In top-10 clash, Cornell blows past No. 9 Clarkson

In top-10 clash, Cornell blows past No. 9 Clarkson

ITHACA, N.Y. – Junior forward Jeff Malott scored twice, and sophomore forward Brenden Locke had two assists to go along with his first-period goal as the Cornell men's hockey team turned a clash of top-10 teams into a resounding 5-0 victory over Clarkson on Friday night at Lynah Rink.
 
Cornell (14-6-2, 10-3-2 ECAC Hockey) continued its first-period dominance this year by jumping out to a two-goal lead after 20 minutes. It marked the 19th time in 22 games that the Big Red has scored first, and it's now outscoring its opposition in first periods, 26-6.
 
Sophomore goaltender Matthew Galajda made the lead stick, turning aside 17 shots for his third shutout of the season – all coming in his last five starts.
 
"I didn't think we had many lapses in our game tonight," said Mike Schafer '86, the Jay R. Bloom '77 Head Coach of Men's Hockey at Cornell. "I think we're starting to learn, as the season has gone on. … Just a really solid effort from start to finish for our guys."
 
Galajda's most important saves came after Cornell's first period goals to keep momentum for the home side. First, he slid across to his left to stop Kevin Charyszyn's shot off a three-on-two rush in the 12th minute, then he stayed strong on Anthony Callin's chance driving the net along from the bottom of the right circle seven minutes later for Clarkson (18-9, 9-6 ECAC Hockey).
 
The Big Red kept the pressure on in the second. Matt Nuttle's goal just 63 seconds into the middle frame pushed the lead to three, then Michael Regush's unassisted power-play goal on outstanding individual effort created the fourth strike just before the final intermission.
 
Cornell's strong special teams were on full display again, with the power play clicking twice in three opportunities and the penalty kill a perfect 2-for-2. Since Dec. 1, the Big Red's power play is clicking at a 31.6% success rate and the penalty kill is 93.5% effective. Both of those rank as second-best in the nation over that span.
 
With the win, Cornell maintained solo possession of first place in ECAC Hockey with 22 points. That's one point ahead of Quinnipiac and two ahead of Harvard, who both won their respective games Friday. The Big Red is now 5-1-1 this year against teams ranked in the USCHO.com poll at the time of the game.
 
Locke's three-point effort is a season-high, and it marks just the team's second of the season (linemate Cam Donaldson had three assists last Friday at Union). The third member of the line, Morgan Barron, had an assist on Nuttle's goal to give him points in 11 of his last 12 games.
 
The Big Red returns to Lynah Rink at 7 p.m. Saturday, when it hosts St. Lawrence in another ECAC Hockey contest.