CORNELL4, @Colgate 1 | @CORNELL 5, Colgate 3
You have to like a four-point weekend but this time our two victories left us feeling mixed emotions with our play.
On Friday night, we jumped right on Colgate from the start. Senior forward Jeff Malott scored his sixth goal of the season just 2:09 into the game. Colgate got right back into the game with a power-play tally at 5:50; their only shot on goal of the period. We made a mistake on the penalty kill that we can’t make because pucks end up in the back of the net.
At 13:10, junior forward Kyle Betts made it 2-1 and put us in front to stay. It was a big goal by Kyle and it was great to have him back in the lineup after missing five games with an injury. The line of Betts, Malott and junior Tristan Mullin played with a lot of energy. Those first two goals were created by the line’s hard work and hustle. Late in the first period, junior forward Morgan Barron scored the first of his two power-play goals to send us into the locker room leading 3-1, out shooting the Raiders 10-1.
At 13:35 of the second period, Barron scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season to put us in front, 4-1. We did the job coming back on our special teams. Both were big goals by Morgan who is an excellent sniper. Junior goaltender Matthew Galajda made his first save of the game late in the second period.
The third period had no scoring by either team. Our 5-on-5 play really suffocated Colgate leaving them with very few scoring chances. It’s much more of a committed team effort to get above people and take care of our defensive end. When you do that, you start to create some offense because you’re causing turnovers and we can come back at teams with speed.
Both Mullin and senior defenseman Yanni Kaldis had a pair of assists in the game. Mullin and Barron both have team-leading 10 points in 11 games in calendar year 2020. Galajda was called upon for just eight saves and the Colgate goalie stopped 21 shots. This is the first time we have conceded just nine shots on goal in a game in almost 11 years, dating back to a playoff victory over RPI in 2009. We were 2-for-7 on the power play and Colgate was 1-for-3.
Due to a snowstorm, the Friday night game at Lynah Rink was postponed until Sunday afternoon.
On Sunday afternoon, in the first period, we unleashed a barrage of four goals in the first 17:26 of the game. The eventual win moved us into a first-place tie with Clarkson in the ECAC. In the first period, freshmen Matt Stienburg and Sebastian Dirven scored goals 67 seconds apart to give us a 2-0 lead just 9:42 into the game. Colgate narrowed the gap to 2-1 at 16:35 but we weren’t finished with offense. Sophomore forwards Michael Regush and Max Andreev snapped off shots under the crossbar at 16:58 and 17:26, respectively, to give us a 4-1 lead going into the first intermission.
In the second period, no one scored even though a combined 21 shots were generated. We were too cute with the puck in the second period and tried to do too much in the neutral zone. Defensively though, we didn’t give them a whole lot. Colgate had a couple of scoring chances but we didn’t finish our own scoring opportunities.
At 6:07 of the third period on a power play, junior defenseman Alex Green scored his sixth goal of the season. I was disappointed with our play for the rest of the game. Colgate scored power-play goals at 13:44 and 18:40 to make a game of it.
I am really disappointed in how we finished the game. Our penalty kill was horrible. I thought we had this resolved a couple weeks ago but we’re back making the same blunders. We’ve got to get back to work and get the job done because the lack of consistency really upsets the team and coaching staff. We’ll get it back. It was a good sweep and it puts us where we want to be.
Galajda made 22 saves, including 20 in the last 40 minutes, while the ‘Gate goaltender stopped 21 shots. We were 1-for-5 on the power play and they were 2-for-5.
Putting everything into prospective, we didn’t get to 17-2-4 by mistake. These guys take a lot of pride in it too. We’ll address the penalty kill, why we’re giving up the puck during transitions, not getting the puck deep and not keeping pressure on opponents. Saturday night, we played a simple road game for the second and third periods but on Sunday afternoon we didn’t play as well.
Our home crowds have been outstanding, arriving early and creating a great atmosphere. This coming weekend we host Union College at Lynah Rink on Friday night and RPI on Saturday. This weekend we will honor the 1980 ECAC championship team.