SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Union had a power play in overtime, and a chance to beat Cornell on Friday. Instead, a shorthanded goal doomed the Dutchmen.
Mike Iggulden scored the shorthanded goal on a breakaway with 1:52 left in OT, giving the 11th-ranked Big Red a dramatic 2-1 ECACHL victory over the Dutchmen at Messa Rink.
The loss ended a 24-game unbeaten steak (4-0-20) in OT games for the Dutchmen (10-11-1, 7-4-0 ECACHL, who got its goal from Jason Visser with 3.9 seconds left in the first period. The shorthanded goal was the eighth given up by Union this season, breaking the team record of seven, set in the school’s first year at Division I in 1991-92.
“We were making plays,” Union coach Nate Leaman said. “It’s a game of inches.”
Union, which survived a penalty for too many men in the final minute of regulation, got its power play Jon Gleed was called for holding on Joel Beal at 2:16 of OT. Beal was going after a loose puck in the Cornell zone when assistant referee Derek Sylvester made the call. Referee Joel Dupree was trailing the play.
“I was stunned we were shorthanded in overtime,” Cornell coach Mike Schafer said. “You can’t question the judgement of the official. You can question the call. I think it’s a flaw in the system that the lead linesman makes the call ahead of the head official.”
Jordan Webb tried to fire a pass across to Joel Beal on the left side. Beal, who normally plays the right point on the power play, had moved to the left. Matt Vagvolgyi, who plays the left point, was supposed to move to the right.
“Jonny Poirier sent it down to me,” Webb said. “I knew Josh Coyle was in front. He might have even been tied up with somebody. I tried to center it out. I kind of figured Joel would come back door. I think it went through everybody.”
When Webb’s pass missed Beal, the points were vacated. The puck caromed out to center ice, where Iggulden picked it up. Poirier caught up with Iggulden about five feet from the net, but couldn’t slow the 6-foot-3, 205-pound forward down.
“Mike Knoepfli made a great play pressuring the [defense], won the battle of the puck and the puck was just kind of sitting there for me,” Iggulden said. “I was just trying to chip it out of the zone. I saw there offside [defense] was on the other side of the blue line. I skated as hard as I could.”
Iggulden put a forehand shot past goalie Kris Mayotte’s left pad to give Cornell (10-4-2, 6-2-1) the win.
“The guy’s eight-feet tall,” said Mayotte, whose shutout streak ended at 177 minutes, 29 seconds when Matt Moulson scored at 15:43 of the second period. “A guy with normal-length reach, I pretty much have. I was sliding over, and I didn’t get enough time to fully extend. He had a long enough reach to tuck it in on me.”
On Saturday, Cornell visits RPI, while Union hosts No. 10 Colgate.
Ken Schott covers college hockey for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y.