On Tuesday night, we had a tough start against Sacred Heart because they came out and played very well. We showed our team video on how Sacred Heart plays but our players didn’t fully buy it. We didn’t play physical or win any battles.
Sacred Heart took a 1-0 lead at 9:18 of the first period. Even though we out-shot them 29-6 in the middle period, we still trailed going into the final period. We got it going in the second period. When you haven’t played well and you’re down a goal, you will find out a lot about yourself as a team and we just kept plugging away. I was very proud of them that no one panicked.
Aggression and urgency paid off two minutes into the third period when Freshman forward Sean Donaldson brought the puck to the net and Junior forward Kyle Penney finished the goal. Donaldson bringing it right to the net was outstanding.
With a little more than half left in the third period, Junior defenseman Jack Lagerstrom sent a pass from behind our net to Freshman forward Dalton Bancroft at the blue line. A great deke by Bancroft set up Sophomore forward Sullivan Mack for the game-winner at 12:31. It was a great play by Dalton, not only to beat the defense, but they thought he would be shooting. Instead he slid the puck over to Sullivan for the game-winner. Dalton had great hockey sense and poise to make that play; it was huge for us.
Sacred Heart pulled their goaltender in the final two minutes and Sophomore goaltender Ian Shane made big saves to preserve our third straight win and give us a 5-4 overall record.
Shane made 17 saves, while the visitor’s goalie stopped 30 shots. We were 0-for-1 on the power play and Sacred Heart was 0-for-2. Senior forward Zach Tupker was 16-for-17 on face-offs. Until you face adversity you never know how you’re going to handle it until it’s right in your face. It’s a good step for us to know that we stuck to the process, stuck together, and changed the game. That’s a good sign.
The Big Red alumni didn’t let us down on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. It was a sea of Red and the team really fed off of that great alumni support. We have now won five of our last six games at the Garden. Obviously another great environment by our alumni being there. It was fantastic to come back to New York City and experience the environment that exists for college hockey. When you look up in the stands, as alumni, you’re proud to see how many people follow our sport. It means a big difference at Cornell and how important athletics are to the University.
Against a team that had been allowing just 2.13 goals per game, we scored 32 seconds into the first period. Freshman forward Dalton Bancroft scored off a wrist shot from the point after receiving a pass from Sophomore forward Sullivan Mack. Forty-two seconds later it was 2-0, when Sophomore forward Ondrej Psenicka took a backhand feed from Senior forward Matt Stienburg to record his first goal of the season.
With three and a half minutes left in the period, Junior forward Gabe Seger intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and broke to the net on a 2-on-1. Gabe passed to Stienburg in the crease and Matt converted a backhander to give us a 3-0 lead.
The second period was basically all Bancroft. With over nine minutes left in the period, Bancroft deflected Sophomore defenseman Michael Suda’s shot to make it 4-0 and shortly after he had his first collegiate hat trick, finishing off a Senior defenseman Sam Malinski’s slap shot on the power play. Dalton has great hockey sense and awareness…that’s a special talent.
Senior forward Max Andreev made it 6-0 with about four minutes left in the game. That’s the second consecutive year that we have scored six goals at the Garden. At the other end, Sophomore Ian Shane was a stalwart with 27 saves, including 11 in the third period for his fourth career shutout. The UConn netminder stopped 24 shots. We were 1-for-3 on the power play and they were 0-for-4.
We talked about earning respect and to do that you have to win. We had a slow start this season playing our first six games on the road against strong competition. Now, we have Harvard and Dartmouth at Lynah Rink this weekend. We’ve just got to get back to work to keep our four-game winning streak going against strong ECAC opponents.