second 5-1.