POTSDAM, N.Y. — Cornell, with the ECACHL regular-season title already in hand, watched sophomore goalie David McKee tie the legendary Ken Dryden’s school record with his 13th career shutout in a 3-0 win over Clarkson Saturday night at Cheel Arena.
Senior captain Mike Knoepfli netted a goal and added an assist, and classmate Mike Iggulden tallied his fifth game winner of the season.
The Big Red (22-4-3, 18-2-2 ECACHL), having edged St. Lawrence a night before, put Clarkson (11-20-3, 7-13-2 ECACHL) away early with three first-period goals.
Just 1:38 in, Iggulden passed from the end boards to junior Jon Gleed on the right wing. Gleed sent it back to Iggulden, who nudged it to the center of the circle for Knoepfli. Knoepfli cycled it back to Iggulden, and he beat Clarkson junior goalie Dustin Traylen five-hole for the 1-0 lead.
Cornell added to the lead four minutes later. Sophomore Ryan O’Byrne passed cross-ice to junior Daniel Pegoraro, streaking down the left boards 3-on-3. Pegoraro threaded the needle to junior Matt Moulson at the edge of the left circle, and Moulson carried it across the slot and backhanded a shot over Traylen’s glove to extend the lead to two.
Throughout the period, each side had its scoring opportunities, but Cornell dominated play. The Big Red set the final score with just over a minute to play in the period. Iggulden won a draw just inside the Clarkson end, and O’Bryne dumped it behind the net. Sophomore Mitch Carefoot dug it free and got it to Knoepfli at the goal line to Traylen’s left. Knoepfli took two steps into the circle and found the back of the net on the goalie’s stick side.
The second period was a penalty-ridden, though scoreless, 20 minutes. The two teams combined for nine penalties for 18 minutes. The closest either side came to scoring was at the 5:57 mark.
With the teams skating 4-on-4, there was a flurry of activity in front of McKee. He made the initial save before a Clarkson player got his stick on the puck. It appeared that a Big Red defender came in behind McKee and helped make the ensuing stop. However, the goal judge lit the lamp, leading to a discussion among the officials before no goal was ruled.
At the other end, freshman David Leggio replaced Traylen to begin the period and held up well against 12 shots on goal, stopping them all. He was especially tested with 10 seconds to play in the period, when he faced three shots in less than 10 seconds. Traylen finished with six saves, while Leggio made 18 stops.
Neither team scored on the power play. The Cornell penalty kill stopped all five Golden Knight tries, and the Big Red could not convert on seven of their own man-advantage situations.
The win also extended Cornell’s national-best unbeaten streak to 14 games (13-0-1).