Roundup: Cornell Responds With Big Road Sweep
Clarkson, Lowell, Providence, Notre Dame with Strong Weekends
CHN Staff Report
Freshman defenseman Yanni Kaldis scored his first collegiate goal with 22.6 seconds left in the third period to cap Cornell's rally in a 4-3 win at Rensselaer. The win also gave Cornell a huge sweep of the weekend, following its win at Union on Friday, which followed a pair of heartbreaking home losses a week earlier that threatened to derail the team's season.
With the wins, Cornell is back to No. 13 in the Pairwise.
Kaldis’ goal was Cornell’s third on the power play in a game that featured countless momentum swings. The Big Red entered the third period down by a goal, but pulled even on senior forward Matt Buckles’ goal with 7:20 to play. RPI was whistled for a major penalty for hitting from behind with 2:43 remaining, setting up the Big Red’s eighth power play of the night.
Sophomore forward Mitch Vanderlaan started edging toward goal from a sharp angle to the left of RPI goalie Chase Perry. His pass deflected off a stick and into the air, and Buckles took a swing at it that ended up advancing the puck out the far side. That’s where Kaldis was positioned, swatting in the winner.
“I was going there for a rebound or — I think it was (Vanderlaan) who had it on the side — if he was going to look for me on the back door,” Kaldis said. “It was a tough play. It just bounced there and I took a whack at it.”
Cornell hadn't won in Troy since 2011.
“We had a slow start to the third period,” Cornell coach Mike Schafer said. “We just started to try to do too much coming through the neutral zone, and if they get a lead they’re a frustrating team to play against. But then we started advancing pucks and getting on top of them. We got some turnovers and got our feet going.”
Friday's game looked all to familiar for a while, with Cornell dominating play early and taking a lead, only to see it evaporate thanks to taking bad penalties and a faltering penalty kill. In two games the week before at Lynah Rink, Cornell lost 3rd-period leads thanks in part to penalties.
"Whether we need to play less physical or whatever we need to do," said Schafer. "We cannot put ourselves in situations where we even take an opportunity to have anything called against us,"
Against Union, however, the Big Red turned things back around.
"It was an intriguing game," said Schafer. "We had it in hand. I thought that similar things happened to us in the game. I thought our team handled it really well tonight. It was kind of eerie how similar the games were, just tonight we were able to win it."
Senior captain Jake Weidner had a goal in each of the wins this weekend.
"Last week was frustration," Weidner said. "We had leads in both games and didn't come away with any points. We were really looking forward to getting back on the ice this week."
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Mike Vecchione's 22nd goal of the season, coming 12:39 into the third period, gave Union a lead it wouldn't give up against Colgate on Saturday.
Vecchione had a pair the night before in a loss to Cornell. This time, it was the game winner.
Union is 19-7-2 overall, and moved back within a point of St. Lawrence for first place in the ECAC.
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Clarkson fed off the emotion of a big home game against its arch rival to win 3-1, and give St. Lawrence a serious setback.
Freshman Nico Sturm, a native of Germany, scored midway through the third period to provide the game winner for the Golden Knights.
"We had great energy and urgency to our game," Clarkson coach Casey Jones said. "We did a good job managing the puck. ... We rolled four lines and had depth on our bench. Plus they had some penalties.
"We've lost some games we shouldn't have. We had attention to detail in practice this week led to success. ... We've had leads in multiple games we lost or tied recently. I was happy tonight with how smart we played after getting the lead."
St. Lawrence, which continues to battle injury issues, dropped to 20th in the Pairwise, though maintains a slim one-point lead in the league standings.
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Massachusetts-Lowell broke out for 14 goals this weekend in wins over Northeastern and New Hampshire, to snap what had been a four-game losing streak.
Saturday, Lowell had five goals in the third period, from five different players, to defeat New Hampshire, 8-2.
With the win, the River Hawks improve to 17-9-3 overall and 9-7-1 in conference play, while the Wildcats fall to 11-13-6 overall and 6-7-3.
"We played a vastly different game than we played (Friday) night," Lowell coach Norm Bazin said. "Last night we fought through some adversity and tonight we were the benefits of puck luck and a good third period. Both of those things came through for us and we were able to get a few goals and that is something that feels good in the locker room right now."
Freshman classmates Nick Marin and Mattias Goransson notched a game-high three points apiece. Marin's three points where the first of his career, netting his first career goal in the third period.
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Battling injuries, illness and adversity all weekend, Notre Dame put together a complete team effort on Saturday night at the Compton Family Ice Arena and erased a one-goal deficit to defeat No. 12 Vermont, 4-1, for a three point weekend in the Hockey East standings.
Notre Dame used four goal scorers, including Andrew Oglevie, Jordan Gross, Mike O’Leary and Cal Burke, en route to the victory.
“It’s probably one of our best 60 minute efforts of the season," Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said. "Maybe we’re just designed to give up the first goal. I’d rather give up the first goal and win the game than give up the goals in the third. I thought we did a good job of controlling the puck and that’s where it all starts from and I thought it started a little bit last night and I thought we did an even better job tonight.”
Notre Dame star forward Anders Bjork was among those who missed Friday's game due to illness, but he came back Saturday.
“He wasn’t 100 percent but he’s still a threat out there every time he’s on the ice," Jackson said. "I’m glad he got in the lineup, that actually created matchup issues for them so I’m glad he was able to get back. He skated this morning and he was at our meetings, he had a tough week he was really under the weather so it’s good to get him back and hopefully back to full strength this week.”
Vermont had 32 shots on net, but were held in check in terms of quality chances.
"We started putting pucks behind them early last night when we had the 2-0 lead and I thought that we backed off it," Jackson said. "I thought tonight it kind of continued and we had to make sure we weren’t shifting pucks to them because they were backing off. I think defensively we did a better job because you know they’re a good team and they’re older and they do a good job offensively cycling the puck and you have to be able to defend because they’re going to have their time in the offensive zone you just have to limit the damage."
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Senior defenseman Anthony Florentino’s first career hat trick lifted Providence to a 5-3 win over Maine on Saturday night at Schneider Arena. Providence runs its season-high winning streak to seven games with the victory.
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Merrimack and Connecticut skated to a second consecutive 2-2 tie Saturday in Hartford.
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Canisius mustered just one point against Army on Saturday in a 2-2 tie, as its first-place lead in Atlantic Hockey shrank to one point. Canisius had three points on the weekend while second-place Air Force had four. Canisius has never won the league regular-season title.
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Air Force scored three goals in the final 3:06 of the game as the Falcons defeated Bentley, 5-1, in at Ryan Arena in Watertown, Mass. Air Force improved to 18-8-4 overall and 15-5-2 in the league. The Falcons are in second place in the league, one point behind Canisius.
“We are in a good place right now,” Air Force coach Frank Serratore said. “We are playing a steady, even-keel game and competing very well. To be able to come in here, a tough building, against a very good team, and take four points says a lot about this team. I’m really proud of the guys. Its Super Bowl weekend and it will be a super Sunday for Coach Serratore.”