College Hockey:
PP Strikes Early As Cornell Holds Off Maine

— Ninth-ranked Cornell converted on each of its first three power plays and held No. 15 Maine just 1-for-10 to take a 4-3 victory Wednesday afternoon, good for third place in the Florida College Classic at Germain Arena.

Maine opened quickly, taking an early 6-0 lead in shots on goal during the first period. But after going 1-for-11 on the power play in Tuesday’s loss to No. 5 Boston College, the Big Red (8-3-2) struck on its first opportunity with just over eight minutes to play in the first.

After Black Bear Derek Damon hit the Cornell post on a shorthanded breakaway, Cornell’s Shane Hynes shot from the left circle and was denied by Maine goalie Jimmy Howard, who sprawled out to his right. Daniel Pegoraro tried to poke in the rebound, but was turned away by a defender in the crease. The rebound came to Pegoraro again, and he popped it over the defender for his first power-play goal of the season. Freshman Sasha Pokulok extended his assists streak to four games on the play as well.

Cornell added to its lead at the 17:15 mark when junior Cam Abbott redirected a Pokulok rocket from the left point. Freshman Raymond Sawada was also credited with an assist.

Maine answered just 28 seconds later, however, when freshman Keenan Hopson broke away down the right side. Big Red senior Jeremy Downs skated in to break up the play, but senior Mathew Deschamps gathered the puck and put it over the left should of Cornell goalie David McKee to pull the score within one at 2-1.

McKee finished with 23 saves, and Howard had 16.

The Black Bears evened things up with under seven seconds remaining before the intermission. Off the faceoff in the Cornell end, sophomore Mike Hamilton skated onto the puck and shot it from the right circle, and junior Jon Jankus slammed it home to tie the game at 2-2. Deschamps also assisted for his second point of the game.

Maine was whistled for a penalty less than a minute into the second period. Just 43 seconds later, senior Charlie Cook unleashed a slapshot from the blue line that hit a player in the slot. Freshman Topher Scott corralled it and passed to junior Matt Moulson just inside the right circle, and Moulson turned it around for his sixth power-play goal of the season, giving the Big Red a 3-2 lead.

Cornell was not finished on the power play, though. At the 4:57 mark, Scott started the play from the right wing, passing to Moulson at the right point. Moulson passed to Cook, who slapped it in for the eventual game winner from above the left circle.

The Black Bears countered with a power-play goal of their own at 6:01. Skating with a two-man advantage, Michel Leveille, assisted by Hopson, converted for Maine to cut the lead to 4-3, but would get no closer.

The Cornell penalty kill took over in the third, holding Maine scoreless on four opportunities in the period.

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