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Coach Schafer’s Notes for 2/6/2024

#13 CORNELL 5, St. Lawrence 1 … Box Score | Game Recap | Video Highlights
#13CORNELL 7, Clarkson 2 … Box Score | Game Recap | Video Highlights

Last weekend was good overall, we were solid in a lot of areas, but I still think the team can get better. We picked up six points in the ECAC standings and now hold second place. In the Pairwise Rankings we are in 14th position. Both nights, we had balanced scoring across the board, and held the opposition to just 1.5 goals per game.

On Friday night, four of our five goals were scored by freshmen. In the first period, St. Lawrence opened the scoring at 3:32 after some defensive lapses. This was the first time since Dec. 2 (Colgate) that we didn’t score the first goal. But it was all Cornell after that, when the freshman line of Luke Devlin, Jake Kraft and Tyler Catalano took over. At 9:05, Devlin deposited a rebound into the net for a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes of play.

We were outstanding in the faceoff circle, winning the first 16 draws. Senior forward Gabriel Seger is one of the best in the NCAA and won eight out of his nine tries.

In the second period, we added two more goals. Freshman forward Ryan Walsh scored on the power play at 14:21, after receiving a backdoor pass from freshman defenseman Ben Robertson; and junior captain Kyle Penney gave us a 3-1 lead with 3:51 remaining in the period.

At 7:57 of the third period, Freshman forward George Fegaras got in on the scoring with a rifle-like shot from the left faceoff circle. Freshman forward Jake Kraft tallied an empty net goal with 17 seconds remaining for the 5-1 victory.

Junior goaltender Ian Shane had an easy night making just 12 saves, while the Saints goaltender stopped 29 shots. We were 1-for-4 on the power play, and they were 0-for-4.

Former Cornell player and assistant coach, Casey Jones ‘90, brought his Clarkson team to Lynah Rink on Saturday evening after being upset by Colgate the night before. We jumped right on them (on a delayed Clarkson penalty) when junior forward Jack O’Leary rammed home a rebound of a shot by classmate Sullivan Mack just 1:56 into the contest. On the ensuing power play, sophomore forward Dalton Bancroft scored on a one-timer to give us a 2-0 lead with a little over three minutes played. In the middle of the first period, the visitors tied the score with power-play goals at 10:29 and 13:57 to send us into the first intermission tied 2-2.

The second period was all Cornell scoring three of our five unanswered goals. Walsh scored on a breakaway at 5:12, and Penney and Kraft tacked on goals at 6:49 and 8:55. At this point, Clarkson changed goaltenders.

Leading 5-2 in the third period, we scored our first shorthanded goal since 2016. Jack O’Leary started the play and Sullivan Mack finished it. Luke Devlin completed the scoring at 11:04, deflecting a crossing pass from Jonathan Castagna at the bottom of the left faceoff circle. Then the game became “a bit chippy”. In the final 3:33 of the third period, 84 of 88 penalty minutes were assessed. Things were undisciplined in the third period, and it’s tough when it gets like that, but I was happy with our team.

Shane made 20 saves, while two Clarkson net minders stopped 19 shots. We were 1-for-4 on the power play, and the Knights were 2-for 4. We paid extra attention to our special teams in last week’s practice, and we were a little better scoring a power play goal each night; however, we also gave up two power play goals on Saturday.

We are now unbeaten in 10 straight games, which is the program’s longest stretch since the final nine contests of the 2019-20 season and the first two games of the 2021-22 season.
With that said, we move on, and we’re back on the road this coming weekend. We travel to the Capital District for a 7 pm game at RPI on Friday night, followed by a contest at Union on Saturday evening. The team appreciates the great support at road games, and when we are in your region, please come and cheer on the Big Red.

Mike Schafer