Cornell wins first game at Madison Square Garden since 1976
NEW YORK – The first edition of The Frozen Apple proved a night to remember for Cornell as it recorded its highest scoring effort of the season and got its first victory at Madison Square Garden since 1976 with a 5-1 win against Michigan on Saturday night.
In front of a largely pro-Cornell sellout crowd of 18,200, the Big Red offense got a goal in the first period from Joel Lowry, two goals and an assist from Greg Miller and a 26-save effort from junior Andy Iles. No. 13 Cornell (4-3-2) had not won in its three previous contests at Madison Square Garden, but it knocked off No. 19 Michigan (5-7-1) like in the 2011 NCAA tournament against the Wolverines.
Besides Miller and Lowry, Big Red freshman Teemu Tittinen also struck for his first career goal in his second game. The Big Red's other goal came from senior center Erik Axell, and Michigan's lone goal in the third period came too late to threaten a Cornell team that was already ahead by four at that point.
While the Big Red offense was in top form, its defense played exceptionally, yielding just three shots in a stifling first period. Cornell played disciplined hockey, taking just two penalties (and killing off both Michigan power plays) while drawing six opportunities on the man advantage.
Cornell finally struck with its sixth shot on its third power play. Lowry was the goal scorer, taking a perfect feed from Brian Ferlin, hesitating for a moment and then going five-hole on Michigan goalie Steve Racine to put Cornell up 1-0 with 4:23 left in the frame.
The Big Red exploded in the second period, scoring two goals. Tiitinen got things going thanks to a great pass from behind the net by Greg Miller. Tiitinen, standing at the edge of the right circle and unguarded, banged his stick on the ice to call for the puck. Miller obeyed, finding Tiitinen for the 2-0 lead.
Less than three minutes later, Miller struck to make it 3-0. The Wolverines tried to clear the puck out of the zone around the boards, but Reece Willcox was at the right point to keep the puck in. From there, Willcox took a shot that was blocked in front by a Michigan player and ricocheted perfectly to Miller in front of the net for the tap-in.
When the teams emerged from the locker room for the third period, the Big Red kept the defensive pressure up and added another strike to seal the contest. Axell was the scorer this time, setting himself up in the right place for a rebound of a Braden Birch shot. Dustin Mowrey started the play by dishing the puck up the left boards to Birch. His shot was then saved by Racine, but kicked right into the slot where Axell was waiting to fire a shot over Racine's blocker.
After Michigan's goal 9:25 into the period, the Big Red clamped down again and did not allow another goal. After failing to score on a power play late, Cornell capped its night right after ending the man advantage. Ferlin started with the puck, moving up the ice swiftly in a three-on-two with Lowry and Miller. He found Lowry to his left, pulling Racine to that side of the net. Lowry hit Miller with a pass on the opposite side of goal, and the senior center easily added his second goal of the night.
It was the first time Cornell had the opportunity to celebrate a victory at Madison Square Garden since Jan. 4, 1976, when it defeated Penn at the ECAC Holiday Tournament.