Much will be made of Ben Scrivens’ record-setting run to the ECAC Hockey crown, as well it should — Cornell’s senior goaltender, and league goalie of the year, deserves all that attention and more.
But what will likely go under-appreciated in the glow of the Big Red’s 20th conference championship was the team’s ability to draw penalties from a patently clean team, and also convert on those power plays for the decisive goals of the tournament.
At first, Union coach Nate Leaman pegged his team’s good penalties versus bad ones at, “about 50-50. I would say about half.” But later in the interview, he said, “The goaltender interference? That’s not us. The penalty to start the third? That was a bad penalty. The too many men? One man came, two men jumped.”
He eventually admitted without persuasion that he couldn’t remember too many “good” penalties that his team had taken.
Cornell took five penalties in the conference’s final game of the year, but compelled eight out of Union. That’s Union, whose Dutchmen’s season average was a mere 10.4 minutes per game.
“It’s no secret, a championship team has got to have good goaltending and good special teams,” said Cornell coach Mike Schafer. “[Our guys] were getting pretty frustrated coming back to the bench” after numerous power plays went for nought, he said, “but that second goal was a thing of beauty.
“They kept moving it around, moving it around, showed a lot of patience, had good opportunities, and finally were able to get that second goal, which was huge.”
Cornell and Scrivens became the first team/goalie to record consecutive shutouts in the ECAC Hockey championship weekend. The clean sheet brings Scrivens’ career mark up to five in league playoff games, which is also a record.
Continuing on a theme, the senior netminder’s one goal in four playoff games this year also sets a mark, and his 230:30 shutout streak establishes a conference bar as well.
Schafer ties current St. Lawrence coach Joe Marsh with five league titles.