Dec. 5, 2008

Courtesy of Cornell

Game 9 • Clarkson at Cornell
Faceoff: Friday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m.
Site: Lynah Rink (4,267) • Ithaca, N.Y.
2008-09 Records: Cornell (5-1-2, 4-0-2 ECAC Hockey) • Clarkson (2-7-3, 1-5-0 ECAC Hockey)
Series Record: Cornell leads, 51-49-11
Last Meeting: Clarkson won, 4-1, on Feb. 8, 2008, in Potsdam, N.Y.
Television: none
Radio: WHCU 870 AM • Jason Weinstein (play-by-play)
Live Stats:
Live Video: Cornell Redcast (
Tickets: Call 607-254-BEAR

Game 10 • St. Lawrence at Cornell
Faceoff: Saturday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m.
Site: Lynah Rink (4,267) • Ithaca, N.Y.
2008-09 Records: Cornell (5-1-2, 4-0-2 ECAC Hockey) • St. Lawrence (5-7-1, 1-4-1 ECAC Hockey)
Series Record: Cornell leads, 51-39-7
Last Meeting: St. Lawrence won, 4-2, on Feb. 9, 2008, in Canton, N.Y.
Television: none
Radio: WHCU 870 AM • Jason Weinstein (play-by-play)
Live Stats:
Live Video: Cornell Redcast (
Tickets: Call 607-254-BEAR

Complete Release in PDF Format

ITHACA, N.Y. -- The Cornell men’s hockey team wraps up play for the fall semester this weekend, taking on Clarkson and St. Lawrence in a pair of games at Lynah Rink. The Big Red and Golden Knights will begin the weekend with a 7 p.m. contest on Friday, while Saturday’s semester finale will feature the Big Red taking on the Saints in a 7 p.m. start. Both games can be heard in the Ithaca area on WHCU 870 AM with live video available worldwide through the Cornell RedCast subscription service, as Jason Weinstein provides the play-by-play.

Cornell is coming off its first foray out of ECAC Hockey play this season, picking up a split of a pair of games at North Dakota last weekend in Grand Forks. The Big Red dropped the opener, 7-3, before turning things around on Saturday night for a 2-1 victory over the Fighting Sioux. Junior Colin Greening collected a pair of goals on the weekend, while another five players picked up two points in the two-game series with the Sioux.

Freshman Locke Jillson broke through with his first career goal on Friday night against North Dakota, opening the scoring just under three minutes into the contest. Michael Kennedy and Riley Nash also added goals for Cornell on the weekend, while Evan Barlow, Brendon Nash and Jared Seminoff both had a pair of assists. Junior goaltender Ben Scrivens went 1-1 in goal, allowing five goals on 26 shots on Friday night before stopping 22-of-23 shots on Saturday for the victory. Freshman goaltender Mike Garman made his collegiate debut in the third period on Friday night, allowing two goals on 10 shots.
Despite the rough weekend, Scrivens continues to lead the nation in save percentage (.950) and is fourth in goals-against average (1.39), while Cornell as a team is third in scoring defense. Cornell’s power play ranks 39th, converting on 6-of-47  chances (12.8 percent), while the penalty kill has killed off 40-of-45 shorthanded chances (88.9 percent).

Cornell is led by head coach Mike Schafer, who has compiled a 259-140-47 record and is in his 14th season. Schafer has guided the Big Red to four ECAC Hockey championships and six NCAA tournament berths during his tenure. Additionally, he led the Big Red to its last NCAA Frozen Four appearance in Buffalo in 2003. Schafer is assisted by associate head coach Casey Jones, assistant coach Scott Garrow and volunteer goaltender coach Ian Burt.

A preseason top-20 selection and fourth in both the preseason media and coaches polls, Clarkson has gotten off to a rough start through its first 12 games. The Golden Knights, after starting out the year 2-1-2 and with a pair of ties against Colorado College, have gone 0-6-1 in their last seven games. Last weekend, Clarkson dropped an overtime contest to Canisius on Friday, 4-3, before tying the Griffins on Saturday, 2-2, at Cheel Arena. Clarkson has struggled to a 1-5 mark in ECAC Hockey play with its lone victory coming at home against Brown on Nov. 7. Scott Freeman leads the Clarkson offense with 13 points on two goals and 11 assists, while Lauri Tuohimaa has a team-best seven goals on the season. Freshman Paul Karpowich has claimed the top goaltender job after the graduation of David Leggio and has posted a 2.96 goals-against average and a 90.5 save percentage. Clarkson’s power play unit, once a strength, has struggled this season to the tune of 11.8 percent efficiency (8-of-68), while the Golden Knight penalty killers have ended 67-of-77 penalties against (87.0 percent).

Friday night’s game will be the 112th meeting between the two schools in a series that dates back to 1922-23. Cornell holds a slim 51-49-11 lead in the all-time series, though Clarkson took a pair of victories in the three meetings between the two programs last season. Cornell and Clarkson skated to a 3-3 tie in the consolation game of the Florida College Classic on Dec. 29, 2007, with the Knights taking a 4-2 win at Lynah Rink on Jan. 20 and a 4-1 win at Cheel Arena in Potsdam on Feb. 8. Since Mike Schafer became Cornell’s head coach, the Big Red holds a 23-12-3 record against Clarkson.

Like their North Country neighbors, the Saints have found things a bit more difficult over the past month of the season, going 1-5 over the last three weekends. St. Lawrence opened the year in impressive fashion, rattling off four straight wins following a season-opening sweep at Michigan, and defeated then-No. 4 New Hampshire, but have struggled offensively since. Mike McKenzie and Brock McBride lead the Saint offense with 11 points apiece, while Alex Petizian has again established himself as the top goaltender, posting a 2.28 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. St. Lawrence is converting power plays at a 14.5 percent rate (10-of-69) and has killed off 89.7 percent of the penalties against (78-of-87).

The two teams split last season’s two meetings, with the home team claiming victory in both games, as Cornell holds a 51-39-7 lead in the all-time series, which dates back to 1926-27. Cornell took a 3-1 win at Lynah Rink on Jan. 18, 2008, while the Saints claimed a 4-2 win at Appleton Arena on Feb. 7. Under Mike Schafer, the Big Red holds a slim 12-11-4 lead in the series against St. Lawrence.

All 23 players who made the trip to North Dakota saw playing time, including the final two members of the freshman class to appear in a regular-season game for the Big Red. Mike Garman came on in relief of Ben Scrivens in the third period of Friday night’s 7-3 loss, while Sean Whitney made his collegiate debut in place of Jordan Berk in Saturday night’s 2-1 victory.

Michael Kennedy scored a short-handed goal in the 2-1 win against North Dakota on Nov. 29, the first such goal for the Big Red in 49 games. The last player to score a short-handed goal was Mark McCutcheon, who tallied one on Feb. 10, 2007, at Rensselaer. McCutcheon’s came one game after Mitch Carefoot scored one at Union, marking the last time a short-handed goal was scored in back-to-back games.

Back-to-back losses have been hard to find for the Big Red lately, as in each of Cornell’s last six defeats, the Big Red has come back to win the following night. Dating back to last season’s 3-2 loss to Union on Feb. 15, Cornell has followed up each of the last six defeats with a victory, including the Nov. 29 win over North Dakota. Cornell has not suffered back-to-back defeats since dropping three straight games from Feb. 8-15 against Clarkson, St. Lawrence and Union.

Sophomore Riley Nash was selected to the selection camp for Hockey Canada to represent his country at the World Junior Championships, which begin on Dec. 26 in Ottawa, Ontario. Nash was among 38 players selected to the camp, from which the 20 players who will represent Canada will be chosen. Nash will be seeking to become just the ninth Cornell player to play in the World Junior Championships and the first since Sasha Pokulok did so at the 2006 World Junior Championships during the 2005-06 season.
Saturday night’s game between Cornell and St. Lawrence will feature a reunion of sorts between a pair of former Wayne State teammates will face off against each other for the first time. Cornell senior Derek Punches will meet up against junior defenseman Jeff Caister, who transferred to St. Lawrence following the disbanding of the Wayne State program.

Sophomore Riley Nash is probably the most excited player to see St. Lawrence come to town. Nash has scored a pair of goals in both of his first two games against the Saints, tallying two in a 3-1 win on Jan. 18 and the only two Cornell goals in a 4-2 loss in Potsdam on Feb. 9. Nash has three two-goal games in his career, with the third coming earlier this season against Harvard. Nash’s four points against the Saints are the most of any player on the Cornell roster, despite only having played St. Lawrence twice.

While Riley Nash appears to enjoy facing St. Lawrence, junior Colin Greening has had success against Clarkson over his first two seasons. Greening leads all Cornell players with six points against the Golden Knights in just five games, recording three goals and three assists.