ESTERO, Fla. — Jeff Kubiak scored with 2 minutes, 4 seconds left in overtime to power the Cornell men’s hockey team to a 2-1 victory over top-ranked, previously undefeated defending national champion Providence in the semifinals of the Florida College Hockey Classic at Germain Arena. With the win, #9/9 Cornell (9-1-2) moves into the championship game at 7:35 p.m. Tuesday against the winner of Monday’s second semifinal between #4/4 Boston College and Ohio State.
Ryan Bliss started the play for the winning goal, sending a pass to Kubiak in the neutral zone. Anthony Angello then created the scoring opportunity by twisting away from his defender at the bottom of the right circle and cutting toward the middle. His back-handed shot was kicked away by Friars goalie Nick Ellis, but Kubiak was positioned in the slot to convert the winner into the wide side of the net and give the Big Red its first victory over a top-ranked team since March 15, 2013 (against Quinnipiac).
Providence (12-1-3) got off to a quick start with Steven McParland’s goal just 27 seconds into the game on a seeing-eye shot to the near post from the right circle. The Friars held a significant territorial advantage in the opening frame, outshooting the Big Red by a wide 12-4 margin. Cornell had two big penalty kills to keep the deficit manageable, including a two-minute kill from Jake Weidner and Alec McCrea.
But Cornell rebounded with a strong second period, eventually leading to the tying goal from Jared Fiegl. Eric Freschi plucked a puck off the wall in his own zone and sped away on a two-on-one up the right wing before sliding a perfect pass across to the far side of the slot for Fiegl to pot inside the open side of the net. It was Fiegl’s first goal of the season and the second of his career.
Mitch Gillam made the lead stand up with a big blocker save 35 seconds later on Mark Jankowski from the slot. The teams played an even third period, and the Big Red got a huge shot block from McCrea on a two-on-one with 4:20 to play in regulation. Ellis then forced overtime with a glove save on Trevor Yates from the slot with 49.8 left in the third.