It went down to the wire, but Cornell exited the weekend as the only team in Division I without a blemish on its record.
Alec McCrea’s goal with 1.4 seconds left in the third period Saturday at Lynah Rink give the Big Red a 3-2 win over Harvard. The win pushed Cornell’s record to 6-0, the first time the Big Red have reached that mark since the 1971-72 season.
Cornell won despite being down 2-0 early to the Crimson. McCrea’s game-winner came on the power play, thanks to a bench minor called against Crimson coach Ted Donato.
The Big Red have shown the ability to win in many ways during its current streak. Cornell has two shutouts, has won tight, one-goal games, and has shown the ability to come from behind to win, as it did Saturday and in a 5-4 slugfest against Princeton last weekend.
Cornell’s scored an average of 3.5 goals per game and allowed 1.33, thanks to a number of contributions throughout the lineup. Its top four scorers feature one member from each class.
Clarkson, Colgate, and Union continue impressive starts to conference play
The Big Red aren’t the only team in ECAC Hockey that’s gotten off to a good start. Clarkson has carried it non-conference success into ECAC play, sweeping Brown and Yale over the weekend to push its league record to 4-0 and 8-3-1 overall. The Golden Knights have gotten plenty of contributions from their underclassmen; three of its top four scorers are sophomores, including Sheldon Rempal, who has eight goals and 14 points in 12 games. In goal, Jake Kielly has started every game and has a .945 save percentage and 1.58 goals-against-average.
Kielly’s start is impressive, but another sophomore goalie is off to an even more impressive start. Colgate’s Colton Point stopped 58-of-61 shots in a pair of wins over Harvard and Dartmouth over the weekend. With the sweep, the Raiders are 3-0-1 in conference play and 6-2-4 overall. It also pushed Colgate’s unbeaten streak to seven games, and Point’s .962 save percentage is a big part of that success.
As for Union, the Dutchmen continue to make their 0-5 start a distant memory. Union swept Princeton and Quinnipiac at home to push its league record to 5-1. Overall, the Dutchmen are 7-1 since their rough start to the season.
Union had switched to freshman Darion Hanson in goal following its 0-5 start, but coach Rick Bennett opted to give junior Jake Kupsky the start in net for Friday’s 4-3 overtime win against the Tigers. However, Hanson was back in net on Saturday, making 28 saves in a 4-1 win over Quinnipiac.
Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence looking to break through
With four two full weekends of league play in the books, two of the conference’s top teams over the also several seasons are still looking for their first ECAC Hockey win.
Quinnipiac (0-4) and St. Lawrence (0-3-1) are both off to rough starts. The Saints struggles extend to non-conference play, as their 1-10-1 record in the worst in Division I. In all fairness, St. Lawrence faced several tough non-conference opponents, but the slow start is still surprising.
Injuries have played a large part in that start, as the Saints skated 10 forwards and six defensemen Friday against Yale and only nine forwards Saturday at Brown. It’s hard not to succumb to fatigue with those numbers in the lineup. The Saints led Yale 1-0 early Friday, but the Bulldogs scored six unanswered goals en route to the win. On Saturday, the Bears scored the first two goals of the game and outshot the Saints 46-25 in a 3-1 win.
As for the Bobcats, this was a team that was expected to contend for a conference title after dropping to fifth last year. Defense and goaltending were expected to be strengths for QU, but both Andrew Shortridge and Keith Petruzzelli have sub-.900 save percentages. Quinnipiac led Rensselaer 3-1 Friday, but gave up four unanswered goals to the Engineers, including a natural hat trick by senior Viktor Liljegren.