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Prokop, MacArthur lead Union to victory over #13 Cornell

Union’s John Prokop and Colby MacArthur registered multi-point nights to lead Union to a 3-2 victory over No. 13-ranked Cornell men’s hockey at Lynah Rink before 3,855 on Friday night.

MacArthur, Chaz Smedsrud, and Liam Robertson tallied the markers for the Garnet Chargers (15-15-3, 9-9-3 ECAC Hockey) to snap their nine-game winless streak against Cornell. It is Union’s first victory over the Big Red since taking the first game of a best-of-three quarterfinal round on March 15, 2019. Kyle Chauvette made 21 saves between the pipes for Union.

Freshman Jonathan Castagna and senior forward Gabriel Segerrecorded the tallies for Cornell (16-6-6, 11-6-4 ECAC Hockey). Junior goaltender Ian Shane stopped 18 shots in the setback for the Big Red.

Picking up where he left off at Messa Rink at Achilles Center in Schenectady three weeks ago, Castagna deployed a brilliant deke to get by Union defenders and beat Chauvette with a back-handed shot to open the scoring 1:37 into the contest.

The goal for Castagna was his third goal and fifth point of the season against the Garnet Chargers in just two contests.

Cornell’s lead would only last for 2:04, as Union scored the first of its two power-play goals in the first period. Smedsrud tied the game when his shot after crashing the net from the left corner toward the left post sneaked past Shane. Five-plus minutes later, Robertson deflected a shot from the point by Prokop to give the Garnet Chargers the lead.

Following a scoreless 15 minutes of the middle stanza, a questionable interference penalty called against Union led to Seger displaying his scoring prowess against his former team. A backdoor pass from freshman forward Ryan Walsh at the left faceoff circle enabled Seger to tap in his 12th goal of the season to bring the game level at 2-all. 

Just like the first period, Union responded with a goal of its own in under four minutes as it retook the lead on a goal by MacArthur. Cullen Ferguson had his shot from the top of the left point deflected off a Cornell defender, leading to MacArthur depositing the go-ahead tally while on one knee near the right post.

Union held Cornell to just five shots on goal in the third period as the Garnet Chargers blocked five of Cornell’s 17 shot attempts in the final regulation period.


• Friday was the 82nd meeting between the Empire State rivals, as Union snapped Cornell’s six-game win streak over the Garnet Chargers. The Big Red now leads the series, 49-23-10, and is 10-2-1 over its last 13 against Union.

• Seger’s second-period goal was his 35th point of the season, marking the most by a Cornell player since Colin Greening (15-20—35) and Riley Nash (12-23—35) in 2009-10. The 35 points by Seger signifies the eighth time (seventh player) that a Big Red player has recorded 35-plus points within his first two years with the Big Red and is the first since Matt Moulson (18-17—35) in 2003-04 as a sophomore.

Last 40 Seasons (Since 1983-84)
• 54, Joe Nieuwendyk (26-28—54), 1985-86 (second season)
• 52, Ryan Hughes (18-34—52), 1990-91 (second season)
• 50, Duanne Moeser (19-31—50), 1983-84 (second season)
• 45, Joe Nieuwendyk (21-24—45), 1984-85 (first season)
• 39, Joe Dragon (15-24—39), 1989-90 (second season)
• 38, Trent Andison (21-17—38), 1987-88 (first season)
• 35, Matt Moulson (18-17—35), 2003-04 (second season)
• 35, Gabriel Seger (12-23—35), 2023-24 (second season)

• With his assist on Seger’s second-period goal, Walsh became the third Cornell freshman player to register at least 19 points this season. The Big Red is one of five Division I programs with a trio of first-year players with 19-plus points, joined by Boston College, Denver, Penn State, and Robert Morris. It is the first time Cornell has had a trio of freshmen with 19-plus points in a season since Joel Lowry (6-16—22), Brian Ferlin (8-13—21), and John McCarron (6-13—19) in 2011-12.

Cornell Program History (Since 1975-76)
• 1987-88 (Trent Andison – 21-17—38; Doug Derraugh – 11-21—32; Bruce Frauley – 1-18—19)
• 2011-12 (Joel Lowry – 6-16—22; Brian Ferlin – 8-13—21; John McCarron – 6-13—19)
• 2023-24 (Jonathan Castagna – 9-11—20; Ryan Walsh – 10-9—19; Ben Robertson – 3-16—19)


Cornell will conclude its regular-season slate on Saturday when it welcomes RPI (9-20-4, 6-12-3 ECAC Hockey) to Lynah Rink for a 7 p.m. puck drop. Game action will be broadcast on ESPN+ and over the airwaves on WHCU (870 AM, 97.7 FM, Seniors Gabriel Seger and Ryan McInchak will be honored in a postgame ceremony.

The Engineers are coming off a 6-2 defeat to Colgate in Hamilton on Friday night, where RPI had a power-play goal from Austin Heidemann and a short-handed goal from Jakob Lee.