ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Trying to score against Cornell can often be like ramming your head against a brick wall.
For Yale, it was more like gently resting on a soft pillow.
After frustrating Dartmouth 3-0 in Friday night’s semifinal game, the Big Red succumbed to the blue and white flash otherwise known as Yale in Saturday night’s ECAC Hockey championship game. The win marked the eighth straight time Yale has toppled Cornell, as it has beaten the Big Red by an aggregate score of 10-1 over the last two games, including 6-0 Saturday.
“When you haven’t beaten a team in a while it brings out the worst in you because you want to beat them so bad,” Cornell coach Mike Schafer said.
The low point was midway through the second period when the Bulldogs knocked in their fifth goal of the game on just their 15th shot, which signaled the end of the night for goalie Andy Iles. He was replaced by Mike Garman, who helped send Dartmouth to the consolation game with a 37-save performance Friday night.
“It was a very tough loss,” Big Green coach Bob Gaudet said Saturday of his team’s matchup against Cornell to open the tournament. “When you generate offense but don’t score, it’s really hard. You have to refocus. The guys took the loss really tough last night.”
For Yale, a bevy of talent up front certainly comes in handy against a talented Cornell unit.
“I don’t know if I have an exact answer,” Yale defenseman Jimmy Martin said of the Bulldogs’ success against Yale. “They are still a very good defensive team but we managed to break through and score six goals. I think it’s a testament to our team’s offensive capabilities and the skill of the forwards.”
It didn’t help that Cornell presented the Bulldogs with a chance to strut said high-powered offense, which entered the game ranked first in the nation in scoring at just over four goals a game.
“We gave up a power-play rush goal and made a mistake and it was 2-0,” Schafer said. “They’re definitely a team you don’t want to get behind. We tried to start making plays and then we were missing plays. They’re a great transitional team.”
Season trend continues
As it has done all year, Cornell started Iles in net even though Garman was coming off his first career shutout Friday against Dartmouth. While it has worked for the Big Red through the year, it was one of many things that went wrong for them against Yale, as Iles didn’t make it out of the second period after giving up five goals on 15 shots.
While the game was well in hand by the time he entered, Garman was able to stop 17 of the 18 shots he faced after shutting out the Big Green the night before.
Not surprisingly, the Bulldogs dominated the all-tournament honors, as Ryan Rondeau took home most outstanding player and top goalie honors, while Brian O’Neill, Andrew Miller, and Chris Cahill were the forwards, and Martin made it on defense. Dartmouth defender Connor Goggin was the only non-Yale player to place on the team.
In honor of the league’s 50th anniversary, former commissioner Robert “Scotty” Whitelaw presented the championship trophy, which was named in his honor in 1989.