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Coach Schafer’s Notes for 2/4/2020

@Quinnipiac 5, CORNELL 0 | CORNELL 5, @Princeton 3

If you’re looking for our worst game of the year, look no further than Friday night’s game at Quinnipiac. We didn’t respond to adversity very well but this type of game has been building. It’s funny how sometimes before you can move forward, you need a reality check about how and what you are and not what you think you might be.

On Friday night in the first period, Quinnipiac scored three goals in 2 minutes 36 seconds and that was obviously as ugly as it gets. They also had some quality goaltending that aided their cause. They added one more even-strength goal in each of the last two periods.

With 10:46 left in the game, we thought we had avoided a shutout. Junior forward Morgan Barron put the puck in the net but Quinnipiac challenged the play and the referees waived off the goal after video review ruling that Barron had pushed the goaltender’s pad into the net causing the puck to go over the goal line.

Junior goaltender Matthew Galajda made 20 saves and classmate Austin McGrath stopped five shots in the final 17 minutes. The Quinnipiac netminder was perfect with 22 saves. We were 0-for-2 on the power play and Quinnipiac was 0-for-1.

It was a disappointing night all around. They beat us in just about every facet of the game. We had some guys respond and some guys who didn’t. The shutout was our first since Feb. 9, 2018 and it was the first time this year that we allowed more than three goals in a game.

On Saturday morning, we had a lengthy video session to get back on track. We needed to get back our identity.

At Princeton, we opened up by scoring two quick goals midway through the first period. With a delayed penalty upcoming on the home team, we kept possession of the puck to get Matty to the bench in favor of an extra attacker. Junior defenseman Alex Green fired a shot on net and with three forwards in front of the net, sophomore forward Max Andreev deflected the puck inside the near post at 8:53. At 10:05 on the power play, Andreev fed the puck across the goal mouth where a Princeton defender blocked it onto the post. Junior forward Tristan Mullin won the puck battle to poke it in on the rebound.

We held the 2-0 lead until Princeton scored power-play goals at 13:56 and 17:45 of the second period despite having just three shots on goal the entire period. Our streak of 17 straight penalty kills came to an end on the first extra-man tally.

This set the stage for our first three-goal third period of the season. Green put us back on top, 3-2, with a power-play goal at 5:06 of the third period. In the final 30 seconds of the extra-man play, freshman defenseman Sam Malinski and Green passed the puck back and forth twice on the point before Green’s shot got a piece of the goaltender’s pad before going into the net. Fifty-one seconds later, we scored our lone even-strength goal of the night to make it 4-2. Senior forward Noah Bauld sent the puck toward the Princeton goal mouth where freshman forward Ben Tupker backhanded the puck into the net.

Midway through the final period, Princeton scored its third power-play goal of the game to make it 4-3. With 50 seconds remaining, we were once again on the power play, Mullin scored his eighth goal of the season to secure the win.

I was happy with the effort the second night. We didn’t give up a whole lot of scoring in 5-on-5 chances. We definitely have to play better on the penalty kill, including Matty. He was called upon for just 12 saves and allowed three goals. The Tiger goalie made 31 saves. Of our 36 shots on goal, 16 came while we were on the power play. We were 3-for-8 on the power play and Princeton was 3-for-6.

This game was a good step in the right direction. We got it handed to us on Friday night and now we can be honest with ourselves. We are back home this Saturday night for our annual two-game Upstate battle with Colgate. The Raiders will be at Lynah Rink on Friday night and we will travel to Hamilton on Saturday evening.

Mike Schafer