ITHACA, N.Y. – John Esposito netted two goals and Andy Iles turned in his seventh career shutout as Cornell knocked off No. 19 Colorado College 2-0 on Friday at Lynah Rink.
In a physical game between two teams in the national rankings, special teams became the deciding factor. Both of Cornell’s goals were scored on the power play and the Tigers power play was held to just two shots on goal in five opportunities.
After nearly 40 minutes of play, there was nothing on the score sheet. At 19:29 of the second frame, the Big Red went on a 5-on-3 power play, and it would not squander the chance.
Cornell only needed 26 seconds to break the deadlock as Esposito scored his first of the night. Cole Bardreau fed John McCarron, who fired a shot high on Tigers goalie Josh Thorimbert. The rebound bounced to the side of the cage, where Esposito was waiting and stuffed the puck past Thorimbert to the near side.
The Big Red would strike again at the end of the third period after a Tiger forward got the gate for a slashing minor. Joakim Ryan made a play to dig the puck out of the corner and feed Bardreau at the left point. Bardreau made a pass to Esposito at the right faceoff dot. He then fired one past Thorimbert.
Colorado College would get another power play opportunity with 5:14 left to play in the game, but Cornell’s shot blocking and containment in the neutral zone denied the Tigers of any quality chances.
This was the first time the Big Red opened the season with a shutout since 2007, when Tyler Mugford scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory on Nov. 7, 2008 at Princeton. Big Red goalie Ben Scrivens made 43 saves that day.