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Cornell rolls past Yale in home opener

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

Senior Zach Tupker scored two of five unanswered goals to lead the Cornell men’s hockey team to a 5-2 victory over Yale in the home opener at Lynah Rink on Friday night.

“You could sense the energy in the crowd,” said Mike Schafer ’86, the Jay R. Bloom ’77 Head Coach of Men’s Hockey. “I thought the crowd was here early tonight, which I was really excited about. Just a world of difference to walk out there and see our crowd cheering for us and not against us.”

Joining Tupker on the scoresheet was junior Gabriel Seger and freshmen Dalton Bancroft and Nick DeSantis.

Tupker, who registered his first collegiate multi-goal game, was one of three Big Red players to log multi-point nights, joining Sean Donaldson(two assists) and Bancroft (one goal, one assist).

“Zach’s been playing awesome,” Schafer said. “He’s been great on the penalty kill. He’s now got three goals on the year, all at even strength. Two games ago, I sat down with him and he’s been outstanding. He’s under control, not taking penalties, playing with poise, moving his feet. He’s doing things that we expect from him and I’m glad to see it’s paying dividends for him.”

Ian Shane posted his third victory of the season for Cornell (3-4-0, 3-2-0 ECAC), making 16 saves in the victory.

Reilly Connors and Briggs Gammill scored for Yale (1-6-0, 1-6-0 ECAC), who had a 26-save performance from Connor Hopkins.

With 29 seconds remaining in the first period, Tupker gave Cornell some momentum heading into the intermission, scoring on feeds from senior Matt Stienburg and sophomore Sullivan Mack.

Cornell opened the second period with a barrage of goals, scoring three times in the first six-plus minutes to jump out to a 4-0 lead.

Seger potted the first of Cornell’s three goals in a span of 2:55, one-timing a pass by Jack O’LearyOndrej Psenicka also factored in on the goal.

Tupker scored his second goal of the night when he one-timed a pass from Donaldson, who threw a pass to the low slot, through Hopkins’ five-hole to give the Big Red a three-goal lead.

Bancroft scored the first of Cornell’s two power-play goals in the frame when he redirected a shot by senior Travis Mitchell from the right faceoff circle.

DeSantis tacked on an insurance marker with less than two minutes left in the second when his wrist shot from the right faceoff circle trickled into the net. Senior Sam Malinski was the lone player to be credit with a helper on the tally.

Yale scored both of its goals late in the third period, one of which was on the power play, to trim the Big Red’s margin of victory.

Game Notes

• Friday was the 160th all-time meeting between the two Ivy League rivals. Cornell improved to 90-62-8 all-time over Yale and is now 47-16-5 all-time against the Bulldogs at Lynah Rink.

• The five goals by Cornell were the most by the Big Red in a home opener since posting a 5-1 victory over Alabama-Huntsville on Oct. 27, 2017.

• Along with his first multi-goal game, Tupker registered his second career multi-point performance. His only other game with at least two points came in the Big Red’s 11-3 win over RPI last year on Nov. 13. The Collingwood, Ontario, native has now scored in consecutive games for the first time in his collegiate career.

• Seger continued to dominate at the faceoff dot, going 10-of-13 on draws on Friday.

• Despite Yale posting a 17-11 advantage in blocked shots, Cornell had 11 different players register a blocked shot on Friday.

Looking Ahead

Cornell will welcome another Ivy League foe to Lynah Rink on Saturday, entertaining Brown for a 7 p.m. faceoff. Game action will be broadcast on ESPN+ with Grady Whittenburg and Tim Vanini ’91 on the call. Jason Weinstein and Tony Eisenhut ’88 will also broadcast the game over the airwaves on WHCU (870 AM, 97.7 FM).

The Bears (1-5-1, 1-5-1 ECAC) are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to Colgate at Class of 1965 Arena in Hamilton on Friday.