Cornell Storms by Union on Senior Night

ITHACA, N.Y. -- For the second straight night, the men's hockey surged out to a three-goal lead and then held on, topping Union by a score of 4-2 at sold-out Lynah Rink on Saturday in the team's final regular-season home game. Also like Friday, senior Greg Miller had two goals and an assist to lead the offensive charge for the upstart Big Red, which is now unbeaten in its last four.

Sophomore forward Brian Ferlin assisted on the last three goals for Cornell (11-13-3, 7-10-3 ECAC Hockey), which honored its eight seniors in a post-game ceremony. Junior goalie Andy Iles made 36 saves for the victory.
 
It was clear that Cornell had more spring in its step than Union (15-12-5, 8-8-4 ECAC Hockey) in the early going, illustrated nicely by freshman John Knisley's second career goal 6 minutes, 21 seconds into the game. Knisley pick-pocketed a Union defender in the slot and jammed a quick shot under the crossbar past Union goalie Troy Grosenick to give the home side momentum, and it started a flurry for the men in white that would not yield for another four minutes.
 
Just 2:04 later, sophomore defenseman Joakim Ryan screamed to the Lynah Rink rafters after he beat Grosenick through a screen. The play got started with the hard work in the near corner by Ferlin and Miller, who both picked up assists. The puck then came loose to Ryan, who just got his shot through a stick less Dutchmen forward.
 
The run would continue at the midway mark of the period, when Miller potted his third goal of the weekend and the team's first on the power play since Feb. 2. In a play similar to the Ryan strike, Miller collected a loose puck in the slot and ripped a shot high past the stick of Grosenick. Ferlin feathered a pass to senior defenseman Nick D'Agostino in the slot, but he was stick-checked off the puck by a defender. Miller then skated on to the loose puck and fired a shot over Grosenick's blocker to cap the scoring flurry.
 
While on the power play late in the period, Union would have two amazing chances to get on the board. First, Iles slid across post-to-post to make a sprawling save on a shot from the faceoff circle. The ensuing rebound kicked out to a Dutchmen forward, who had nothing but mesh to look at it, but his backhander would hit the outside of the post and kept all the momentum on the side of the Big Red.
 
But that would change in the second period, even as Iles stopped all 16 shots fired at him in the period – largely because the Big Red went shorthanded four times.
 
The Dutchmen finally got on the board at the 5:40 mark of the third period. David Roy collected a hard-around dump-in along the right wing halfwall and fed Cole Ikkala in the slot. He was able to beat Iles to the stick side before the goaltender could get set.
 
The best save of the night undoubtedly came when the Big Red was killing off a 5-on-3 power play for 1:21 late in the third period. Shayne Gostisbehere slapped a one-timer that was labeled for the far side, but Iles slid across and robbed him. Cornell is now a perfect 7-for-7 on two-man disadvantage scenarios this season, with senior defenseman Braden Birch on the ice for the bulk of the threat.
 
But shortly thereafter, with the Dutchmen on a 5-on-4 advantage, the visitors cut their deficit to a single goal when Daniel Carr was set up for a one-timer by Gostisbehere that beat Iles with 5:48 remaining in regulation.
 
With about a minute to play, Union opted to pull Grosenick in favor of an extra attacker, but it was the Big Red who would get the final goal. After a Cornell clear into the Union zone, Ferlin won a battle in the left faceoff circle and then fed Miller in the slot with the yawning cage facing him. Miller converted for his fourth goal of the weekend and team-leading 14th of the season.
 
The play completed stellar weekends for both players, as it was Ferlin's third assist on the night, and fourth point of the weekend. Miller's tally was his fourth of the weekend and capped off a five-point weekend.
 
Now in its third four-game unbeaten streak of the season, Cornell is essentially in 10th place in the ECAC Hockey standings with two games remaining before the playoffs. (While the Big Red is tied with Princeton for ninth place, the Tigers own the tie-breaker – which is head-to-head record). Cornell will conclude its regular season on the road next weekend, with contests Friday at Brown and Saturday at Yale. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m. faceoffs.