Lawrence Cornellier is in his third season at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and with that experience comes an opportunity for the junior forward to take on a more prominent role for the Pointers.
It’s a situation Cornellier is more than willing to add to his list of tasks.
“I’ve tried to become more of a leader since I am an upperclassmen now,” Cornellier said. “I understand what is expected of me and I’m ready for any situation on the ice. I just want to do what I can to help the team.”
Cornellier is doing his part in the early part of the season. He already has three goals on his stat line, tying him for the most on the team.
His success comes on the heels of a stellar sophomore campaign in which he ranked fifth in the WIAC in goals (14) and helped Stevens Point win the conference crown for the 10th time in program history. The Pointers also finished as the national runner-up to Trinity.
“I took a little break in the offseason to get some rest after a long year, but the main thing I focused on was keeping my stamina up and staying in shape,” Cornellier said. “I would lift weights two or three times a week and run the mile a couple of times a week, too.”
Cornellier has been making an impact since his arrival on campus. He scored seven goals as a freshman after remarkable 2012-13 season in the North American Hockey League where he led the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in scoring.
“Coming to college, it was definitely a faster game,” Cornellier said. “You also have to be at your best every night because teams want to knock you off because of who you are.”
The Pointers have played in the last two national championship games and have been the runner-up both times. They are ranked second in the country this week.
While it is a challenge being one of the nation’s best teams, the Pointers are able to stay on top of their game because they push each other in practice each day.
“We practice hard, and going up against the talent that we go up against each day, really prepares us for games,” Cornellier said.
As for the rest of the year, Cornellier wants to continue to improve all aspects of his game. He also wants to help the Pointers finish the job this season after falling just short of the national title the last two years.
“It’s tough to come up short but we have to learn from our mistakes and get better,” Cornellier said. “Our goal is to win a championship and that is what we are pushing for each day.”
Oles start strong
Peter Lindblad scored twice for St. Olaf in its 4-2 win over Concordia (Minn.) Sunday. Lindblad, an All-MIAC selection two years ago, is one of three players on the Oles’ roster with two or more goals. St. Olaf has scored nine goals in its first two games. Drew Otto leads the team in scoring with four goals and a pair of assists.
St. Olaf is 1-0-1 and the unbeaten start is a positive sign for a team that struggled down the stretch a year ago. The Oles lost five of their final six last season, but have their sights set on a turnaround season.
Sabres make early statement
Marian split its season-opening series against St. Norbert, winning 4-2 on Saturday. It marked the first time in program history that the Sabres have beaten the Green Knights and will no doubt serve as a shot of confidence going forward. Devin Stuermer had a goal and an assist to help Marian hand St. Norbert its first home-opening loss since 1996.
Stuermer, named the NCHA Player of the Week Monday, is a transfer from Concordia (Wis.). The senior forward scored 33 goals and tallied 36 assists in his time with the Falcons and is well on his way to being a big-time scorer for Marian this year.
Falcons show off balance over weekend
Wisconsin-River Falls went 1-0-1 in its first two games of the season, earning a tie with St. Scholastica before rolling to a 5-1 win over Northland. Seven different players scored in the two games. Mitch Kontny and Taylor Burden both have two goals apiece on the year.
The Falcons scored 91 goals a year ago and have shown early on that they have the potential to be a high-scoring team once again as they take aim at contending for a WIAC championship.