Cornell Wins Shootout at Florida College Classic
ESTERO, Fla. - Junior goaltender David McKee (Irving, Texas) made four of his 21 saves in overtime to seal a 1-1 tie against Minnesota Duluth in the championship game of the Florida College Classic on Wednesday night at Germain Arena. No. 8/10 Cornell won the Ned Harkness Cup with a 3-2 win in the shootout. Senior forward Cam Abbott (Sarnia, Ont.) scored the Big Red's lone goal in regulation and tallied the last goal of the shootout.
Despite having his shutout streak stopped at 120:34, McKee earned Most Valuable Player honors after allowing just one goal in 125:00 minutes during the tournament. Abbott was named to the all-tournament team, as were senior captain Matt Moulson (Mississauga, Ont.) and junior defenseman Ryan O'Byrne (Victoria, B.C.).
Cornell (9-3-2) jumped out to a 2-1 lead after two rounds of the five-round shootout. Moulson went first for Cornell after McKee denied freshman forward Michael Gergen. Big Red junior forward Mitch Carefoot (Dauphin, Man.) put Cornell back on top in the second round before Minnesota Duluth (8-10-4) freshman Andrew Carroll tied it in the fourth. Cornell senior forward Daniel Pegoraro (Toronto, Ont.) missed wide, and McKee made a save, giving way for Abbott's deciding tally.
For the purposes of overall record, the game counts as a tie, which was preserved by some fantastic play by McKee. He made four tough saves on breakaways and point-blank shots in the final two minutes of the period to run Cornell's unbeaten streak to seven straight games.
The first period featured just 11 shots on goal with Cornell holding a 6-5 advantage, but more significantly, a five-minute major for hitting from behind gave Minnesota Duluth a 5-on-3 situation for the final 31 seconds of the frame and the first 29 seconds of the second. The Big Red was then faced with another 4:01 of short-handed skating.
Cornell had its chances to get on the scoreboard in the first 20 minutes. With a Bulldog in the box for contact to the head-elbowing in the game's fourth minute, O'Byrne took a one-time shot from the high slot that was saved by Minnesota Duluth goaltender Isaac Reichmuth, who made the all-tournament team after holding Maine to just one goal on Tuesday night. The Big Red got off several more shots that were blocked in front of the net. Four minutes later, the tables were turned with the Bulldogs on the power play. Cornell started a few short-handed rushes, but could not get a shot on goal, instead using the opportunity to hold the puck up in the Minnesota Duluth end.
With nine minutes remaining in the opening period, freshman defenseman Jared Seminoff (Nelson, B.C.) got behind the Bulldogs' defense for a short-handed breakaway, but he was hooked from behind. The ensuing 50 seconds of 4-on-4 and 1:10 of a Cornell power play turned out to be fruitless for both sides. During the power play, sophomore forward Raymond Sawada (Richmond, B.C.) was in front of the net and got his stick on an O'Byrne one-timer, but the puck sailed wide. A little more than a minute later, sophomore defenseman Doug Krantz (Marysville, B.C.) stopped a 2-on-1 rush by Minnesota Duluth by getting his skate in front of a centering pass.
The best scoring opportunity for either side came with Cornell skating short handed with 1:17 to play before the first intermission. Pegoraro skated onto a loose puck by the right boards in the neutral zone with a Bulldog in tow. He poked it ahead to Abbott, who got a shot on goal, but again, Reichmuth turned it away. The rebound skidded harmlessly through the slot with no Cornell skaters able to get there.
The persistence of the Cornell penalty kill finally paid off at the 1:37 mark of the second period. Carefoot pinned the Minnesota Duluth puck handler against the left boards coming out of the Big Red zone. Abbott outskated a Bulldog to the puck just inside the neutral zone and made a nifty move, sliding the puck under his opponent and skating around him coming out the other side. At that point, it was a 1-on-0, and Abbott faked left before sliding the puck just under Reichmuth's left pad for his first goal since the second game of the 2004 Florida College Classic against Maine. Cornell then successfully killed off the five-minute major with the help of a Bulldog penalty with 39 seconds remaining. Before the Minnesota Duluth advantage was over, Abbott nearly started another short-handed breakaway, but he could not control the puck.
At the 6:43 mark of the second, Cornell freshman forward Tyler Mugford (Prince Albert, Sask.) was falling down and tried to poke the puck back into the Bulldogs' zone. Minnesota Duluth freshman Jay Cascalenda picked it out of the air and fed it ahead to senior forward Tim Stapleton. Stapleton skated in to top of the right circle and passed the puck to classmate Justin Williams who slid it under McKee to tie the score at 1-1.
The Big Red tried to unknot it with 6:29 to play in the second period. Not to be outdone by his twin brother, senior forward Chris Abbott (Sarnia, Ont.) started his own 1-on-0 breakaway, but was unable to finish. A little more than five minutes later, freshman forward Evan Barlow (Strathmore, Alb.) came out of the penalty box and was hit with a pass behind the Bulldogs' defense in the neutral zone. He appeared to have a free shot at Reichmuth, but freshman forward Michael Gergen made a phenomenal full-length dive to poke the puck harmlessly to the end boards.
In the third period, Seminoff had two chances in the fifth minute. His first was saved on a 3-on-2 rush and the second missed wide on the rebound. Later in the period, junior forward Byron Bitz (Corman Park, Sask.) took a shot from a tough angle at the goal line that went behind Reichmuth, but went across the goal mouth and out the other side.
-- Courtesy Cornell