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. — The line of Jeff Kubiak, Anthony Angelloand Mitch Vanderlaan continued its hot play, accounting for the first three goals in the #9/9 Cornell men’s hockey team’s 5-2 victory over Merrimack on Saturday night at Lynah Rink.
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With the win, Cornell (11-2-2) has already matched its win total from last season, and it has posted back-to-back home sweeps for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign. Angello scored two goals and added an assist, and Kubiak had one goal to go along with two assists.
Cornell established control right from the opening draw, with Christian Hilbrich leveling counterpart Brian Christie just six seconds into the game. A more aggressive forecheck gave Merrimack fits, and the Big Red’s possession game was firing on all cylinders.
Kubiak then kicked off the scoring at the 4:51 mark. Vanderlaan teed up Angello for a one-timer from the right circle which Warriors goalie Collin Delia stopped, but Kubiak cashed in the rebound from the top of the crease.
The goal was Kubiak’s sixth of the season, which tied him for the team lead with Angello — but for less than five minutes before the latter doubled the Big Red’s lead with a power-play goal. The line efficiently worked its way up ice with slick passing before Vanderlaan lost control of the puck. Angello followed up the play and uncorked a wrister from the top of the right circle which sailed over Delia’s blocker.
Angello’s second goal came on the power play early in the second period, with pretty passing from Reece Willcox and Kubiak setting him up for a shot from the slot that slipped under the crossbar.
Each of Merrimack’s goals in the second period were answered by the Big Red to restore its three-goal leads. Dwyer Tschantz converted into a wide-open net after deft passing from Weidner and Christian Hilbrich set him up in the low slot, then Alec McCrea had a shot sail from the top of the right circle that found its way through traffic and onto the back bar to close the scoring.
Mitch Gillam made 24 saves to earn the victory, including a pair of stops on Ben Bahe and Justin Hussar on a power play early in the third period.
Cornell has posted its best record (5-1-1) in the regular season portion of its non-conference schedule since the 2008-09 campaign. That season also was the last time the Big Red swept consecutive home series, which included wins over Clarkson (Dec. 5, 2008), St. Lawrence (Dec. 6, 2008) and Niagara (Jan. 9-10, 2009).
The Big Red will return to ECAC Hockey play for the rest of the regular season, starting with a trip to Rensselaer on Friday, Jan. 15 and Union on Saturday, Jan. 16.
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