No. 4 Cornell tops No. 8 Denver in OT
Langton scores game-winning goal to help Big Red collect win
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Frustrated having gone scoreless for nearly two full games, junior Steve Mock delivered in the biggest moment. Again.
Mock scored the game-tying goal with 6.2 seconds left in overtime on a great feed from Chris Langton, then found Langton for the game winner just a minute into the extra session to give No. 4 Cornell a 9-8 win against No. 8 Denver on Tuesday afternoon.
The loss was a second consecutive heartbreaker for Denver, which dropped a three overtime contest at Notre Dame on Sunday. It was also the third consecutive Big Red game to be decided late by a 9-8 score. After an overtime loss to No. 1 Virginia was followed by Saturday's 9-8 victory against Yale. That game featured a goal in the final five minutes from Roy Lang, followed by several excellent defensive stands to earn the win. Cornell improved to 5-1, while Denver slipped to 4-3.
After being controlled at the face-off circle most of the day, Cornell was able to win the re-start at the beginning of overtime with excellent wing play, then after a timeout, moved the ball side to side until Mock found a swinging Langton at the right wing. The senior fired a shot past Denver freshman goalkeeper Ryan LaPlante, who was making his first career start due to an injury to starter Jamie Faus.
The Cornell sidelines erupted for the final play, which never would have happened had it not been for the late score by Mock.
Denver took its final lead in a game that featured seven ties and five lead changes when Jeremy Noble, twin brother of Cornell All-America defender Jason Noble, shook his brother's squad and took a feed from Eric Law on the doorstep and finished to make it 8-7 with 2:58 left on the clock. The Pioneers won the ensuing face-off and started killing the clock, aided by a 30 second penalty on the Big Red. Cornell finally forced a turnover with 26 seconds to play and called a timeout to set up the goal to knot the score 8-8;.
Mock and Langton connected for the score with 6.2 seconds left and mucked up the face-off to run out the clock to send the game into OT.
Big Red goalkeeper Andrew West made 12 saves and won a ground ball to pick up the win between the pipes. Max Van Bourgondien recorded three goals and both Langton (two goals, assist) and Mock (goal, two assists) also had three-point days. Thomas Keith was outstanding with the pole, winning five ground balls, while Noble won 5-of-10 face-offs (rest of the team was 1-of-9) in a battle against his brother.
Mark Matthews scored three goals to lead Denver, while Chase Carraro and Cameron Flint each had a goal and an assist. Carraro won 13-of-19 face-offs and scooped up 11 ground balls. LaPlante made eight saves.
The Big Red entered the locker room with a 3-2 halftime edge thanks primarily to the defense. West made five saves in the first 3-0 minutes, including on a pair of point-blank shots. Denver wasn't able to get many good looks on the Big Red defense, and Cornell's offense did just enough against a stout Pioneers defense to take the halftime lead. Cornell held a 22-16 shot advantage and never trailed in the first half.
The first quarter was evenly played with both squads taking their time offensively. Cornell's Lang got on the board with a dodge and a rocket shot over the shoulder of LaPlante 6:28 in before the Pioneers equalized when Cameron Flint capitalized on a feed from Chase Carraro a little more than six minutes later. The Big Red killed off a late one minute penalty to keep the game even after 15 minutes.
Cornell looked as though it might be taking control early in the second with a pair of goals in the first 5:15. Austin put Cornell back in the lead 3:21 into the second quarter with a bounce shot and Van Bourgondien scored three minutes later on a feed from Mock to make it 3-1. Denver got a goal back to make it 3-2 at the break.
The second half was more back-and-forth as neither team could take a lead of more than a goal, and neither team scored more than two straight at any point.