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Alumni Reception at Fortress Invitational Hockey Tournament

Cornell University Regional Programs and the Cornell Hockey Association invite you to start the New Year off with Cornell Men’s Ice Hockey in Nevada! Join alumni, parents, and friends from all around the world, to cheer on the Cornell University Men’s Hockey team as they take on Ohio State in the second game of the Fortress Invitational Tournament.

We will gather on the Terrace at T-Mobile arena for a fun pre-game reception with delicious food and beverages and special guest Mike Schafer ’86, the Jay R. Bloom ‘77 Head Coach of Men’s Hockey. Coach Schafer will address the audience and answer a question or two before heading back to the locker room. The Cornell University All Alumni Pep Band will also swing through to really make you feel like you are in Lynah Rink, cheering on the Big Red!

Register Here

Friday, January 3, 2020
6:00 to 8:30 pm
The Terrace at T-Mobile Arena, Toshiba Plaza, & The Park, Las Vegas, NV

6:00 pm – Doors open
6:30 pm – Hear from Mike Schafer ’86, the Jay R. Bloom ’77 Head Coach of Men’s Hockey
8:15 pm – Please head to your seats
8:30 pm – Event concludes, puck drops

General Attendees: $50 per person
Young Alumni (Classes 2010-2019): $40 per person (pricing courtesy of the Cornell Hockey Association)
Children 12 and under: $30 per person
Your registration fee includes unlimited popcorn, all beef hot dogs: with traditional condiments, nachos, and mac & cheese; along with a selection of beer, wine and soft drinks.
Hockey game ticket not included.

Purchase tickets to the Fortress Invitational here


Coach Schafer’s Notes for 12/10/2019

CORNELL 3, @Harvard 1 | @Dartmouth 2, CORNELL 1

The winning streak is over. Now it’s back to playing Big Red hockey and starting another streak. Our play in the two games this weekend was quite different. Early in the season our power play was No. 1 in the country, but now we haven’t had an extra-man goal in five games (0-19). We’ve always been great killing penalties but we need to improve that too.

At Harvard, we played the No.1 scoring team in the nation and held them to one goal. This season we typically have a slow first period but we flipped the switch in this one. Shots on goal in the first period were 17-4 in our favor and the score was 2-0 after 20 minutes of play. This was the ninth time this season we scored the first goal of the game.

At the 5:28 mark, senior forward Jeff Malott scored his third goal of the season. Malott fired a shot on goal and the rebound came out. Jeff whirled around to blindly throw a backhand shot under the Harvard goalie to put us up 1-0. With 54 seconds to go in the period, junior forward Brenden Locke tallied his fifth goal this year. Some hard work around the net by junior Tristan Mullin led to the puck bouncing to the top of the crease where Locke slammed it past the goaltender.

Freshman defenseman Travis Mitchell scored his second collegiate goal at 5:07 into the second period to make it 3-0. Travis had a great night vs. Harvard. At this point, we had a 22-4 lead in shots on goal. Harvard took a timeout after Mitchell’s goal to regroup and it seemed to work. The Crimson scored their only goal two minutes later on a power play. After their timeout, they started doing things differently and it took a while for us to adjust. I think we wanted a fourth goal rather than pay attention to their changes. I thought we got going again in the third and started to control some things. We had some long shifts in our own zone but I thought we kept them on the perimeter and back on the blue line.

Junior goaltender Matthew Galajda had his usual strong game stopping 23 shots, including 15 in the third period. The Harvard goalie made 29 saves. We were 0-for 4 on the power play and they were 1-for-2.

The 10th straight win was the first time since the great national championship team went all the way with 29 straight. I believe our success can be attributed to our depth in practice. We’ve got guys chomping at the bit to get into the game lineup. At the same time, they are great kids. There’s no moping by anyone. They know we are off to a great start and they continue to try to improve, which in turn, makes us more consistent and our team better.

All that changed the next night at Dartmouth in our last game of the fall semester. We were held scoreless in the second period for the first time this season. We entered the third period trailing for the first time this year and we had 40 shot on goal for the first time. We also had five more power plays than an opponent for the first time this season. This added up to our first loss of the season!

I just don’t think we were as sharp as we’ve been as a group. Even though we had a lot of scoring chances during the game, Dartmouth did the job on special teams to beat us. From in net to our blue line, to our forwards, we didn’t have the edge to overcome a night where we couldn’t capitalize on our chances.

We had an excellent opportunity to take a lead inside the first minute on a shorthanded breakaway by Malott, but the goalie made the save. Ninety seconds later, Dartmouth took a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal. We answered when junior forward Morgan Barron scored his team-leading seventh goal with 23 second remaining in the period. Mitchell carried the puck to the middle before taking a shot that hit traffic in the slot. The puck bounced into the right circle where Barron pounced on it and buried a shot under the crossbar.

The Big Green came out flying for the second period and scored just 45 seconds into playing time. No more goals were scored during the rest of the game. It was the first time we have been out-scored in the middle period this season.

In the third period, we out shot Dartmouth, 21-5 but couldn’t put the puck in the net. We hit a lot of goal posts, missed a breakaway, and had a 3-on-1 where we didn’t even take a shot. That’s just a symptom of not being fully prepared and was a big mistake on our part at Dartmouth. We had five of the game’s six power plays and got off 10 shots on target over those stretches but came up empty each time.

Galajda had an easy night with 15 saves with just two in the first period. Their goalie stopped 39 shots! We were 0-for-5 on the power play and Dartmouth was 1-for-1.

I’m really disappointed we finished the first semester with a loss but just the same, I am very proud of our players. But we’ll park it, get to work and try to do some of the things necessary to get better as a hockey team.

We remain in sole possession of first place in ECAC Hockey, as Colgate beat Harvard on Saturday evening. The Ivy League has a three-way tie between Cornell, Dartmouth and Harvard, all with 4-1 records.

We’re off for four weeks for final exams and a holiday break. Late in December, we will get together to prepare for the Fortress Invitational in Las Vegas. The tournament starts Friday afternoon, January 3rd with Providence against Army West Point. We play the second game at 8 p.m. (Pacific Time) against an excellent team from Ohio State and either Providence or Army West Point the following day.

This is an excellent opportunity for our West Coast alumni/fans to see our hockey team. I know there are Alumni gatherings being planned. Hope to see a large Big Red contingent in Las Vegas.

To all, we wish you Happy Holidays, and may 2020 be filled with joy and happiness for all.

Mike Schafer

Coach Schafer’s Notes for 12/2/2019

RED HOT HOCKEY @ Madison Square Garden | CORNELL 2, Boston University 0

Obviously, we are pleased with our ninth straight victory before 15,000+ fans at “The World’s Most Famous Arena” … Madison Square Garden. Even though we don’t play BU every year, this is still an exciting rivalry.

In the first period, BU came out flying but the scoring chances were even and I felt we did a good job being physical. But, we gave them too much time and space in our defensive zone. We did a much better job in the second and third periods. Our three freshmen defensemen were a little edgy early on, but they settled down and did a great job the rest of the game. It’s all about ignoring the noise and managing expectations.

Our two goals were scored in a span of 20 seconds in the second period. On the first goal, freshman defenseman Sebastian Dirven made a great stick-handling play at the blue line to avoid a BU rush the other way and helped us keep possession of the puck. Sebastian fired the puck to the opposite boards to junior forward Morgan Barron. Morgan stick-handled through several BU defenders before sending a backhanded pass to senior defenseman Yanni Kaldis entering the zone. Yanni rifled a shot that was kicked out, but sophomore forward Michael Regush was free on the weak side to slam the puck into the wide side of the net. Twenty seconds later, we took a 2-0 lead. We had possession in the offensive zone and junior forward Cam Donaldson fed freshman forward Ben Berard in the opposite corner. Ben immediately picked up the puck and saw junior forward Brenden Locke popping out from the top of the crease into the slot. Brenden had enough space to fire a one-timer that got by the goaltender’s left arm.

Certainly the key to the game was the outstanding performance turned in by junior goaltender Matthew Galajda, who recorded his first shutout of this season and the 15th of his Cornell career. Matthew absolutely can’t stand being scored upon, even in practice, and it definitely carries over into the game. He definitely was the key to our success in that first period. Probably his biggest save came in the 14th minute of the game, when he stopped a breakaway attempt from a BU player. Galajda made 28 saves and only eight in the third period. The BU goalie stopped 26 shots.  Both teams were 0-3 on the power play.

We need a good week of practice to prepare for another very tough road trip.  On Friday night, we play at Harvard, followed by a Saturday game at Dartmouth. A week ago, Cornell and Harvard were the only undefeated Division I teams in the country. Last week, the Crimson lost a game to Boston College. They are 6-0 in the ECAC and 6-1 overall. Playing at Dartmouth is always tough, and the Big Green is 3-2-1 overall and 3-1-1 in the league.

If you live in New England, here’s your chance to see Cornell hockey live! We’re expecting a lot of Big Red support in Cambridge. And, if you are farther north, we hope to see you in Hanover, NH for the Dartmouth game. Both games are at 7PM.

Mike Schafer

Coach Schafer’s Notes for 11/19/2019

CORNELL 4, @Clarkson 2 | CORNELL 6, @St Lawrence 1

What a great weekend! When they told me this was our first North Country sweep since 2005, I couldn’t believe it, but I have always known that this is an extremely tough road trip. You can’t let your guard down either night.

We have tremendous team depth right now. Three different players scored their first goals of the season on Friday night at Clarkson. Junior goaltender Matthew Galajda was rock-solid. When we needed him, he made some big saves on partial breakaways when we turned pucks over.

There was no scoring in the first period even though Clarkson out-shot us by 15-8. Both teams had some great chances and both goalies were up to the task. Late in the second period, in a span of 7 minutes each team scored two goals. Freshman defenseman Travis Mitchell opened the scoring with his first collegiate goal at 11:25. Less than 3 minutes later, senior forward Jeff Malott snapped a close-in shot past the goaltender’s glove to make it 2-0. Two minutes later, Clarkson recorded a power-play goal and tied the score at 18:05. So, once again we went into the locker room tied. The penalty kill isn’t to our standard right now but at the same time you have to tip your hat to a great play made by Clarkson to generate their goal.

Talking about playing our game was the theme of the night and we came out for the third period calm and played with much more poise. The winning goal came on our first power play at 10:26 of the third period. Junior defenseman Alex Green fired a one-timer that was blocked by a defender, but Green was able to regain possession and bumped the puck to junior forward Cam Donaldson in the slot. His long backhand pass to the right circle set up a one-timer from freshman forward Ben Berard. The shot was saved but it left Donaldson alone on the back post to flip the rebound into the wide side of the vacated net. Sophomore forward Michael Regush made it 4-2 with an empty-net goal with 1:27 remaining in the game.

Galajda was a stalwart with 29 saves and our guys played well in front of him. The Clarkson goalie stopped 27 shots. We were 1-for-1 on the power play, and Clarkson was 1-for-2. This was a hard-fought game and I thought our guys responded every step of the way. I like the balance on our team right now because guys can step up and are successful.

It’s just a short bus-ride for our next opponent in the North Country. You hardly have time to catch your breath. We played St. Lawrence in the SUNY Canton Ice Arena because the Saints are renovating their building. Playing back-to-back games against these two teams on their home ice is not just another day at the office. You need to be ready to skate and stay in the moment. We did that in the second and third periods, but not the first. That was a good lesson for us.

Our first goal came just 3:36 into the first period. Freshman defenseman Sam Malinski angled a pass off the right boards to Donaldson. On a 2-on-1 break, Donaldson skated into the circle before dishing it off to junior forward Morgan Barron coming down the slot. Barron’s shot went into the wide side of the net for his sixth goal of the season. St. Lawrence tallied a power-play goal at 14:03 of the first period to tie the score and we went into the first intermission 1-1.

We didn’t even talk about adjustments between the first and second periods. We needed to get to work and play with some pace and get back that intensity that we had the previous night at Clarkson. We came out fast to start the second period, recorded the first 14 shots on goal and won 18 of 25 faceoffs. We were the aggressor and applied tremendous pressure on the home team. At 13:00 of the second period, junior defenseman Alex Green scored on the power play converting a shot from the slot over the goaltender’s glove. That was a big goal by Alex on the power play. It just got us going, and was good to see.

We didn’t have consistency line to line but we got it going with four lines rolling in the second period. I was happy to see our guys put the pedal to the metal. Two more goals were scored with senior defenseman Yanni Kaldis getting the first one at 14:56 and sophomore forward Liam Motley on a break-away at 16:01. We went into the locker room leading 4-1 at the second intermission.

It didn’t take long to make it 6-1. Senior forward Kyle Betts tacked on a power-play goal at 56 seconds of the third period. Junior forward Brenden Locke made it 6-1, 27 seconds later. Locke’s goal gave us 10 different goal-scorers for our 10 goals on the weekend! Galajda needed to make only 15 saves, while the St. Lawrence goaltender stopped 29 shots. We were 2-for-5 on the power play and they were 1-for-2. Going into the weekend, we led the nation with a 42.3% success rate on the power play and we now have scored a least one extra-man tally in each of our six games for the first time since 2009-10.

We have moved up to No. 2 in the USCHO poll. Saturday night’s game was a good lesson for us because every opponent is gong to be a tough game. At St. Lawrence, it was tough getting started, but once we realized how we need to play every night, the ball got rolling. We’re back home this coming weekend. Quinnipiac comes to Lynah Rink on Friday night and Princeton on Saturday evening.
Hope to see you at these two home games.

Coach Syer on the Bench

Coach Schafer’s Notes for 11/4/2019

CORNELL 3, @Michigan State 2 | CORNELL 6, @Michigan State 2

This was an interesting weekend and a lot more satisfying than a year ago at Lynah Rink, when we dropped two games to Michigan State. At the beginning of the game, I looked out on the ice and I saw eight freshmen in the starting lineup and I said,  “How could we be picked No. 4 in the country with so many new, young faces?”  They played well, played really solid, and the “older crew” knocked off some rust. On a personal note, my view came from the press box as I was recovering from hernia surgery earlier in the week!  It was a pretty good view. This was the first time since 1992 we had so many newcomers on our starting lineup opening night.

Michigan State scored first with a power-play goal at 7:11 of the first period. We answered at 15:51 with our own power-play tally. On our fourth man advantage of the opening period, freshman forward Jack Malone shot the puck into an open net with assists to junior forward Tristan Mullin and junior defenseman Alex Green. Just 1:50 into the second stanza, the Spartans went back on top with their second power-play goal of the game. About nine minutes later, we came back to tie the score with the only even-strength goal of the game. Senior defenseman Yanni Kaldis cleaned up a scrum near the high slot. His shot flew through many bodies and under the legs of the goaltender.

The game-winner came at 14:31 of the second period on another power play. On our seventh power play opportunity of the night, freshman defenseman Sam Malinski and junior forward Morgan Barron completed passes on the perimeter to create space. Sophomore forward Max Andreev received the puck at the top of the right circle and  rifled a shot that rang off the post and past the goalie’s catching glove.

Now it was time to hang on and we had a whole third period, plus minutes, to protect our 3-2 lead. We killed off two penalties in the third period. Our freshmen were hanging tough. We were strong and won a lot of battles. We played well defensively and didn’t give up many chances. Tactically, we were pretty sound. Especially, in our defensive zone. Guys didn’t lose their checks very often, and if they did, they got lots of help. Junior goaltender Matthew Galajda made 26 saves (9-8-9), while the Michigan State goaltender stopped 27 shots. We were 2-for-8 on the power play; the home team was 2-for-6.

We had 24 hours (actually less) to enjoy our success and get ready for Saturday night against the Spartans at their arena. The game started slowly with neither team generating a scoring chance during the first 12 minutes. We had the game’s first power play opportunity and junior forward Brenden Locke rung the puck around the boards behind the net. Freshman forward Ben Berard got to the puck first and without hesitation, flipped a backhand pass into the middle for Tristan Mullin to slam the puck over the goaltender’s glove. That was all the scoring in the first period; each team had six shots.

Michigan State spartan logo

@Michigan St. – MIH

Michigan State spartan logo

@Michigan St. – MIH

Coach Schafer making a point on the bench

Coach Schafer’s Notes for 10-30-2019


Saturday night’s exhibition game revealed great improvement in just one week. Going into the game, I told the team I wanted us to be consistent and I think we did that. It was our plan to take time and space away from this team because they can really skate up and down the ice. Our guys really moved their feet and crowded them coming out of their zone through the neutral zone.
Sophomore forward Max Andrew scored at 5:45 of the first period, with assists to sophomore forward Michael Regush and junior forward Morgan Barron. Barron’s initial shot rung off the post and Max converted the rebound. That was all the scoring for the first period; we had eight of the game’s first nine shots on goal.

At 8:55 of the second period, junior forward Brenden Locke made it 2-0, taking a pass from senior forward Noah Bauld who had taken the puck away from a defenseman. Senior defenseman Yanni Kaldis, seeing his first action of the season, received an assist. Yanni came back on Saturday and we’re working on building chemistry, something we’re still lacking at this point.
Midway through the third period freshman forward Jack Malone gained possession of the puck along the right wall. The puck was poked away only to go to junior forward Tristan Mullin who skated to the top of the right circle and unleashed a shot over the glove hand of the goaltender to make the score 3-0.

Junior Matthew Galajda played the first two periods in goal with eight saves. I thought he was really solid, controlled his rebounds and didn’t let anything pop out. He’s been sharp in practice and is on top of his game. Classmate Austin McGrath made five stops in the third period. The USA goaltender made 23 saves. We were 0-for-7 on the power play and they were 0-for-3.

We dressed 22 skaters (three more than the limit in the regular season) trying to find the best combinations on the ice. With all those guys on the bench, it was hard to find continuity with lines. We used guys in a lot of different roles just to see where we are.

Freshmen defensemen Sam Malinksi, Travis Mitchell, Sebastian Dirven and Peter Muzyka all saw big minutes in both exhibition games and looked solid even with the exhibition game fluidity of D-pairs. Mitchell, Dirven and Malinski have been giving us quality minutes. They’re playing in all situations and as a group, they haven’t looked out of place at all.

The season starts for real this weekend. We open the 2019-20 campaign on Friday at 7 p.m. at Michigan State and again on Saturday evening. Playing in East Lansing will bring back memories of my first trip to play the Spartans. Twenty-five years ago, I began my head coaching career behind the Cornell bench vs. Michigan State. Our last trip to East Lansing was at the beginning of the 2005-6 season.

If you are near East Lansing and want to support Cornell Men’s Hockey, please join us for a tough opener against Michigan State. They are 2-2 overall. Last weekend, they split with Colorado College losing the first game 3-1 and winning the second 5-1.