Roundup: Cornell Earns Big Win at Quinnipiac
Harvard Shut Down Again
CHN Staff Report
Cornell made one last statement on the road Saturday night before a home-heavy finish to the regular season, never trailing in a 2-1 victory at Quinnipiac. Senior forward Jeff Kubiak and junior forward Alex Rauter scored the goals, and senior goaltender Mitch Gillam made a handful of key saves in a frenetic final five minutes for Cornell (11-4-1, 6-2-1 ECAC).
The win was No. 401 for Cornell coach Mike Schafer, who hit the 400 mark in Friday's win at Princeton. And it gave the Big Red nine wins in the last 10 games, the only loss coming in overtime at the Florida tournament.
Quinnipiac, which averages 35 shots per game, was held to just 19, just the second time it's been held under 20 this season, both against Cornell.
“You appreciate Quinnipiac over the course of time,” Schafer said. “What we did to them (tonight) was what they’ve done to us for a lot of years. Jake Weidner had the huge block toward the end of the game. He has a huge black mark on his back. ... The difference was once the game was on the line, we got some blocks and big saves. They’re a good hockey team and they’re tough to beat here.”
Cornell stifled Quinnipiac all night until running into penalty trouble in the third period. Sophomore defenseman Matt Nuttle came up big with a pair of blocked shots on the first Quinnipiac power play during the third, then Weidner took a slap shot off the back of his shoulder on the next. That power play was actually a six-on-four with 5:23 remaining when the Bobcats pulled goaltender Andrew Shortridge.
The Big Red, now No. 11 in the Pairwise, has played just four home games to date — by far a national low, with Harvard and Boston College’s seven home games ranked next fewest.
“We did what we had to do to get a win,” Schafer said. “I thought we played well for good stretches.”
Cornell returns to Ithaca, N.Y. for a four-game home stand, starting Friday, Jan. 20 against Clarkson and the following night against St. Lawrence. The Big Red also hosts Harvard on Jan. 27 and Dartmouth on Jan. 28.
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Harvard was shut out for the first 119 minutes, 49 seconds this weekend. The Crimson got a goal from Ryan Donato with 11 seconds left in regulation against Union, but it wasn't enough in a 2-1 loss. And following Friday's 4-0 stunning defeat at the hands of Rensselaer, Harvard returned to Cambridge shaking its collective head. The losses dropped the Crimson from No. 2 in the Pairwise to No. 10.
Spencer Foo had what turned out to be the game winner, when he rifled a one-timer off a drop pass beyond the grasp of Harvard goalie Merrick Madsen, in the third period.
Along with a win over Dartmouth on Friday, Union stands alone in first place in the ECAC with a 10-1-1 league mark.
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St. Lawrence, still skating without a number of key players including the league's top defenseman in Gavin Bayreuther, managed a 2-2 tie with Yale on Saturday, and a three-point weekend.
After falling behind 2-0 at a sold out Ingalls Rink, the Saints got goals from Eric Sweetman and Ben Finkelstein to tie it.
Yale also had a 3-point weekend, after its 2-1 win over Clarkson on Friday, when John Hayden scored the game winner in the final minute of regulation.
A career-high 39 saves by Patrick Spano and goals by Ryan Hitchcock and Frankie DiChiara got the Elis the initial lead.
Bayreuther is expected to miss another 5-6 weeks, according to St. Lawrence coach Mark Morris.
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Seniors Grant Opperman and Troy Crema each netted a pair of goals to lead the Dartmouth to a 4-2 win over Rensselaer.
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Princeton, playing without two of its top forwards in Max Veroneau and Alex Riche, sidelined with injuries, came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie Colgate at home. Colgate was also playing without numerous players all weekend, thanks to a flu bug that swept through the team. Four players sat out Saturday with the illness, while another four played with it.