Editor’s Note: This story was written by and republished with the permission of the Big Red Sports Network, which provides excellent Cornell sports coverage throughout the year for alumni, parents, students and fans everywhere.
Ithaca, N.Y. — Teemu Tiitenen had a goal and an assist, and Joel Lowry scored the winning goal in Cornell Men’s Ice Hockey 3-2 victory over the US National Development Team Friday night at Lynah Rink.
The game, which is considered a preseason exhibition match, was tightly contested between the two squads. For Cornell, much focus was put on trying to figure out which lines were working and to test out different defense pairings.
The scoring got started late in the first period when the puck was loose in front of the crease, and it was slotted home by the junior Tiitenen. Then, midway through the second, Jared Fiegl scored his first collegiate goal, rocketing a wrist shot past goalie Michael Lackey’s left shoulder. For Fiegl, it must have been special scoring a goal against the US team, since Fiegl himself was part of the team last year.
But the US team did not roll over, and responded quickly to the two-goal deficit. After senior Madison Dias missed a great opportunity on a breakaway on the US net, the first goal was scored on sophomore goalie Mitch Gillam. In a moment of great team buildup and possession play, Brendan Warren found Tage Thompson streaking down the left side of net and fed him a perfect pass, which found its way past Gillam and into the Cornell net.
And right at the start of the 3rd period, the US team struck again. This time, it was Jeremy Bracco who scored it, taking the pass from Matthew Tkachuk, son of former NHL-er Keith Tkachuk, and wristing it passed Gillam. Once again, Gillam couldn’t do much about this, as a Cornell defensive breakdown led to the goal.
However, it would eventually be the Big Red who would score the crucial goal deep into the 3rd. After Cole Bardreau got past a number of US defensemen and got a shot on net, the puck deflected off the arm of Lowry and into the back of the net. The referees checked to make sure it was a good goal, which it was. The goal came with about seven minutes left in the game, and the Cornell side did a good job seeing the rest of the game out for the final score of 3-2.
It was an impressive game for sophomore Mitch Gillam, who is looking to see a fair share of the starts after the graduation of long-time netminder Andy Iles. While only letting in the 2 goals, Gillam also made 26 saves, with a few of them being on the spectacular side. Cornell was playing without one of their key defensive leaders, junior Reece Wilcox. It gave the opportunity for some freshmen to make impacts in the game. Dan Wedman and Ryan Bliss made their debut for the Big Red, both looking composed on the puck in their first ever collegiate game.