Cornell Continues Home Stand vs. SLU, Clarkson

Cornell Continues Home Stand vs. SLU, Clarkson

ITHACA, N.Y. — As the final remaining undefeated team in the nation, the men's hockey team will be put to the test this weekend on its continuing home stand with ECAC Hockey contests against St. Lawrence on Friday and Clarkson on Saturday. Both games will face off at 7 p.m., and they will be streamed on the Ivy League Network. Jason Weinstein (play-by-play) and Tony Eisenhut '88 (color commentary) will have the call, which can also be heard in the Ithaca area on WHCU (870 AM, 95.9 FM) and around the world via the station's website here.

Game 7: ST. LAWRENCE at #5/6 CORNELL
TIME: 7 p.m.
DATE: Friday, Nov. 17, 2017
PLACE: Lynah Rink  •  Ithaca, N.Y.
RECORDS: Cornell 6-0, 4-0 ECAC Hockey, 3-0 Ivy League; St. Lawrence 1-10-1, 0-3-1 ECAC Hockey
VIDEO: Ivy League Network
RADIO : WHCU (870 AM, 95.9 FM)

Cornell game notes (PDF)
St. Lawrence game notes (coming soon)
Clarkson game notes (PDF)

Big Red Rewind:
•  Cornell is coming off an exhilarating 3-2 victory on Saturday night over nationally-ranked Harvard in a rematch of last season's ECAC Hockey championship game. The Big Red rallied from a two-goal deficit and got the winning goal from junior defenseman Alec McCrea with 2.3 seconds left in the third period.
•  Sophomore defenseman Yanni Kaldis and sophomore forward Jeff Malott also scored for the Big Red, which improved to 6-0 for the first time since the 1971-72 season. Also with two assists, Malott factored into each Cornell goal.
•  The national leader in team defense (1.33 goals against per game), Cornell started the weekend with a dominating 3-0 shutout of Dartmouth on Friday. Junior forwards Mitch Vanderlaan and Anthony Angello, reunited on the same line for the first time this season, each had a goal and an assist.
•  Freshman goaltender Matthew Galajda needed to make just 16 saves for his second shutout in just his fifth collegiate start.
•  The home sweep of Dartmouth and Harvard was the first for Cornell since the 2009-10 season.

About the Big Red:
•  Senior forward Trevor Yates (5-2–7; 3 PPG) leads the team in goals and is tied for fourth nationally with an average of 0.83 goals per game. Yates is tied for the team points lead with sophomore forward Jeff Malott (3-4–7).
•  Freshman forward Morgan Barron (2-4–6) is third in team scoring and is the first freshman in program history to record a point in each of his first six collegiate games. He set up the winning goal Saturday against Harvard.
•  Cornell's penalty kill continues to lead the nation with a 96.7 percent success rate. The Big Red opened the season with 17 consecutive penalty kills, and it has now killed 12 straight since Nov. 4 at Princeton, when it conceded its only power-play goal against to date.
•  The Big Red power play has also been terrific, ranked sixth in the country (27.3%). Cornell is second in the country in combined special teams (60.3%).

A New 'Tender's Turn:
•  The Big Red graduated three-year starting goaltender Mitch Gillam '17 after last season, but the team hasn't yet missed a beat. Freshman Matthew Galajda (5-0, 1.32, .942, 2 SO) has started all six games to date, and he was named the ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week after last weekend.

Power Play Ace:
•  Senior forward Trevor Yates' power-play prowess has picked up right where it left off last year. After leading the team with eight goals on the man advantage last\ year, Yates potted three power-play goals in two opening-weekend games against Alabama-Huntsville. That effort earned Yates ECAC Hockey Player of the Week honors on Oct. 31. He now has 11 power-play goals in his last 39 games.

The Offensive Defense:
•  Not only has Cornell opened the scoring in each of its six games, five of those six goals have come from defensemen. Junior Alec McCrea (3-1–4; 3 PPGs) has two of those goals, and juniors Matt Nuttle and Brendan Smith and sophomore Yanni Kaldis have the others. Those four defensemen have a combined seven goals in six games this season after producing a total of five goals all of last year.

Fresh Faces:
•  Eight freshmen made their collegiate debuts during the Big Red's first two games, including seven in the opener. It marked the first time Cornell had seven freshmen skate in its season debut since 1997.
•  Forwards Morgan Barron (2-4–6) and Cam Donaldson (0-4–4) are the top scorers among newcomers, and forward Brenden Locke (1-1–2) scored the winning goal during the third period Nov. 4 at Princeton.
•  Matthew Galajda's two shutouts are tied for the second-most in program history for a freshman goaltender. Only All-American David McKee had more (five; 2003-04), and Galajda joins senior Hayden Stewart (2014-15) and Brian Hayward (1978-79) as the only others with two.

Feel The Draft?:
•  Cornell has six players on the roster who have been selected in the NHL Entry Draft, including four from 2014. Junior forward Beau Starrett (Chicago Blackhawks) was selected earliest in that group, having been taken in the third round with the 88th overall pick.
•  Classmate Anthony Angello, also a forward, was selected in the fifth round by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Junior forwards Jared Fiegl (Arizona Coyotes) and Dwyer Tschantz (St. Louis Blues) were then picked in the seventh round.
•  Two newcomers are also NHL draft picks — forward Morgan Barron (N.Y. Rangers in 2017) and defenseman Matt Cairns (Edmonton Oilers in 2016).

Polls Prose:
•  The Big Red rocketed up the national polls this week, all the way to fifth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and sixth in the poll. Cornell received the second-most first-place votes in both polls.
•  Cornell's ranking in the USA poll is its highest since Feb. 1, 2010, and its ranking in the poll is its highest since March 22, 2010 — right after it defeated Union to win its 12th ECAC Hockey Championship.
•  Cornell ranks highest among ECAC Hockey teams — Clarkson is #7/8; Harvard is #11/13, and Colgate is 19th in the poll to garner its first national ranking since Sept. 28, 2015.

First Ivy League Coach To 400:
•  Already the winningest coach in program history and in Ivy League history, Mike Schafereclipsed another milestone in his career with his 400th victory last January.
•  Schafer ranks 10th in victories among active Division I coaches and is Cornell's fifth-winningest coach across all sports — second among current coaches, behind just Dave Eldredge (men's and women's polo).

What, Me Worry?:
•  Cornell has only trailed in two of its six games so far, and it actually faced a two-goal deficit both Nov. 4 at Princeton and last Saturday vs. Harvard before rallying for victories.
•  Eight of Cornell's 21 victories last season came in games in which the Big Red surrendered the first goal, with the team maintaining a winning record even when it conceded first.
•  The Big Red's resilience from an early deficit has become somewhat of a trend, with the team sporting a very respectable 21-20-8 record when yielding the game's first strike over the last two years. That's a stark turnaround from the team's 14-34-5 record when yielding the game's first goal from the previous three seasons (2012-15).

Helping Out:
Members and friends of the Cornell men's hockey program embarked on another mission trip to the Dominican Republic through the Portal de Belén Foundation over in the summer of 2016. It was the fourth time the program has participated, following trips in 2009, 2012 and 2014. Current members of the team Ryan BlissAlec McCreaAnthony AngelloAlex RauterHayden StewartTrent ShoreJared Fiegl and Dwyer Tschantz were among current team members on the trip, as well as Mike Schafer, the Jay R. Bloom '77 Head Coach of Men's Hockey.

About St. Lawrence:
•  The Saints have struggled to a 1-10-1 start, laboring through a gantlet of non-conference games against high-profile opponents. St. Lawrence's one
victory came on the road against nationally-ranked Wisconsin.
•  SLU is 0-3-1 through four league games, scratching out a 4-4 tie with Rensselaer on Nov. 4 against losses to Union (Nov. 3), Yale (last Friday) and Brown (last Saturday).
•  Junior forward Jacob Pritchard (4-5–9) leads the team in points and is part of goal-scoring lead with senior forward and linemate Joe Sullivan (4-3–7; 3 PPGs). Sophomore forward Alex Gilmour (4-0–4) and freshman forward Callum Cusinato (4-0–4) are the other leading goal-scorers.
•  Sophomore Ben Finkelstein (2-5–7) is the team's highest-scoring defenseman, and senior blueliner Nolan Gluchowski (0-6–6) leads in shots on goals (39).
•  Mark Morris is in his second season at the helm at SLU after coaching stops at major junior and professional levels and 13-year stint as the head coach at Clarkson.

The Series Against St. Lawrence:
•  In a series that began during the 1926-27 campaign, Cornell holds a 60-45-8 all-time lead after sweeping last year's two games.
•  Junior defenseman Brendan Smith scored his first collegiate goal late in the second period to give Cornell a 3-2 victory in last season's first meeting, on Jan. 21.
•  The Big Red then blitzed the Saints for three goals late in the first period en route to 4-2 victory Feb. 17 at St. Lawrence. Juniors Beau Starrett and Mitch Vanderlaan had goals for Cornell.

About Clarkson:
•  Like the Big Red, the Golden Knights are also 4-0 after the first two weekends of ECAC Hockey league play. Clarkson never trailed in victories over Rensselaer (Nov. 3), Union (Nov. 4) and Brown (last Friday) before scoring four unanswered goals to defeat Yale, 4-1, last Saturday.
•  Offensively, Clarkson is led by the line of sophomore forwards Sheldon Rempal (8-6–14), Devin Brosseau (3-7–10; 3 PPGs) and Nico Sturm (2-8–10; plus-9).  Add senior defensemen Terrance Amorosa (3-7–10; 3 PPGs) and Kelly Summers (2-6–8), and all five of Clarkson's top scorers play on the same power-play unit.
•  Sophomore Jake Kielly (8-3-1, 1.58, .945, 3 SO) has been Clarkson's exclusive goaltender. He was the lone goalie on the 2017 ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team.
•  Clarkson ranks first in the country in combined special teams (61.4%). The power play has clicked at a gaudy 47.4% over the first four league games.
•  Casey Jones '90, a former associate head coach under Mike Schafer, is in his seventh season as head coach at Clarkson.

The Series Against Clarkson:
•  The Big Red owns a 65-54-17 record against the Golden Knights after a three-game ECAC Hockey Championship quarterfinals series victory last year.
•  The teams played to a pair of ties during the regular season last year. Clarkson stormed out to a 3-1 lead by the midway point of the Jan. 20 game at Lynah, but Cornell rallied to earn a point with a pair of goals from Trevor Yates.
•  Goals by Mitch Vanderlaan and Matt Nuttle gave the Big Red a lead with 3:15 left in the third period Feb. 18 at Cheel Arena, but Clarkson equalized less than a minute later and the teams settled for another tie.
•  Clarkson put the Big Red's season on the brink with a Game 1 victory in last year's quarterfinals, but Cornell responded with a pair of 2-1 wins. Junior forward Anthony Angelloscored the winning goal both nights.
•  Cornell is 10-5-4 against Clarkson since Casey Jones became head coach.

Up Next:
•  Cornell closes out its current five-game home stand by hosting Niagara at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21. The game marks the first of five consecutive non-league games to close out the calendar year.
•  The Big Red wraps up the fall semester with a two-game series Dec. 1-2 at Miami. Cornell is then idle until it hosts Canisius on Dec. 30 at Lynah Rink.