Men’s Hockey Splits Final Two Games Before ECAC Tournament
The men’s hockey team finished the regular season on the road, beating Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 4-2 Friday night and losing to 19th-ranked Union 4-3 to close out the regular season.
Friday night in Troy, NY, the Big Red avenged its most recent loss when the team fell to RPI 2-1 in a February 3rd game at Lynah Rink. Morgan Barron led the way with one goal and one assist, while Trevor Yates added two assists and Matthew Galajda made 27 saves in the victory. Jacob Hayhurst led RPR with a goal and two assists in the loss. The win Friday night clinched for the Big Red the Cleary Cup, awarded to the regular season champion of the ECAC. This is the Big Red’s first time winning the Cleary since the 2004-05 season.
Saturday night in Schenectady saw the Big Red blow an early 2-1 lead, ultimately losing to Union 4-3 on the team’s Senior Night. Union scored on all three of its power play attempts, making five for six on the season against Cornell. Cornell did not play its best hockey overall, getting outshot 36-24 in the game. J.C. Brassard (one goal, one assist), Anthony Rinaldi (two assists) and Liam Morgan (two assists) led Union in scoring, while Yanni Kaldis, Matt Cairns and Tristan Mullin scored goals in the defeat for the Big Red. Cornell’s backup goaltender Hayden Stewart was given the start Saturday night, recording 32 saves in the loss. The loss to Union evened the season series at 1-1. (Cornell defeated Union 4-3 in a February 2nd matchup at Lynah Rink.)
The loss to Union ended a four-game winning streak, capping off a 7-2-1 run in the last 10 games of the season. The winning ways of the Big Red has the team ranked second in the country, boasting an impressive 23-4-2 overall record, 17-3-2 in ECAC play.
The team now looks towards the ECAC tournament, where it will be the first seed in the tournament and will enjoy a first-round bye before hosting the best of three quarterfinals at Lynah Rink, March 9-11.