Senior forward Max Andreev scored a pair of goals in the third period on Saturday, but Clarkson rallied for four goals over the final 5 minutes, 17 seconds to leave the Cornell men’s hockey team to settle for a 4-4 tie at Cheel Arena.
Clarkson (9-4-4, 4-2-2) scored three goals with its goaltender pulled in favor of an extra attacker over the final three minutes of the third period, including Zach Tsekos’ tying tally with just 1.4 seconds left. The Golden Knights then survived a Cornell power play in overtime before winning a four-round shootout to secure the extra point in the ECAC Hockey standings.
“It was a tough ending – something that’s never really happened to our program before. I am responsible for it,” said Mike Schafer ’86, the Jay R. Bloom ’77 Head Coach of Men’s Hockey at Cornell. “I failed our team tonight by not having them better prepared for the six-on-five. I thought we did, but I have to take responsibility that we were not detailed enough, so this result rests on my shoulders.”
Regardless of the disappointing finish, ninth-ranked Cornell (9-1-1, 6-1-1 ECAC Hockey) ran its unbeaten streak to eight games and maintained sole possession of first place in the league.
The Big Red got the scoring started with junior forward Jack Malone’s third goal of the season midway through the first period. He got the play started with a blocked shot in the defensive zone, then raced all the way into the Clarkson zone to win possession of the puck. Cornell cycled the puck around the left wing to lead sophomore Tim Rego cutting across the bottom of the faceoff circle. As he came to the front of a defender, he spun around on his backhand to keep going around the net before shoveling a pass back across the crease for Malone to cash in.
Junior defenseman Sam Malinski doubled the lead just minutes into the second period on a power-play blast from the point that beat Clarkson goaltender Ethan Haider to the stick side. Junior forward Matt Stienburg drew the secondary assist on Malinski’s goal to push his scoring streak to at least one point in 10 straight games – the longest such streak for the program since Matt Moulson did it from Nov. 5 to Dec. 27, 2005. Stienburg also matched Moulson in becoming the first Big Red player to record 18 points in the first 11 games of the season, with the former NHLer Moulson having done it to start the 2003-04 campaign.
After Andreev’s two goals 4:09 apart in the middle of the third period, senior goaltender Nate McDonald made a handful of quality saves on a Clarkson power play to quash what appeared to be the home side’s last chance to get back into the game. By the time Chris Klack roofed a shot from a tight angle with 5:17 left in the third, it looked to be little more than a spoiler of a shutout.
But an improbable barrage of six-on-five goals ensued, leaving Cornell with just the tie. Malinski had an assist to go with his goal, and senior forward Brenden Locke added three assists of his own.
“Our players played hard and unfortunately, it got away,” Schafer added. “We will use it as a lesson, and it will make sure we never make the same type of mistakes again.”
Cornell remains idle from game action for the next four weeks to accommodate final exams and a brief break for the holidays. When it resumes the season, it faces a pivotal four-game road trip Jan. 1-9 consisting of two games at Arizona State and North Dakota.