ITHACA, N.Y. – Junior forwards Brenden Locke and Morgan Barron, and freshman defenseman Sam Malinski each had a goal and an assist, and the Cornell men's hockey team scored three unanswered goals in a 4-1 victory over Brown on Friday night at Lynah Rink. The victory came in the ECAC Hockey and Ivy League opener for the fourth-ranked Big Red, which improves to 3-0 on the young season.
Junior defenseman Alex Green opened the scoring for Cornell late in a first period that saw Brown generate just one shot on goal. The Bears still threatened early in the second period, gaining momentum on goaltender Gavin Nieto's big glove save on a chance from junior forward Kyle Betts. A minute later, a Big Red defenseman's mishap led to a two-on-one down low, but junior goaltender Matthew Galajda read the play and stretched to his left to deny Michael Maloney's one-timer.
While Brown did eventually break through on a fluke goal off the heel of Brent Beaudoin, Cornell regained the lead 87 seconds later on Malinski's precise shot after he was found on a back-door pass by Locke. Locke then gave the Big Red a two-goal lead entering the final period with his first goal of the season.
"He was the best player on the ice for us tonight," said Mike Schafer '86, the Jay R. Bloom '77 Head Coach of Men's Hockey. "I thought he was outstanding in all aspects of the game – from his own zone, to the neutral zone, to the offensive zone and faceoffs. I just thought he was really focused and led the way for us tonight."
The Big Red's power play then delivered on its only opportunity of the night on Barron's second goal of the season, coming just 62 seconds into the third. Cornell's power play is 6-for-15 (40%) through three games.
Junior forward Cam Donaldson, who missed last weekend's season-opening games at Michigan State, celebrated his return to the lineup with a pair of assists. Galajda needed to make just 13 saves to earn the victory.
"Brown's a team that you have to compete (against) for 60 minutes, and I think for the most part our defensemen and forwards did that," Schafer said.
How The Goals Were Scored:
Cornell's 1st Goal
1st period, 18:14 • Green 1 (Andreev, Barron) • Cornell 1, Brown 0
• The Big Red worked the puck out of its zone with Barron sending a long pass from the half wall into the neutral zone for Andreev. After he entered the Brown zone, Andreev pulled up to evade two pursuing defenders before shuttling off a short pass to a hard-charging Green. He had an open shot from the top of the slot that beat Nieto low to the glove side.
Brown's 1st Goal
2nd period, 7:29 • Beaudoin 1 (Guittari, Jallen) • Cornell 1, Brown 1
• The Bears won a battle along the wall beind the Cornell goal, eventually sending the puck up the right side to the point. Guittari tried to get off a quick shot, but it was blocked by a Cornell defender – except then it took a fluky bounce off an unsuspecting Beaudoin's heel on the far hash mark before going in.
Cornell's 2nd Goal
2nd period, 8:56 • Malinski 2 (Locke, Donaldson) • Cornell 2, Brown 1
• Cornell worked in the offensive zone along the left half wall, with Locke maneuvering over the top of the circle between several Brown defenders. With the Bears overcommiting to Locke, he feathered a backhand pass to Malinski coming down wide open from the right point. Malinski picked his spot low to Nieto's stick side, banking the puck in off the far post.
Cornell's 3rd Goal
2nd period, 19:31 • Locke 1 (Donaldson, Kaldis) • Cornell 3, Brown 1
• Kaldis gathered a puck near the Brown bench and quickly started a counterattack with a cross-ice pass to Donaldson on the right wing. Donaldson crossed with Locke as they entered the offensive zone on a two-on-two before dishing off to his linemate. Locke took a step toward the top of the circle and snapped a shot between his defender's legs and under Nieto's blocker.
Cornell's 4th Goal
3rd period, 1:02 • Barron 2 (Malinski, Regush) • Cornell 4, Brown 1
• On its only power play of the night, the Big Red cleanly entered the Brown zone with Regush dishing off the Malinski on the right point. With the Bears' defense collapsing on that side of the ice, Malinski fired a pass all the way across to Barron in the left circle. Nieto followed the play well enough, but was already committed to his knees – and Barron exploited that by ripping a shot over his right shoulder and inside the near post.
• Cornell returns home to wrap up the ECAC Hockey and Ivy League weekend with a game against Yale at 7 p.m. Saturday at Lynah Rink.