Ithaca, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
Joe Devin scored a pair of goals and Mike Garman made 36 saves as the Cornell men's hockey team opened post-season play with a 2-1 victory over Quinnipiac in game one of the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals on Friday night at Lynah Rink. The win puts Cornell one win away from advancing to the league championship weekend for the fourth straight season.
Tyler Roeszler and Greg Miller both had a pair of assists on the night for the Big Red (14-13-3), which finished the game 1-for-5 on the power play. Quinnipiac got a goal from Scott Zurevinski with an assist to Russell Goodman, while netminder Dan Clarke made 25 saves in the loss for the Bobcats. Quinnipiac finished the night scoreless in seven power-play chances.
Devin put the Big Red on the board just 1:58 into the contest, taking a pass from Roeszler in the corner and ripping a shot from the slot that beat Clarke on the Big Red's second shot of the game. But the story of the first period was the Bobcats, who out-shot the Big Red by a 20-5 margin, though Garman was up to the task. The junior netminder made 19 saves in the period, beaten only by Zurevinski's shot from the slot after a feed from the corner from Goodman with 1:24 to play in the first as the period ended knotted at one.
In the second, Cornell dodged a bullet five minutes in as both Kirill Gotovets and Joe Devin were called for a minor at the 4:57 mark, but the Big Red was able to kill off the extended 5-on-3 advantage, with Garman making four saves and the Big Red defense blocking one shot.
Cornell then took advantage of its own power-play opportunity in the end of the period, with a Connor Jones high-sticking call coming back to hurt the Bobcats. Again, Roeszler fed Devin in the slot with a pass, and the senior ripped a shot that snuck inside the goalpost to the right of Clarke, staking Cornell to the 2-1 lead after two periods.
In the third, the Big Red penalty kill came up huge again, killing off four Cornell penalties in the period. Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold pulled Clarke for the extra skater with 1:03 to play, but the Bobcats could not capitalize as Cornell sealed away the victory and took a 1-0 lead in the series.
The two teams will square off on Saturday night in a 7 p.m. contest at Lynah Rink. A Cornell win would put the Big Red through to the ECAC Hockey semifinals for the fourth straight season, while Quinnipiac needs a win to force a decisive game three on Sunday at Lynah Rink.