ITHACA, N.Y. — Enjoying the protection of six Cornell goals, Cornell goaltender Ben Scrivens earned a shutout over Union in his first career start. Eleven different Cornell players recorded points on Saturday night, as the Big Red jumped in front of the Dutchmen early and never looked back.
With the team set to move into a newly-constructed locker room after the holidays, the game had added significance for head coach Mike Schafer and the Big Red.
“A lot of Cornell hockey players have come through there, and we wanted to represent it the way its been represented for a long period of time, and that is to come out and play with a lot of heart, a lot of energy and passion,” said Schafer.
The motivation showed early. After failing to score a first-period goal in the previous two games, the Big Red came out aggressively and took the lead 42 seconds into the game, going on to dominate the period’s offense by tallying 19 shots to Union’s three.
Defenseman Taylor Davenport opened the scoring with his second career goal off an assist from Tyler Mugford. A few minutes later, freshman Tony Romano added another score when he took a nice feed from Jared Seminoff and beat goaltender Justin Mrazek blocker-side.
“Our last three games we’ve spotted the other team two goals early, and it’s difficult to come back,” said Union head coach Nate Leaman.
The second period was littered with eight penalties and all different types of special-teams situations, but Cornell managed to extend the lead in one of the few minutes of five-on-five hockey. Standing in between the faceoff circles in the Union zone, Cornell freshman Blake Gallagher intercepted an errant pass from Union defensemen Lane Caffaro and whipped a wrist shot over the goaltender’s right shoulder for the score.
Later in the period, both teams killed off five-on-three penalty situations, in which both goaltenders looked impressive.
“Ben [Scrivens] did a good job, especially on the five-on-three, when they had their opportunities,” said Schafer. “He earned his shutout game.”
“[Mrazek] gave us a chance, through two periods, to get back into that game,” said Leaman. “If he continues to play like that, I know we’ll have a chance to win every night.
Cornell’s scoring parade continued in the third period. Junior Topher Scott scored the fourth goal two minutes into the period during four-on-four play. Scott carried the puck along the boards and into the Union zone, then proceeded to weave cross-ice through defenders, before flipping a shot over Mrazek’s right pad.
“I just saw daylight ahead of me,” said Scott. “I knew the goalie was going to go down.”
Cornell finished the night with power-play scores by Raymond Sawada and Evan Barlow. Sawada, flanked by Scott, put a wrist shot past Mrazek’s blocker side on a two-on-none breakaway. Barlow closed the night when he controlled the puck next to the goal, skated around a defender, then lifted a backhand shot for the goal.
“I think it was our most complete 60 minutes of the year so far,” said Scrivens.
Cornell notched three points on the weekend with the win and a tie versus RPI, while Union dropped its second consecutive game, after losing to Colgate the night before.
“You make your own bounces,” said Leaman. “Cornell and Colgate made their own bounces against us. I don’t think we are playing hard enough, I don’t think we are playing gritty enough to make our own bounces