In the latest edition of a hotly-contested rivalry, the Cornell Big Red and the Colgate Raiders met at the Raiders’ Starr Rink on Thursday night for the first time since the ECAC playoffs in the spring, when Cornell defeated Colgate 4-1 in the tournament consolation game.
The Big Red topped Colgate by the same margin on Thursday with another convincing 4-1 victory. The meeting marked the 133rd game the two teams have played against each other, with Cornell holding the advantage in the all-time series 70-54-9 after Thursday’s game.
Getting off to a quick start, the Big Red dominated the Raiders in the first period of play, with Cornell scoring two power-play goals despite being outshot by the Raiders 11-7.
The first, netted by Colin Greening from a wide-open back door, went in with just under two minutes gone in regulation play. Tyler Mugford scored Cornell’s second goal, blasting a shot from the point through a screen in front of the Colgate’s crease.
Those goals set the tone for much of the rest of the game. Colgate head coach Don Vaughan cited the goals as a big element in the team’s loss.
“We were trying to keep our energy up but we made a few mistakes,” he said. “They’re a tough team to play against when they get a lead — you get down by two goals to a team like Cornell and it’s hard to come back.”
Cornell kept the Raiders silent through the second, increasing its lead by one eight minutes into the second period with another goal from Tyler Mugford, while he Big Red shut out the Raiders through two-thirds of the game despite a huge gap in shooting. Colgate outshot the Big Red 18-5 in the second period.
Cornell goalie Ben Scrivens was well-backed by his defense, with a couple of acrobatic saves thrown in to stifle the Raiders’ scoring attempts.
Cornell head coach Mike Schafer credited much of the Big Red’s success to Scrivens’s performance. “He was solid and focused in net, he did a great job on rebounds … and he will continue to refine his game.”
Although Colgate got on the board in the third period, a comeback for the Raiders failed to materialize. Fifty-nine seconds into the third period Colgate sophomore Brian Day took advantage of a scrum in front of the Cornell net to stuff in his sixth goal of the season, but it was to be the Raiders’ only goal of the game.
Cornell’s Michael Kennedy got the final word for the Big Red by netting a wrist shot from the hash marks with six minutes to go. Although he failed to secure a shutout, the goal Scrivens allowed was the only one of a total of 41 shots taken on him by the Colgate offense.
Both coaches saw the night as just one part of their strategy for the weekend. Schafer, who will bring five points from the road home to Cornell, looks to Saturday’s game as a must-win for the overall prospects of Cornell’s season.
“It’s been a good start for the season for us, and if you win all the games at home and half of the points on the road it puts you in good position for the postseason,” he said, hoping to make full use of home-ice advantage to sweep the Raiders this weekend, keeping Cornell undefeated.
Vaughan, on the other hand, saw Thursday’s game as a learning experience. “We’ve got to try to correct our mistakes,” he said.
The Colgate coach noted the team’s lack of power-play goals as a particular.
Said Vaughan, “I don’t know if we were trying too hard or what, but we’ve got the correct the mistakes [on the power play].”
The puck will drop for the next game between these rivals on Saturday at 7:00 ET at Cornell’s Lynah Rink.