@CORNELL 4, Brown 1 | @CORNELL 6, Yale 2
This was a great weekend in so many ways. Of course it’s nice to sweep a weekend and especially to start ECAC play. We showed offensive power that basically blew both games wide open. AND, very important, we showed continued improvement over our first weekend.
On Friday night, Brown started the game with a lot of fire in the tank. Brown’s a team that you have to compete against for 60 minutes and after we got started, for the most part, I think we did that. Our first goal came with 1:46 left in the first period. Junior defenseman Alex Green charged the net and received a short pass from sophomore forward Max Andreev. Green beat the Brown goaltender low to the glove side. Brown tied the score at 1-1 at 7:29 of the second period. The winning goal was scored by freshman defenseman Sam Malinski, who has started off his collegiate career with an offensive bang. Sam took a backhand pass from junior forward Brenden Locke and completed a shot that banked in off the far post. Locke got into the goal-scoring column with his first of the year with 29 seconds left in the second period. Brenden was the best player on the ice on Friday night. He was outstanding in all aspects of the game and really led us. We took a 3-1 lead into the third period. It didn’t take long to increase the margin to 4-1 with junior forward Morgan Barron tallying a power-play goal, ripping a shot over the right shoulder of the goaltender at 1:02 into the final period. Junior forward Cam Donaldson, who missed the Michigan State games, celebrated his beginning of the season with a pair of assists.
Junior goaltender Matt Galajda was called upon for just 13 saves, while the Brown net-minder stopped 28 shots. We were 1-for-1 on the power play, and Brown was 0-for-1.
The next night we knew Yale would come in fired up after losing to Colgate on Friday evening. Also, in our first three games, we haven’t come out with a hot start, and I had talked to the players about getting a great start. Just 3:10 into the first period, Barron received a pass from freshman forward Matt Stienburg and skated toward the middle before ripping a shot to the short side of the goaltender’s glove. Sophomore defenseman Joe Leahy, playing in his first game this season, was credited with the other assist. Two minutes later, Leahy scored himself! Freshman forward Jack Malone passed the puck to Malinski who was open at the far point. He had an opportunity for a shot, but instead dished it back against the grain of the play to find Leahy coming out of the left corner. Joe sent a backhander into the net for a 3-0 lead.
Still in the first period, Barron got closer to his first collegiate hat trick when he converted a rebound off the stick of Andreev with 6:59 remaining before the first intermission. We went into the locker room with a 3-0 lead. It didn’t take Barron long to get his hat trick in the second period. Yale was using an aggressive forecheck while killing a penalty. Senior defenseman Yanni Kaldis sent a pass into the neutral zone to give us a 4-on-2 rush. Andreev, at the blue line, sent the puck over to Barron on the left wing. Morgan snapped a bullet over the goaltender’s shoulder causing quite an eruption from the Lynah Faithful. Morgan is a flat-out beast when he wins puck battles and the way he can shoot the puck—he has a pro shot. When he combines that with determination and moving his feet like he did vs. Yale, he can be almost unstoppable.
Leading 4-0 in the second period, Yale got on the board at 5:20, but we answered less than 3 minutes later, as Andreev tipped in a shot from Malinski at the right point to make it 5-1. In the third period, freshman forward Zach Tucker found the net for his first collegiate tally on a semi-breakaway. Yale added the final goal of the night with 48 seconds remaining, as a shot from the top of the circle sailed past five players and a screened Galajda. Andreev had a power-play goal and two assists for his first collegiate three-point game.
Galajda made 24 saves with 13 coming in the third period. The Yale goaltender stopped 20 shots. We were 2-for-5 on the power play, and Yale was 0-for-4.
For his excellent play, Barron was named ECAC Offensive Player of the Week. He ranks No. 1 in the country in scoring average (2.50), and is on top of the league in goals (4) and scoring (6). Malinski earned ECAC Rookie of the Week honors for the second consecutive week. He is tied for first place (2.00 ppg.) nationally among defensemen.
After four games, we are now ranked No. 3 in the country in the USCHO.COM poll and No. 4 in the USA/Today poll. This weekend, we will face a huge test with our annual trip to the North Country. On Friday night, we face #7 Clarkson (7-2-1). On Saturday evening, we play at St. Lawrence (3-6-1). We’re playing a lot of freshmen and look forward to much improvement as we continue ECAC competition. As always, we enjoy seeing you on the road.