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Coach Schafer’s Notes for 2/24/2020

CORNELL 4, @Yale 0 | CORNELL 3, @Brown 0

Four-point weekends are always nice and last weekend we shutout two teams on the road. Our road record this year is 10-2-1. We had a good win on Friday night at Yale and it was nice to earn the Ivy League championship on the first night.

Once again, we started out fast at Yale, taking a 3-0 lead within the first 14 minutes of the game. Our guys played really well and I thought we did a good job defensively by not giving them a whole lot. Our first goal came at 3:43 into the game. Sophomore forward Max Andreev sent a pass to junior forward Morgan Barron on the half wall. Morgan looked toward the middle and sent a perfect pass through a seam to junior forward Cam Donaldson in the left circle. Cam’s one-timer flew pass the goaltender’s blocker. About two minutes later, junior forward Tristan Mullin, found classmate Kyle Betts at the right hash mark for another one-timer past the goalie’s glove.

After a flurry of penalties on both sides, Yale came out with a power-play opportunity. The Bulldogs put a puck in the net but after review the officials ruled that Yale was offsides 20 seconds prior, nullifying the goal, and protecting the shutout bid. Senior forward Noah Bauld was the first to say Yale was offsides. We checked with the guys upstairs and Yale was clearly offsides. It was a good call and a turning point; we came right back and scored at 13:11 making it 3-0 in the first period. Freshman forward Matt Stienburg passed the puck to sophomore defenseman Joe Leahy coming down the middle. Joe changed directions and fired a shot from the left circle that went past the goaltender’s blocker. Joe has played with a lot of poise, keeps his head up and makes plays. It was a solid job by Joe. The third goal was our 17th in the first period of our six February games; more than double any other team in the country.

Our final goal vs. Yale came at 9:18 of the third period. After a power play had ended, senior defenseman Yanni Kaldis sent the puck up ice to senior forward Jeff Malott at the Yale blue line. Jeff forced his way past a defender to set up a 2-on-1. It looked like Malott was going to shoot but instead he passed the puck to freshman forward Matt Stienburg crashing the net for an easy goal past the helpless goaltender.

Junior goaltender Matthew Galajda made 17 saves, while the Yale netminder stopped 19 shots. We were 0-for-5 on the power play and Yale was 0-for-3. Getting a 3-0 lead means you don’t have to press as hard but we still created scoring chances and didn’t give up much. I was happy with the discipline.

We traveled to Providence to play Brown, a team that has really come on late this season. Unlike many of our previous games, we had a tough time getting on the scoreboard early. We hit two posts and a crossbar. It was just one of those nights when we were fortunate to get things to drop for us first. We had two power-play opportunities but no goal. Finally, at 10:23 in the first period, we scored when Malott’s rush from inside the defensive zone deep into Brown territory set up Stienburg for his fourth goal of the season. I thought Matt, freshman forward Jack Malone and Malott were one of our best lines this weekend and it gives them confidence going into the playoffs.

For the next 40 minutes, the teams battled but the score remained unchanged. Matty made a couple of outstanding saves that preserved our 1-0 lead going into the third period. With 7:21 remaining in the third period, freshman defenseman Sam Malinski’s attempted pass caromed off the skate of a Brown defenseman and into the net to make it 2-0. We hard a hard time getting that second goal! Barron put the final touches on the victory with an empty-net goal at 17:27, his 14th score of the season. I thought we had to work hard in the third period and we did a good job.

Galajda stopped 19 shots and the Brown goaltender made 21 saves. I thought Matty was more zeroed in and focused and the team did a good job around him. Back-to-back shutouts don’t happen very often. These shutouts were his fourth of the season and 18th in his career, which ties him for second place with David McKee (2003-05). Ben Scrivens ’10 hold the current record with 19 shutouts.

We return home for our final two regular-season games. St. Lawrence, with former assistant coach Brent Brekke now the head coach of the Saints, will be at Lynah on Friday night. Former Big Red player and coach Casey Jones brings Clarkson into Lynah on Saturday evening. We’re asking everyone attending the game to wear Red to show support for the Big Red!

Entering the last ECAC regular season weekend, we hold first place with 34 points (16-2-2) ahead of Clarkson (16-4) in second place with 32 points. This promises to be an exciting weekend at Lynah Rink, including Senior Night celebrations on Saturday evening after the game.

Mike Schafer