NEW HAVEN, Conn. — No. 2 Cornell scored four unanswered goals to close the second period and open the third, then held off a late charge by No. 15 Yale to escape Reese Stadium with a 12-10 victory Saturday. Big Red senior Steve Mock scored a career-high six goals, registering his 100th career tally in the process, to lead Cornell to the victory.
Mock, who scored five of his six goals during the decisive second half, is just the seventh player in Cornell history to register 100 career goals.
Rob Pannell registered all three of his assists on Mock’s tallies, while scoring twice to finish with five points. Connor Buczek was Cornell’s only other mulit-point scorer with one goal and one assist.
The Big Red improved to 6-0 on the season and earned its 14th consecutive Ivy League-opening victory in a game that was a battle throughout. The first half featured six ties and two lead changes as neither team managed to take more than a one-goal advantage through 30 minutes.
With Cornell trailing 6-5 late in the second period, Yale earned possession and tried to hold for the final shot but an amazing defensive effort by Jason Noble, who finished the day with three caused turnovers, led to a Bulldogs miscue and Pannell scored with nine ticks left on the clock to tie it at 6 at the intermission.
Cornell earned a man-up chance at the start of the third period, but couldn’t convert, turning the ball over as a Big Red player stepped into the crease. Buczek got the ball back for Cornell with a crushing body check and Mock registered his 100th career goal, scoring off a pass from Pannell at the 12:58 mark.
Yale’s first offensive possession of the third quarter looked to have ended on a great Fiore save, but a late hit gave the Bulldogs a man-up chance. A turnover ended the threat and Cornell got its third consecutive goal on an outstanding effort from Mock, who split a pair of defenders and beat Yale goalie Eric Natale up high.
Mike O’Neil pushed Cornell’s lead to three goals and the Big Red clamped down defensively to take the 9-6 lead into the final break.
Oberbeck, who led Yale with three goals, scored his final tally of the game and ended the Big Red’s run early in the fourth period before Colin Flaherty made it a one-goal score once again (9-8), but a huge save by AJ Fiore on Yale’s next possession sent some momentum back to Cornell.
Moments later, Mock rewarded his goalie with a rocket from the right wing to push Cornell’s lead back to 10-8 with a little more than nine minutes to play.
Yale won the restart but another great save by Fiore ended the Bulldogs’ threat. Unfortunately, the Big Red couldn’t convert and Michael Lipin made it a one-goal game once again, 10-9, at the 6:09 mark.
A penalty on the faceoff gave the Bulldogs a man-up chance and an opportunity to tie it, but a Yale shot was blocked and Thomas Keith picked up the ground ball for Cornell. Moments later Mock cashed in again off a pass from Pannell to make it an 11-9 game.
Yale won the restart again and Michael McCormack scored in transition but a huge faceoff victory by Noble set up the Big Red’s next goal as Joe Paolletta won the ball on the wing and fired it off to Pannell, who found Mock for his sixth goal of the game and a 12-10 lead.
Another blocked shot on the Bulldogs’ next possession led to another ground ball by Keith, his sixth of the game, and a one-minute non-releasable penalty on Yale with 1:32 to play all but sealed the game for the Big Red.
Yale managed to force a turnover but could not get the ball into its offensive end.
In addition to Oberbeck’s three goals, Brandon Mangan finished with a goal and three assists to lead the Bulldogs.
Yale completely dominated in the faceoff circle, as Dylan Levings won 22 of 25 restarts, but Cornell forced 19 Bulldogs turnovers to stay in the contest.
Cornell also got eight saves from Fiore, including several brilliant stops in the second half, while Natale made seven saves.