ITHACA, N.Y. – Sophomore forward Cam Donaldson scored his team-leading 11th goal to tie the game in the third period, but the Cornell men's hockey team's rally went all for naught Saturday night when Colgate's John Snodgrass scored in overtime to lead the Raiders to a 3-2 overtime victory at Lynah Rink.
The loss ended an eight-game unbeaten streak for Cornell (12-6-1, 8-3-1 ECAC Hockey), which had been the longest active streak in the nation entering the night. Even with the loss, the Big Red remains tied with Yale for first place in the league with a game in hand.
Snodgrass' winner was his second goal of the night, and it put a bow on his line's performance for ther weekend. Alongside winger Bobby McMann and center Josh McKechney, the Raiders' top trio left its mark.
"Their top line killed our top checking line. They scored all five goals for them this weekend," said Mike Schafer'86, the Jay R. Bloom '77 Head Coach of Men's Hockey at Cornell. "They were a point of emphasis all week, and our guys just didn't get it."
For a second straight night against Colgate (7-15-2, 4-6-2), Cornell got off to a fast start with a goal in the game's second minute. Sophomore forward Morgan Barron's 10th goal of the season was unassisted, though heavily aided by the forecheck of linemates Brenden Locke and Donaldson, and the Big Red looked to take control. But Cornell hit the post twice on a power play later in the period, and the tenor of the game changed completely on Snodgrass' first goal of the night with just 4.5 seconds left in the opening frame.
The first period's end was reprised on the first shift of the second, and defenseman Paul Meyer's first goal of the season gave Colgate its first lead of the weekend. It also chased Cornell starting goaltender Austin McGrath, with Matthew Galajda playing well in relief.
From there, Colgate freshman goaltender Mitch Benson stole the show with 41 saves. During a two-man advantage of 1:23, Cornell was turned away when Mitch Vanderlaan's point-blank shot was gloved by Benson at the 13:52 mark of the middle frame.
The Big Red finally equalized with 6:18 left when Donaldson finished a goal-mouth feed from Barron. But Benson's heroics continued, first on a blocker save against Alec McCrea's one-timer with 1:03 left in regulation and another stop from in tight versus Yanni Kaldis about 30 seconds later.
Snodgrass' winner marked the Big Red's first overtime loss since a 2-1 setback against Colorado College on Dec. 29, 2016.
"I thought we played better tonight than we did last night, but we just didn't get the result," Schafer said. "Give Colgate credit; they played well."
Cornell hits the road for six of its final 10 regular-season games, starting with a visit to New York's Capital District marked by games 7 p.m. Friday at Union and 7 p.m. Saturday at Rensselaer.
How The Goals Were Scored:
Cornell's 1st Goal
1st period, 2:00 • Barron 10 (unassisted) • Cornell 1, Colgate 0
• Playing quickly on the forecheck, Locke got into his man behind the Colgate net and allowed Donaldson an extra split second to get even more pressure on his man along the half wall. With Donaldson checking him, the Raiders defender blindly passed toward the middle where Barron easily intercepted, turned toward goal and rifled a shot over Benson's glove.
Colgate's 1st Goal
1st period, 19:55.5 • Snodgrass 2 (McMann) • Cornell 1, Colgate 1
• Colgate's McKechney line attacked on the rush with time winding down in the period, but the Big Red neutralized the attack and looked to break back out of the zone and saunter into the intermission – but a pass was cut down at the blue line and allowed Snodgrass to quickly counter on a two-on-one. He opted to shoot from the left circle, placing a shot above McGrath's glove to the far corner.
Colgate's 2nd Goal
2nd period, :15 • Meyer 1 (McKechney, McMann) • Colgate 2, Cornell 1
• The second period started as the first ended – but a Big Red turnover at its own blue line. This one allowed McKechney a rip from the slot, but McCrea blocked it. The puck ended up in the left corner, where McKechney fished it out and fed Meyer at the left point. Cornell seemed to recover, but McGrath was unable to pick up Meyer's shot from distance before it splashed the net inside the near post.
Cornell's 2nd Goal
3rd period, 13:42 • Donaldson 11 (Barron, Kaldis) • Cornell 2, Colgate 2
• On a broken play in the neutral zone, Kaldis kept possession for the Big Red and set up offensive zone entry. Barron made a move that sent his defender to the ice, allowing him to attack on his backhand. He then sent a pass across the crease for Donaldson, who managed to squeak a shot through Benson's pads.
Colgate's 3rd Goal
OT, 3:48 • Snodgrass 3 (McKechney, Brooks) • Colgate 3, Cornell 2
• McKechney won a battle along the left wall in the Cornell zone, curling across the top of the circle and down the slot with a defender in tow. The rest of the defense collapsed on the middle to try to help out, but the rebound after McKechney's shot was spooned in by a wide-open Snodgrass at the near post.