PRINCETON, N.J. (3/8/13) - The Cornell men's hockey team earned its first win of the season against Princeton, 4-0, taking game one of a best-of-three ECAC Hockey first-round series in a battle between the No. 8 and 9 seeds on Friday, March 8 at Hobey Baker Rink.
"It was a good hockey game," head coach Bob Prier said. "I
thought our guys played relatively well. The difference in the game was that
Cornell capitalized on its opportunities at the point of execution and we
didn't. Other than that it was a pretty good effort by the guys."
After a scoreless first period Cornell scored twice in the
second period and added two more in the third period.
"We did get the chances we just weren't hungry enough around
the net to score some goals," senior Rob Kleebaum said after the game.
"Tomorrow we need just be hungry around the net. Everything is a life or death
The win was Cornell's first over Princeton in three games,
as the Tigers swept the regular season 5-4 at Hobey Baker Rink and 1-0 on the
road. Princeton will have an uphill battle, needing to win the next two games
to advance to the quarterfinals.
"We have confidence to beat this team, but it's tough to
beat a team every time you play them," Kleebaum said when asked about beating
Cornell twice during the regular season. "We know what we need to do. We just
need to go out there and do it."
It was a tight first period with shots being nearly even
11-10 in favor of the Tigers. Cornell
capitalized in the second period, outshooting Princeton 13-3 and taking a 2-0
Sophomore defender Joakim Ryan scored his third goal of the
year when he got the puck from Brian Ferlin from behind the Princeton net.
Ferlin passed through the crease inside to Ryan inside the right circle and he
shot left on Princeton goalie Mike Condon for what would be the eventual game
winner at 8:51.
Senior John Esposito and freshman Reece Willcox teamed up
for the second goal that came with 27 seconds left in the second period.
Willcox sent a breakout pass to Esposito and he skated down and fired from
inside the left circle.
Less than six minutes into the third period Christian
Hilbrich put the game further out of reach when he picked up a Ryan pass and
made a run, wrapping the puck around the right side of Condon to give the Big
Red a 3-0 lead.
With two minutes remaining Princeton pulled Condon for the
extra skater and senior Michael Sdao fired a shot on Cornell's Andy Iles. Iles
hung on for a face off but looked a bit shaken. Early in the period he had
signaled to the athletic trainer to come out on the ice, with what appeared to
be a complaint in his lower half.
The Tigers called timeout and kept Condon on the bench. Iles
made two more saves and Cornell blocked two shots before John McCarron
intercepted the puck and slipped the puck into the empty net for the fourth Big
Red goal with 12 seconds left on the clock.
Condon finished the game with 24 saves, while Iles stopped
26, including 12 in the third period as Princeton outshot Cornell 12-5 in the
Princeton was 0 for 1 on the power play, and Cornell was 0
It's a must-win situation for the Tigers tomorrow, Saturday, March 9 as the
teams face off at 7 p.m., at Hobey Baker Rink.