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#13 Cornell defeats St. Lawrence behind four multi-point nights

Four players registered multi-point nights to propel the No. 13-ranked Cornell men’s hockey team to a 5-1 victory over St. Lawrence before 3,726 at Lynah Rink on Friday night.

Freshman forward Jake Kraft and junior captain Kyle Penney had a goal and an assist, and senior forward Gabriel Seger and sophomore forward Dalton Bancroft each logged a pair of assists in the victory for Cornell (12-4-4, 7-4-2 ECAC) as the Big Red extended its unbeaten streak to nine games (6-0-3).

Of the five goals scored by Cornell on Friday, four came off the sticks of freshmen players. Along with Kraft, Luke DevlinRyan Walsh, and George Fegaras also found the back of the net for the Big Red.

Junior goaltender Ian Shane stopped 12 of the 13 St. Lawrence shots he faced as Cornell outshot the Saints by a 34-13 ledger.

Gunnar Thoreson netted the lone tally for St. Lawrence (8-14-3, 6-6-1 ECAC). Ben Kraws made 29 saves between the pipes in the setback for Saints.

St. Lawrence drew first blood three-and-a-half minutes into the contest as Thoreson threaded Cornell’s defense, scoring on a 1-on-4 opportunity. Thoreson’s goal marked the first time since Dec. 2 against Colgate in which the Big Red failed to net the game’s first goal.

Near the halfway point of the opening period, the all-freshman line consisting of Devlin, Kraft, and Tyler Catalano combined to draw the contest level, proving to be the first of Cornell’s five unanswered goals.

Kraft had his initial shot from the mid-slot saved by Kraws and Devlin deposited the loose puck at the right post into a wide-open net. The assist for Catalano was his first collegiate point, while Devlin snapped a 13-game goalless streak.

Cornell dominated inside the faceoff circle in the first period, winning the first 16 draws before finishing the period with an 18-of-21 mark. Seger (8-for-9) and freshman forward Jonathan Castagna (5-for-6) each had at least five draws won in the frame.

In the second period, Cornell dominated possession while outshooting St. Lawrence by a 13-1 margin. Two of the Big Red’s 13 shots on goal found the back of the net to give Cornell a 3-1 cushion heading into the final regulation period.

Walsh tallied his eighth goal of the season, his fourth on the power play, to give Cornell the advantage. Freshman defenseman Ben Robertson and Bancroft aided Walsh to his go-ahead marker.

Just under two minutes later, Penney increased the Big Red’s lead to two after Seger won an offensive zone faceoff. After a few seconds of jockeying after the draw, Penney gathered the loose puck and beat Kraws to his low blocker side.

Fegaras gave Cornell some breathing room in the third period, lasering a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Kraws to his glove side.

Kraft tacked on an empty-net goal with 17 seconds left to round out the scoring to punctuate his first collegiate multi-point game.

GAME NOTES
• Friday was the 124th all-time meeting between the Empire State rivals, as Cornell increased its lead in the series to 69-47-8. The Big Red has now won 11 of the last 13 meetings against the Saints, dating back to the 2016-17 season.

• Cornell has scored at least three goals in 10 of its last 13 games against St. Lawrence, averaging 3.62 goals per game during the stretch. Defensively, the Big Red has allowed two goals or less in each of its last 15 meetings against the Saints, conceding an average of 1.15 goals per game.

• The win increased Cornell’s unbeaten streak to nine games, marking the program’s longest stretch without a loss since compiling 11 straight wins over the final nine games of the 2019-20 season and winning the first two games of the 2021-22 campaign. It is the 11th unbeaten streak of at least nine games, and the 10th to occur solely in a single season, in the Mike Schafer ’86 era, dating back to 1995-96.

LONGEST OVERALL UNBEATEN STREAKS
Under Mike Schafer ’86 (Since 1995-96)
• 19 games (18-0-1) — Jan. 14, 2005 – March 26, 2005
• 15 games (14-0-1) — Feb. 1, 2003 – March 30, 2003
• 11 games (10-0-1) — Dec. 2, 2017 – Feb. 2, 2018
• 11 games (11-0-0) — Feb. 1, 2020 – Oct. 30, 2021 (split over two seasons)
• 10 games (9-0-1) — Jan. 20, 1996 – Feb. 24, 1996
• 10 games (9-0-1) — Nov. 29, 2008 – Jan. 17, 2009
• 10 games (10-0-0) — Nov. 1, 2019 – Dec. 6, 2019
• 9 games (7-0-2) — Nov. 19, 2005 – Jan. 13, 2006
• 9 games (5-0-4) — Dec. 7, 2013 – Feb. 1, 2014
• 9 games (6-0-3) — Feb. 3, 2017 – Feb. 25, 2017
• 9 games (6-0-3) — Dec. 29, 2023 – Present

• During the Big Red’s unbeaten streak, Shane has a 6-0-3 record with a 1.33 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. Since the calendar flipped to 2024, Shane is 6-0-1 with a 1.22 goals-against average and has stopped 129 of the 139 shots he has faced (.928 save percentage).

• With his primary assist on Walsh’s second-period power-play goal, Robertson increased his season point total to 16, marking the most points by a freshman defenseman since Sam Malinski (4-12—16) in 2019-20. Robertson also entered a three-way tie with Steve Wilson (3-13—16 in 1993-94) and Malinski for the seventh-most points by a first-year blueliner in Cornell program history.

MOST POINTS BY A FRESHMAN DEFENSEMAN
Cornell Program History (Since 1975-76)
• Chris Norton (4-19—23) — 1984-85
• Mark McRae (5-16—21) — 1999-00
• Bruce Frauley (1-18—19) — 1987-88
• Nick D’Agostino (4-14—18) — 2009-10
• Steve Inglehart (3-14—17) — 1982-83
• Joakim Ryan (7-10—17) — 2011-12
• Steve Wilson (3-13—16) — 1993-94
• Sam Malinski (4-12—16) — 2019-20
• Ben Robertson (3-13—16) — 2023-24

• Robertson’s assist also upped his assist total to 13, marking the most assists by a freshman defenseman since Yanni Kaldis had 13 in 2016-17. The helper also placed Robertson into a four-way tie with Dan Ratushny (1988-89), Steve Wilson (1993-94), and Kaldis for the sixth-most assists by a first-year blueliner.

MOST ASSISTS BY A FRESHMAN DEFENSEMAN
Cornell Program History (Since 1975-76)
• 19, Chris Norton (1984-85)
• 18, Bruce Frauley (1987-88)
• 16, Mark McRae (1999-00)
• 14, Steve Inglehart (1982-83)
• 14, Nick D’Agostino (2009-10)
• 13, Dan Ratushny (1988-89)
• 13, Steve Wilson (1993-94)
• 13, Yanni Kaldis (2016-17)
• 13, Ben Robertson (2023-24)

• Cornell’s mark when scoring at least three goals this season now stands at 10-1-0 and is 12-1-4 when allowing two goals or less.

• The Big Red’s 42 faceoff wins were the most in a single game since also winning 42 draws on Feb. 24, 2023, against Brown at Meehan Auditorium in Providence, R.I. Cornell’s 65.6 percent win rate on faceoffs was its highest since going 40-of-58 (.690) against Brown at Lynah Rink on Nov. 19, 2022. Both figures are from data compiled by collegehockeynews.com.

UP NEXT

Cornell will conclude its weekend homestand when it welcomes Clarkson (13-11-1, 7-5-1 ECAC) to Lynah Rink on Saturday night for a 7 p.m. puck drop. The contest will be broadcast live on ESPN+ and over the airwaves on WHCU (870 AM, 97.7 FM, whcuradio.com).

Clarkson is coming off a 4-2 loss with Colgate at the Class of 1975 Arena in Hamilton, N.Y., on Friday night.