ITHACA, N.Y. – Mitch Vanderlaan and Tristan Mullin scored their first goals of the season, and the Cornell men's hockey team used a three-goal third period for a 5-1 victory over Princeton on Saturday night at Lynah Rink.
Cam Donaldson and Max Andreev had a goal and an assist apiece for 17th-ranked Cornell (5-3, 3-1 ECAC Hockey, 3-0 Ivy League), which effectively bounced back from a disappointment loss the night prior. Matthew Galajda made 19 saves to earn the victory, including a flash of the right pad to improbably thwart Alex Riche's deflection of a point shot to keep the Big Red ahead midway through the second period.
"It was similar to last night, but we finished it this time," said Mike Schafer, the Jay R. Bloom '77 Head Coach of Men's Hockey at Cornell. "Mitch scored his first goal, Tristan scored his first goal, and it was great that we came back and did a great job."
Mullin's goal pushed Cornell's lead to 3-1 with 8 minutes to play after Kyle Betts' hustle negated an icing call, then his slick backhand pass set up Mullin's shot from the left circle. Cam Donaldson's fourth goal of the season blew the game open about two minutes later before Andreev's 200-foot bank-shot goal into an empty net closed the scoring.
It was a particularly satisfying win for a Big Red squad that for a second night in a row was dressing every healthy player it had on its roster. Cornell has been particularly depleted on defense, which still managed to quiet one of the nation's most potent offensive teams and was a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill against a Princeton power play that entered the night converting at better than 40 percent of its opportunities – second-best in the nation.
"(Associate head coach) Ben Syer did a great job juggling the bench and keeping those guys ready to go," Schafer added.
For the fifth time in its eight games this season, Cornell opened the scoring inside the first seven minutes. This time, it was Vanderlaan on a rebound at the 1:47 mark. Beau Starrett's redirection of Cody Haiskanen's shot later in the frame gave the home side a 2-0 lead.
Princeton (3-3-1, 3-2-1, 1-1-1) got its lone strike early in the second period on a four-on-four goal from Josh Teves. But Cornell continued its trend of of finding offensive answers against the Tigers. In its last six games against Princeton, Cornell has 27 goals – an average of 4.5 per game.
• Of Cornell's 25 goals this season, 16 have been scored by underclassmen.
• Tonight's game pushed the Big Red's total to 10 of man games lost to injury among its top six defensemen (Green 5, Smith 3, Haiskanen 2). Just eight games into this season, that number matches that of the entire 2017-18 season (Smith 5, Green 4, McCrea 1).
• Matt Nuttle continues to lead the team with a plus-8 rating after finishing tied for second in the nation last year in that category (plus-23). Over his upperclassman seasons, he's been on the ice for just six even-strength goals against in 41 games (vs. 37 goals for).
• With his goal in the third period, Donaldson now has points in each of his four career games against Princeton.
• The Big Red turns its attention to The World's Most Famous Arena, where it takes on rival Harvard at The Frozen Apple next Saturday at famed Madison Square Garden in New York.