The shot totals don’t seem that high, and the goal totals weren’t really all that low.
Nonetheless, Brad Thiessen of Northeastern and Ben Scrivens of Cornell both were instrumental in dictating the outcome of their first round matchup in Grand Rapids, Mich.
“I thought the billing the two goaltenders lived up to it. I thought both goaltenders played very well throughout the course of the night,” said Cornell coach Mike Schafer.
Both goalies made multiple saves of the ridiculous variety, with Scrivens making the most impressive of the night. Mid-first period with the game still scoreless, Scrivens robbed Rob Rassey on the doorstep — extending his glove to save what seemed to be a sure goal for the Huskies.
Thiessen, a Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist, matched Scrivens with impressive saves of his own. In the third period, when the Huskies were still nursing their one-goal lead, Thiessen turned away shot after shot by Cornell to keep the Huskies up one for the time being.
Thiessen made 12 saves in each of the first and third periods.
Scrivens did what he was asked for most of the game, making 19 saves on the 21 shots he faced. The Big Red defense did a nice job for most of the game of forcing the Huskies to the outside, limiting the quality of the Northeastern shots.
Both coaches were well aware of the goaltending situation coming in.
In fact, Cornell head coach Mike Schafer was quite familiar with Thiessen, who was heavily recruited by the Big Red before electing to go to Northeastern. Though Northeastern did not chase Scrivens to that extent, Northeastern coach Greg Cronin was well-acquainted with the Big Red netminder, having heard his name during the recruiting process.
Saturday, both goalies again proved their worth, showing why these two junior netminders will most likely be able to make a living playing the same position when their college days are over.
Perhaps Schafer put it best.
“There is a reason that both those guys have posted big numbers all year long,” he said. “I think college hockey fans were treated to two of the better goaltenders in the country tonight.”