Editor’s Note: The following recap is republished with permission from Cornell Big Red. It was NOT written by the Ithaca Voice.
ITHACA, N.Y. — Harvard scored three power-play goals, including two in the first 14 minutes of the game, then quelched the Cornell men’s hockey team’s midgame surge before speeding off to a 6-2 victory at Lynah Rink. The loss drops 10th-ranked Cornell to 11-5-3 overall and 6-4-2 in ECAC Hockey play, and it extends the Big Red’s winless skid to four games.
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Harvard (11-4-3, 6-4-3), which is ranked eighth and ninth in the two major national polls, stormed out to a 3-0 lead in the first period to temporarily take the starch out of a spirited sell-out crowd of 4,267 fans.
Cornell responded late in the first period when John Knisley scooped up a turnover on the forecheck, wheeled behind the net and set up Ryan Bliss for his first goal of the season. Bliss’ one-timer from the top of the left circle sailed past the pads of Harvard goalie Merrick Madsen with just 14.4 seconds left before the intermission.
The goal, which was the Big Red’s first even-strength tally in a span of four games, certainly gave the home side life. Cornell came out very strong in the second period, ratcheting up its physical play — highlighted by a thundering Jake Weidner hit at the 1:28 mark. A short time later, the Big Red capitalized on an offensive rush with an unlikely source — goaltender Mitch Gillam. With Harvard hugging the walls on the forecheck, Gillam alertly found a passing lane to Alex Rauter at the blue line. Rauter started a four-on-two rush up the left wing and fed Trevor Yates, who buried a shot from the slot under Madsen’s glove to cut the Big Red’s deficit to just 3-2.
But Harvard took momentum back for good when Colin Blackwell teed up Wiley Sherman for a goal on a one-timer midway through the second. Luke Esposito restored Harvard’s three-goal lead with the squad’s third power-play goal in the final minute before the intermission. The Crimson entered the night with the nation’s second-most efficient power play.
Cornell hits the road for its next four games, starting with a trip to the North Country next weekend. The Big Red takes on Clarkson at 7 p.m. Friday before playing at 7 p.m. Saturday at St. Lawrence.
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