ITHACA, N.Y. — It took Krzysztopf Weickowski’s skate to finally put an end to Cornell’s power-play woes.
After posting a morbid 1-for-28 mark on the man advantage in its first four games, the Red’s special teams unit finally struck at 10:20 of the third period Saturday night against Brown, when a Matt McRae slap shot inadvertently ricocheted off Weickowski’s skate and slid past Bears’ goaltender Brian Eklund, giving Cornell 1-0 lead.
The Red (2-2-1, 2-1-1 ECAC) added a last-minute, empty-net goal by David Kozier — also on a power play — for a 2-0 win over the Bears (1-5, 0-5 ECAC), and a critical three-point weekend after skating to a 1-1 tie with Harvard the night before.
“I went to put my stick down but [the puck] hit my skate instead. Some bounces just go that way,” Weickowski said. I didn’t mean to kick it in, but it went off my skate and I’ll take it.”
“It was time we got that kind of break, and it was a big break for us,” Cornell coach Mike Schafer said.
After an uneventful first period, the Red seemed to take control offensively at the beginning of the second. A bit after four minutes into the period, defenseman Larry Pierce, who had just finished serving a holding penalty, fielded a cross-ice pass from Ryan Vesce at the red line. He then whipped the puck back to Vesce, who fired a point-blank shot from just in front of the net.
Though Eklund was able to erase the chance with a terrific save, the play set the tone for the rest of the game, firing up the Lynah Rink crowd in the process.
Then at 16:52 of the third, Cornell’s Greg Hornby was given a game misconduct and a five-minute major penalty for hitting from behind, leaving the Red to produce a near-flawless penalty kill.
Only minutes later, the Red finally capitalized on its own power play, sealing the victory.
“It’s tough, especially in the third period, to kill that,” Cornell netminder Matt Underhill said. “It’s such a boost. I don’t think they even got a shot on their power play.
“And then to go right back on the power play and score a goal, that was unbelievable.”
Underhill, despite facing only 16 shots, was sharp enough to keep a clean score sheet.
“Matt did a great job,” Schafer said.
Cornell will face Maine at home on Tuesday while Brown will host the Black Bears three days later.