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Coach Schafer’s Notes for 2/27/2024

CORNELL 3, @Clarkson 4 [OT]… Box Score | Game Recap | Video Highlights
CORNELL 2, @St. Lawrence 2 [SOW] … Box Score | Game Recap | Video Highlights

The trip to the North Country is always a rough road, and this past weekend was an example of extremely hard play with plenty of excitement. On Friday night, we battled back during the game with a couple of power play goals after being down a goal. The first period was scoreless though we had one shot rattle off a post. We survived two penalties, one was a five-minute major boarding call but we did stop all five shots during the man-down situations. Junior goaltender Ian Shane made eight saves and the Clarkson netminder stopped nine Cornell shots in the opening period.

Clarkson scored first at 8:01 of the second period on a snapshot from the right circle. But we responded quickly at 9:47, when junior captain Kyle Penney converted a rebound. The home team took the lead again at 16:38. We went on the power play and with 25 seconds remaining in the second period, sophomore forward Dalton Bancroft sent a one-timer into the net for his 10th goal of the season.

At 2:25 of the third period, on another the power play, Bancroft struck again to give us the lead, 3-2. Senior forward Gabe Seger had assists on both Bancroft goals. Shane continued with excellent goaltending maintaining our lead until the waning minutes of the third period, when Clarkson pulled their goaltender, and scored, resulting in a tie with 26 seconds remaining! We challenged for goaltender interference but lost that review. In retrospect, we should have challenged for a hand pass but we made the wrong choice at the time.

With 59 seconds remaining in overtime, we had a turnover allowing Clarkson to score the winning goal on a one-timer from the right circle. The loss snapped a 14-game unbeaten streak, our first loss since December 2. We earned one point for the overtime loss, clinched a top-four seed for the ECAC playoffs, and secured a bye for the first round of the playoffs. This marks the seventh straight year we host the quarterfinal best-of-three playoff series at Lynah Rink.

Shane finished the game with 21 saves and the Clarkson goalie stopped 19 shots. We were 2-for-3 on the power play, and Clarkson was 0-for-4. It certainly was disappointing to give up a goal late in the game and overtime.

In Canton on Saturday night, St. Lawrence played well and we struggled all night. Fortunately, we held on and earned two points for a shoot-out win.

The Saints took a 1-0 lead at 14:07 of the first period, scoring with five seconds remaining on their power-play. Another extra-man goal at 2:14 of the second period was a tough one because it deflected off one of our players. The score remained 2-0 until late in the third period, though we continued to fire away 29 shots of which 14 were on goal and saved. We pulled Shane near the end of the third period for the extra attacker. With 1:31 remaining, junior forward Ondrej Psenicka deflected a shot from the point by freshman defenseman Ben Robertson to cut the deficit to one, 2-1. With 6.4 seconds left in regulation, a shot by Seger made it through traffic and into the back of the net to tie the game in regulation!

We had an excellent opportunity to score in overtime when freshman forward Jonathan Castagna made a great move past a St. Lawrence defenseman, but the Saints goalie made a great save. The Saints scored what would have been the winning goal, but we challenged with an off-sides violation. This time we were correct and the goal was disallowed. Shane kept us in the game with eight saves in the extra 5-minute period even though the Saints enjoyed a power-play advantage for two minutes.

The shoot-out went seven rounds before junior defenseman Hank Kempf broke the tie to give us the extra point. Bancroft, freshman Ryan Walsh, Robertson and Kempf were our goal scorers in the shootout.

Shane made 36 saves on the night, while the Saints’ goalie stopped 32 shots. We were 0-for-5 on the power play, and St. Lawrence was 2-for-3.

The final two games of the regular season are this weekend at Lynah Rink. Union on Friday night, Rensselaer on Saturday. After the Saturday game we will recognize our two graduating seniors, forward Gabriel Seger and goaltender Ryan McInchak.

The following weekend we have a playoff bye, which will give our team time to rest and recover from injuries and illness. See you this coming weekend for games and SENIOR NIGHT.

Mike Schafer