Roundup: Cornell Remains Perfect; Emotional Win for Providence
BU Bounces Back; BC, Colgate Streaking
CHN Staff Report
In the lore of the Cornell-Harvard rivalry games at Lynah Rink, the 2012-13 season had an overtime winner from Joel Lowry. The 2013-14 season had Eric Freschi’s last minute winner. In the future legend of 2017-18, it’s Alec McCrea.
The junior defenseman scored a power-play goal with 1.4 seconds remaining in the third period, capping Cornell’s dramatic comeback for a 3-2 victory over its Ivy League rival in front of a frenzied sold-out crowd at Lynah Rink.
With the victory, Cornell is 6-0 for the first time since the 1971-72 season, and it remains the lone undefeated team in the country. To get there, the Big Red needed to shake off a two-goal deficit after fifth-ranked Harvard got goals from Henry Bowlby and Ty Pelton-Byce in the opening 16 minutes.
“I thought they made us play the kind of game that we didn’t want to play tonight, and it took us awhile to get going,” Cornell coach Mike Schafer said. “We turned more pucks over in the neutral zone than all year and going down 2-0, we just found a way to win.”
Sophomore forward Jeff Malott factored into all three of Cornell’s goals, with a pair of assists bookending his tally early in the second period. The power play helped the climb, including a pivotal five-on-three goal from sophomore defenseman Yanni Kaldis with 44 seconds left in the first period.
After Malott tied the score, scoring chances thinned out over the second half of the game until the Crimson ran into penalty trouble late in the third period. Harvard killed off a pair of two-man disadvantages with in the final 2:14 of the game, but the Big Red broke through in the dying seconds. For McCrea, it was his third goal of the season — all coming on the power play.
The final penalty came as the result of a bench minor to Harvard coach Ted Donato for arguing with the officials.
“I haven’t had much time to think about it. It’s a pretty crazy feeling,” McCrea said. “I was actually committed to Harvard in the past before I came to Cornell. So that was really emotional for me getting that last goal. It was a great effort from our team this weekend.”
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With the No. 7 jersey of former teammate Drew Brown hanging on the bench, Providence went out and put up a seven spot against Massachusetts, 7-2, in a win at Schneider Arena on Saturday.
The school, and team, found out early Saturday that Brown had succumbed to cancer. The 25-year old was diagnosed in 2014, after his junior year, with a rare form of bone cancer, but was able to attend the Frozen Four the next season when Providence won the national title.
"It was a very emotional day with the passing of Drew, and we just wanted to get it to that number seven," Providence coach Nate Leaman said. "It was great how it worked out. ... It's funny, we probably had five or six unbelieveable chances after we made it 7-2, and the puck just wouldn't go in."
Five of Providence's goals came on the power play.
Brian Pinho, who was a freshman on the national championship team, had two goals.
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Colgate earned a weekend sweep of Dartmouth and Harvard, capping it off with a 3-2 win over the Big Green. With the win, the Raiders remained unbeaten at home at 4-0-2, and extended their unbeaten streak to seven games, the longest in the country.
Bobby McMann scored two goals to take over the team lead with five, while Mike Panowyk scored his fifth goal of the season as well.
Goaltender Colton Point made 28 saves in the game as he extended his personal unbeaten streak to 10 games at 6-0-4 to open up the season.
"This young team is finding ways to win, our structure again was good tonight and it was an entertaining game tonight. We certainly had some great possession time in the third period and we were fortunate to get that empty-net goal," Colgate coach Don Vaughan said.
"Clearly you want to have some kind of home ice advantage, I've always said in our league if you win at home and can split on the road you're going to be challenging for the top of the league every year. We're taking a lot of pride in playing at home, it's a beautiful building and it's our home now. Finally after being in it as long as we have now, it's starting to feel a little bit more like ours."
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Massachusetts-Lowell earned a weekend sweep of its Hockey East play, taking a 4-2 decision from Northeastern on Saturday, one night after defeating New Hampshire.
Junior forward Nick Master scored the go-ahead goal 5:09 into the third for the River Hawks, his first of the season. Junior goaltender Christoffer Hernberg had a season-high 33 stops in his sixth win of the season, which included 20 saves in the second period.
Northeastern had clobbered Boston University, 6-1, on Friday, but couldn't muster the same energy in all three periods Saturday.
"I was disappointed with our effort for three periods," Northeastern coach Jim Madigan said. "We played one period of hockey, the second. We lost too many puck battles. They beat us to pucks, they wanted it more in the first and third. Their second goal was the result of us not being heavy on the puck.
"The second period we responded and played well, but in this league you can't play well for one period and think you're going to win the hockey game. ... We weren't moving our feet."
Madigan also expressed dismay that his goaltenders were taking the brunt of punishment on the ice. Lowell's Connor Sodergren was give a major penalty and game misconduct for elbowing Cayden Primeau in the second period. Then in the third period, Master got only a minor penalty for a similar play. Last week, Ryan Ruck also drew a similar penalty.
"We're not getting any protection on the ice with our goaltenders," Madigan said. "It's open hunting season. ... We can't keep hitting our goaltender like they're doing, he's banged up."
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Redshirt sophomore Max Prawdzik turned in a 29-save shutout in his first collegiate start to help Boston University to a 4-0 win over New Hampshire.
Freshman Ty Amonte opened the scoring before sophomore Dante Fabbro and juniors Jordan Greenway and Bobo Carpenter all added goals to help the Terriers improve to 5-6-1 overall and 3-3-1 in Hockey East play. UNH moves to 6-3-1.
Prawdzik did not appear in a varsity game two years ago as a freshman, so he went back to juniors last season, before returning. He mopped up Friday night's loss, and then was awarded the start Saturday.
"Jake (first-round draft pick Jake Oettinger) needed a mental break, first and foremost," BU coach David Quinn said about his regular goaltender, who is 4-6-1 this season with a .904 save percentage, after putting up a .927 last season as a freshman. "Two, Max has been playing well. I just thought it was the right time. He rewarded us for the opportunity he earned.
"He's been working in practice and has been really committed."
Quinn thought his team played better than Friday, obviously, but that good things started, actually, during that loss.
"It's not easy to rebound from what happened last night, from a score standpoint. Anyone who was at the game knows it wasn't a 6-1 game. But to bounce back as we did, I feel good for our players," Quinn said.
"I had Northeastern for about 11 scoring chances last night, which is very low, and we give up six goals," Quinn. "So I thought it started last night. We broke the puck out better last night and tonight, which helps. We were alert, got to people and made plays."
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Boston College's offense broke out for a five-goal performance and a 5-1 win over Vermont on Saturday, completing the weekend sweep and extending the Eagles' winning streak to five games.
Freshman Christopher Grando scored twice, including the game-winning shorthanded goal at 9:52 of the second period. Captain Christopher Brown scored on the power play, and Graham McPhee and Jacob Tortora added goals.
Sophomore Ryan Edquist racked up his second win of the season in his third start between the pipes, turning away 23 of 24 UVM attempts.
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Elsewhere in the ECAC, Clarkson improved to 4-0 in the league with a 4-1 win over Yale. It's the best ECAC start for the Golden Knights since 1995-96. ... Princeton scored the game's final four goals to defeat RPI, 6-2, and bounce back from Friday's OT loss to Union. ... Former Team of the Week Quinnipiac has continued its skid in the early going in the ECAC, dropping a 4-1 decision to Union, which has won seven of eight after an 0-5 start. ... And St. Lawrence, playing with only 15 available skaters, allowed 46 shots to Brown in a 3-1 loss, and dropped to 1-10-1 on the season.