BURLINGTON, Vt. — Matt McRae scored two goals as Cornell clinched a home playoff series Saturday night with a 5-2 win over Vermont in action at UVM’s Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Cornell, 18-6-1 overall and 14-3-1 and in first place in the ECAC, took a 1-0 lead at the 4:00 mark of the first period when McRae scored a power-play goal unassisted. McRae picked the puck out of a group of players to the left of Vermont goaltender Tim Peters, skated into the crease, made a move and slid the puck into the wide-open net.
The Big Red added to the lead midway through the first on David Kozier’s rebound goal at 9:37. Kozier won the faceoff in the Vermont zone and pulled it back to Doug Murray at the point, who ripped a shot on net that Peters stopped. Kozier went to the net and poked in the rebound for his fifth tally of the season.
Cornell made it 3-0 at 13:23 of the first on Krzysztof Wieckowski’s goal from the left wing. Mark McRae and Paul Varteressian assisted on the goal, Wieckowski’s ninth of the season.
Cornell kept the pressure on in the second period, with McRae getting his second goal of the game from right in front at 1:34. Denis Ladouceur and Charlie Cook picked up assists on the goal, McRae’s eighth of the year. Mark McRae added a power-play goal at 8:42 of the second, with Murray and Stephen Baby assisting.
Vermont, 3-22-2 overall and 3-14-1 in the ECAC, made it 5-1 at 17:02 of the second when captain Ryan Cox scored his fourth goal of the season. Greg Zemple and Chris Hills assisted on the goal.
John Longo scored his fifth power-play goal of the season at 11:16 of the third to cut Cornell’s lead to three. Gerard Miller and Jeff Miles assisted on the goal, Longo’s eighth of the season. It came while Vermont was skating 5-on-3 for the second time in the game.
Peters made 15 saves for the Catamounts, while Shawn Conschafter stopped 18 and didn’t let in a goal. Cornell’s David LeNeveu recorded 16 for the Big Red.