McKee and Dekanich go Head-to-Head
by Avash Kalra/Staff Writer
ALBANY, N.Y. The award for the best goaltender in the ECAC is named the Ken Dryden Award, after the legendary Cornell goaltender in the late 1960s.
Last year's Ken Dryden Award went to current Big Red goaltender David McKee. This year, the award was given to Colgate's Mark Dekanich. The two goaltenders faced off in Friday's second semifinal, and they proved they were deserving of their accolades.
"You have two of the best goaltenders in the country," said Colgate coach Don Vaughan, "and they both played that way tonight. I think Mark was tested a little bit more than McKee, but he made the saves when he had to. Mark, certainly in the second period, allowed us to stay in the game."
Dekanich made 17 of his 29 saves in the second period, but on the other end, McKee stopped all 20 shots he faced, backstopping the Big Red to a 2-0 shutout.
It was McKee's third career shutout in the ECAC playoffs and his 18th overall. The former is an ECAC record, and the latter is a school record.
"He's one of the best goaltenders in the league," said Cornell coach Mike Schafer of his netminder. "I was disappointed when I saw that he didn't get voted to the first, second or third team in our league.
"He tried to come back to match some of the best numbers in college hockey history, but this year, we talked about just winning hockey games, and that's what he does. He's a great goaltender."
A disappointed Dekanich, who on Friday made his first career start in the ECAC Final Four, agreed.
"I thought I played well tonight," said the sophomore goaltender. "I did all I could. Playing against David McKee, you know he's going to bring his A game every night."
McKee faced his most action in the third period, during which Colgate had four power play opportunities, including a six-on-four advantage in the closing minute with Dekanich on the bench. The Big Red penalty killers were able to do their jobs, shutting down Colgate's opportunities by blocking shots and clogging the shooting lanes.
Their efforts did not go unnoticed by McKee.
"The guys came out and played great," said McKee. "The PK was unbelievable tonight. Guys worked extremely hard. [The shutout] wouldn't have been possible without my teammates playing so well."