Cornell falls to Providence in NCAA Regional Final

Cornell falls to Providence in NCAA Regional Final

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Cornell men's hockey team's season came to a close Sunday after Hayden Hawkey made 19 saves for his national-best eighth shutout of the season, and Providence skated away with a 4-0 victory in the NCAA East Region championship at Dunkin' Donuts Center.
 
The victory earns Providence (24-11-6), which entered the weekend's as the regional's bottom seed, a trip to the Frozen Four and a national semifinal date on Thursday, April 11 in Buffalo, N.Y. Cornell wraps up the season 21-11-4, co-champions of the ECAC Hockey regular season, the runner-up in the ECAC Hockey Championships and a winner in an NCAA regional semifinal for the first time since 2012.
 
The Friars did what few have done against the Big Red this season – take, and build on, an early lead. A point shot from Jacob Bryson handcuffed sophomore goaltender Austin McGrath and created a rebound right at the top of the crease. Greg Printz won the battle and poked it in to give Providence a 1-0 lead at the 10:20 mark.
 
"They did exactly what we have been doing to a lot of teams for many years – get the first goal," said Mike Schafer '86, the Jay R. Bloom '77 Head Coach of Men's Hockey at Cornell. "I thought that they were outstanding staying above us for the rest of the night. They made things very difficult."
 
Goals in the first and last two minutes of the second period gave Providence a daunting three-goal lead. Josh Wilkins guided a rebound in with his skate at 1:40, then Scott Conway tipped in a power-play goal from the slot with just 0.6 seconds left before the intermission.
 
While that final strike changed the tenor of the game, the Big Red finished with a strong third period. It just ran into an unfamiliar outcome – a shutout. It's the first time Cornell has been held off the scoresheet since Feb. 9, 2018.
 
"For us, you get behind, and … you've got to have depth to overcome that kind of team when you get behind," Schafer said. "You've constantly got to sustain the pressure in order to get a break. We just didn't have that depth."