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Coach Schafer’s Notes for 5/15/2024

As I take a moment to pause and reflect on our season, it is abundantly clear that Cornell hockey is back and stronger than ever.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic disruptions, we had lingering doubts about our ability to recover. The uncertainties surrounding the transfer portal, name, image, and likeness (NIL) regulations, and the inability of our players to utilize their extra year only added to the challenges. However, through perseverance and dedication, we proved that Cornell hockey is resilient.

I want to express my sincere gratitude to our assistant coaches Ben Syer, Sean Flanagan and Ben Russell, whose exceptional recruiting efforts and player development were instrumental in our success. Their leadership has been invaluable. We wish Ben Syer all the best as he begins his tenure next season as the Head Coach at Princeton University.

This past year has been a testament to our resilience and determination. Despite playing with ten freshmen, we maintained a Top 20 national ranking throughout the season and finished an impressive #8 in the country. Highlights of our season include victories at Madison Square Garden against Boston University, clinching the Ivy League title (26th), securing a record 13th ECAC tournament victory, and narrowly missing a Frozen Four appearance losing in the Springfield Regional Final to the eventual National Champion Denver. As a team we finished with the best goals-against-average in the country (1.86/game), #1 in shots-against-per-game and #12 in goals-per-game (3.3/game). We have several areas to improve including Power Play % and Penalty Killing %.

Our journey was not without its challenges, but this team displayed an unwavering commitment to each other, Cornell University, the enthusiastic Lynah Faithful, and our dedicated alumni. I could not be prouder of their efforts. Looking ahead, our players embrace the challenge of high expectations and understand the importance of summer training to improve their skills.

I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who supports Cornell Hockey. Your unwavering dedication plays a crucial role in our continued success. Together, we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that Cornell hockey remains one of the premier programs in the country.

Mike Schafer