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Cornell claims 26th Ivy League title with shootout victory over Yale

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

Goals from sophomore forward Dalton Bancroft and senior forward Gabriel Seger in the shootout helped lift the No. 12-ranked Cornell men’s hockey to its 26th Ivy League title after playing to a 1-1 tie with Yale before a sold-out crowd of 4,267 at Lynah Rink on Saturday night.

Cornell has won consecutive Ivy League titles for the first time since collecting three straight Ancient Eight titles from 2018 to 2020. The Big Red has claimed the league title five times over the last six seasons of competition after the Ivy League did not compete in any sport for the 2020-21 academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Freshman forward Tyler Catalano netted his first collegiate goal in regulation for the Big Red (16-4-5, 11-4-3 ECAC Hockey), extending its unbeaten streak to 14 games (10-0-4).

Will Richter also found the back of the net for the first time in his collegiate career for Yale (10-14-3, 7-10-3 ECAC Hockey), which has gone 4-1-1 over its last six contests.

Junior goaltender Ian Shane stopped 16 of the 17 shots he faced on the night, while his counterpart, Jack Stark, shoved aside 22 Cornell shots.

Both goals in regulation came within 74 seconds of each other late in the first period.

The opening tally came off a rebound of an initial shot attempt by forward Henry Wagner that Shane saved. Pouncing on the loose rebound, Richter got the puck past Shane to put the Bulldogs ahead. The goal was Cornell’s first allowed at even strength since Feb. 2 against St. Lawrence, spanning 312:37 of game action.

Cornell responded with its marker as freshman defenseman Hoyt Stanley had his shot attempt during a 3-on-1 scoring chance ring off the right post. Crashing toward the right post, Catalano followed Stanley’s attempt by chipping the rebound past Stark.

Midway through the second period, Cornell had another odd-man scoring chance, but Stark made a sprawling right-to-left save to rob sophomore forward Nick DeSantis of a go-ahead tally.

Late in the third period, Cornell was assessed a bench minor for a faceoff violation, leading Yale to a power play opportunity with 1:12 left in regulation. During the man advantage, the Big Red held the Bulldogs to two shots on goal.

In the five-minute overtime period, Cornell had a power-play chance after a holding penalty with 1:28 left. The Big Red had all three of its shot attempts while owning the 4-on-3 advantage blocked by Bulldogs defenders.

Each of the first three shooters in the shootout scored while benefiting from the goal posts. Bancroft and Seger and Yale’s Will Dineen beat their opposing goaltenders to begin the extra frame. After the three consecutive made shots, David Chen and Catalano both had their shots stopped before Shane solidified Cornell’s Ivy League title with a save on Ian Carpentier.

GAME NOTES
• Saturday was the 163rd all-time meeting between the Ivy League rivals, as Cornell now owns a 92-62-9 record against Yale. The Big Red had its seven-game win streak against the Bulldogs snapped, but is unbeaten in 13 of its last 14 (10-1-3). It was the first contest between the Ancient Eight programs to end in a tie since a 3-3 draw in New Haven on Jan. 12, 2018, and the first to occur at Lynah Rink since Feb. 11, 2017.

• The Big Red’s unbeaten streak was increased to a Division I-best 14 games, marking the longest streak without a loss in Division I hockey since ECAC Hockey rival Quinnipiac posted a 16-0-1 mark from Oct. 23, 2022 to Jan. 14, 2023. Ironically, Cornell snapped the Bobcats’ 17-game unbeaten streak at Lynah Rink on Jan. 20, 2023, behind a 4-0 shutout.

• Cornell’s 14-game unbeaten streak is the third-longest stretch without a loss in the Mike Schafer ’86 era, dating back to 1995-96. It is the Big Red’s longest stretch without a loss since the 2004-05 season, when it compiled an 18-0-1 record from Jan. 14 to March 26, 2005.

LONGEST UNBEATEN STREAKS
Mike Schafer ’86 Era (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
• 14 games — 10-0-4 — Dec. 29, 2023 – Present

• During the unbeaten streak, Shane has posted a 10-0-4 record with a 1.32 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. Since the calendar flipped to 2024, Shane is 10-0-2 with a 1.22 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage.

• Over five career outings against Yale, Shane is 4-0-1 with a 0.98 goals-against average (5 goals allowed in 304:39) and a .947 save percentage (90 saves on 95 shots).

• Saturday’s result also increased Cornell’s unbeaten streak to open 2024 to 12 games, marking the best stretch to open a calendar year since winning the first 21 games in 1970. It is also the fourth time the Big Red has not lost any of its first 11 games to begin a year.

LONGEST UNBEATEN STREAKS TO OPEN CALENDAR YEAR
Program History
• 21 games — 21-0-0 — 1970
• 18 games — 18-0-0 — 1969
• 16 games — 16-0-0 — 1968
• 12 games — 10-0-2 — 2024

• Cornell has allowed two or fewer goals in its last 14 games, becoming just the third instance in program history that the Big Red has not allowed three goals in at least 14 consecutive games. It is the longest streak since opening the 2019-20 campaign with 14 straight games without conceding three goals.

CONSECUTIVE GAMES ALLOWING TWO GOALS OR LESS
Cornell Program History
• 23 games — 24 goals (1.04 goals per game) — Jan. 7, 2005 – Oct. 28, 2005 (over two seasons)
• 14 games — 19 goals (1.36 goals per game) — Nov. 1, 2019 – Jan. 10, 2020
• 14 games — 19 goals (1.36 goals per game) — Dec. 29, 2023 – Present

• The Big Red is now 11-0-1 when allowing one goal or less this season. It was the first time the Big Red tied while allowing one goal or less since a 1-1 draw with Harvard on Jan. 25, 2020.

UP NEXT

Cornell will make its annual trip to the North Country next weekend when it takes on Clarkson (15-14-1, 9-8-1 ECAC Hockey) and St. Lawrence (9-17-4, 7-9-2 ECAC Hockey). Puck drop for both contests at Cheel Arena and Appleton Arena, respectively, are scheduled for 7 p.m. Game action will be broadcast on ESPN+ and over the airwaves on WHCU (870 AM, 97.7 FM, whcuradio.com).