Sophomore forward Dalton Bancroft and senior forward Gabriel Seger scored in the best-of-three-round shootout to lift the No. 17-ranked Cornell men’s hockey team to the championship game of the 2023 Adirondack Winter Invitational on Friday afternoon at Herb Brooks Arena.
Bancroft and freshman Hoyt Stanley scored in regulation for the Big Red, who is now has a 6-4-2 overall record. Freshman forward Ryan Walsh factored on both goals in regulation to notch his first career multi-assist game and second multi-point effort of the season.
Michael Cameron and Ryan Lautenbach potted the markers for No. 11-ranked UMass (11-4-2), who will play in the consolation game at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Junior goaltender Ian Shane made 23 saves between the pipes for Cornell, while his counterpart Cole Brady shoved aside 24 Big Red shots.
“I thought overcoming only having two practices before we got up here, we were good in spurts and sloppy in spurts,” said Mike Schafer ’86, the Jay R. Bloom ’77 Head Coach of Cornell Men’s Ice Hockey. “Overall, I was happy we didn’t give up a power-play goal. Just that long of a break [from games], pretty happy with it.”
Both teams were held scoreless in the opening 20 minutes of play after UMass had a goal late in the period called back due to a high stick. A Minutemen player knocked a loose puck from atop of Cornell’s net toward a teammate near the crease, resulting in the disallowed goal.
Cornell ultimately opened the scoring early in the second period when Stanley registered his first collegiate tally. A battle against the boards behind UMass’ net resulted in Walsh gaining control of the puck and sending a pass to Stanley at the right point, where the freshman blueliner lasered his shot past Brady.
UMass leveled the game just over four minutes later when Lautenbach knocked freshman defenseman George Fegarasoff the puck deep in Cornell’s defensive zone, leading to a one-timed shot by Cameron in the low slot.
Bancroft gave the Big Red the lead later in the second period when he chipped in a loose puck following a point shot by freshman defenseman Ben Robertson off a faceoff win by senior forward Gabriel Seger.
UMass evened the game late in the third period when Lautenbach potted a goal on a loose rebound with 2:02 remaining in regulation.
Neither team ended up scoring in overtime forcing a best-of-three-round shootout. Cornell outshot UMass in the five-minute period by a 5-2 margin.
Cornell opened the shootout with a goal as Bancroft deposited a snap shot past Brady. Following a UMass miss, Seger scored on a wrist shot, sending the shootout into sudden death. Cameron ended up having missing the net on the attempt, aiding Cornell to its shootout victory.
• Friday marked the 10th meeting between Cornell and UMass and was the first meeting 12 years ago (Dec. 29, 2011). The Big Red’s record over the Minutemen now stands at 5-3-2. It was the first tie between the two programs since playing to a scoreless draw at Lynah Rink on Nov. 30, 2007.
• Cornell’s record against opponents ranked No. 11 in the USCHO.com poll is now 9-7-7 following Friday’s tie. It is the first time Cornell tied with a team ranked No. 11 in the USCHO.com poll since playing to a 3-3 tie with Boston University at Madison Square Garden at the biennial Red Hot Hockey game on Nov. 28, 2015. The Big Red is now unbeaten in seven of its last eight contests against opponents that were ranked No. 11 (4-1-3).
• It is Cornell’s first tie in a neutral site game since Jan. 4, 2020, when it played to a 2-2 draw with Providence at the Fortress Invitational in Las Vegas, where the Friars went on to win the shootout 1-0 in three rounds.
• Cornell won a shootout on a neutral site for the first time since defeating Maine in the championship game of the Florida College Classic in Estero, Fla., exactly 11 years to day (Dec. 29, 2013).
• Robertson’s assist on Bancroft’s power-play goal increased his team lead in helpers to 12, becoming the first Cornell player to log 12 assists in the first 12 games of a season since former Big Red defenseman Jared Seminoff (12 assists) in 2006-07.
Cornell will play No. 13-ranked Arizona State in the championship game of the 2023 Adirondack Winter Invitational at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Herb Brooks Arena, as the Sun Devils defeated Clarkson, 5-2, in the nightcap of Friday’s contests.
Saturday’s meeting will be the fifth all-time contest between the Big Red and Sun Devils, and the first-ever game at a neutral site. The previous four meetings have been split evenly, with the home team sweeping a pair of two-game series in 2019 (Cornell) and 2021 (Arizona State).
Playing the Sun Devils will mark Cornell’s seventh time in program history in which it will play an opponent three consecutive times in the regular season. It will be the first instance since the 1997-98 season when it played Colgate on Jan. 10, 1998 in Uniondale, N.Y., before its traditional home-and-home series on Jan. 17, 1998 (Ithaca) and Jan. 19, 1998 (Hamilton).