Princeton, NJ - Cornell made the Ivy League race more interesting by handing Princeton its first league loss of the season, 12-11 in overtime. Princeton needed a 3 goal burst in the last 1:49 of regulation to force overtime. For the Tigers, Ryan Boyle had 5 points (1 g, 4 a) while Drew Casino added a hat trick. Coming up big for Cornell was Andrew Collins with 2 goals and 3 assists, along with Justin Redd 2 assists and 2 goals, one of which was the game winner 1:03 into overtime.
In a game that saw seven ties, it was only fitting that it would require overtime for one of these teams to come out victorious in front of 3121 fans. Cornell would strike first as Andrew Collins tried something different by scoring a goal, rather than setting one up, 1:20 into the game. Scott Sowanick would respond just under 2 minutes later to even the game at 1. Both teams would again exchange goals as Joe Boulukos added his 17th goal of the year off a Collins feed at the 9:05 mark. Drew Casino would respond for Princeton by winning the following face-off and notching what would be his first of three goals on the day a mere :06 after Boulukos’ goal.
Casino’s goal would prove to be the start of Princeton’s first three goal run of the day. As the Tigers continued to work through their patient offense, Ryan Boyle, from his quarterback role, set up the next two Tigers’ goals by Jason Donegar at 5:48 and Erik Kudla at the 2:44 mark on an extra-man opportunity. After the first quarter, Princeton held a 4-2 lead in the battle of two very patient offenses.
Cornell would again be the first to strike as Boulukos added his 2nd goal of the game off of Justin Redd’s 2nd assist of the game two minutes into the second quarter. Fifty seconds later, Mike Wenzel beat Cornell freshman goalie Matt McMonagle high. putting Princeton back up two.
Cornell would settle into their patient offense once again, running through a fittingly titled play for this Ivy Leauge battle, “Einstein”. It seemed as if the play was designed to settle the ball as Cornell was subbing the correct personnel in, and then to run through an offensive set. In any case, it worked as Mike Riordan drove from X and stuck the no-angle shot for Cornell with 9:27 to go in the half. Cornell would tie the game again nearly two minutes later, as a Princeton offensive turnover led into a fast break for Cornell, which Kevin Nee finished crediting to Collins again. Princeton would regain the lead before the half as Scott Sowanick swept across up top hard, banged it back to Casino who ripped it past McMonagle for his 2nd of the day and the 6-5 halftime advantage.
The patience continued on offense for both sides. By my count, there were at least different 3 times that Cornell was instructed to “keep it in” because the refs didn’t feel they were making an effort towards the goal. Cornell would gain some momentum as they took away Princeton’s final lead. Sean Greenhalgh beat Princeton goalie Dave Law at the 10:36 mark. Greenhalgh had tucked the stick underneath the goal line, bounced back up, and let go a nice bounce shot that squeezed in right under the cross bar as he was hit into the crease. Kevin Nee would add his second goal of the game three minutes later. His defenseman fell and Nee took advantage finishing with a lefty underhanded bounce shot. This gave Cornell its first lead in over thirty minutes.
At the 3:08 mark, Ryan Boyle skipped over the entire Cornell defense to find Peter Trombino, who put the shot right inside the post on the off-stick side of the goalie. With the goal, Trombino tied the Princeton consecutive games scoring streak for freshman at 10 games. Trombino would proceed to give the goal right back as he gave Cornell a man-up opportunity. On the man-up, Collins again found the open man as he fed Dave Pittard to put Cornell up 8-7 at the end of the third period. Princeton’s cause was helped by a Law save with about three seconds to go in the period.
Off of the fourth quarter’s opening face-off, Cornell now gave Princeton a gift in the name of a slash on Drew Casino. On the man-up, Boyle found Eric Kudla for his second goal of the game to tie the game at 8. This showed again, that in a game between teams this evenly matched, penalties will hurt you. Cornell was a perfect 2-2 on man-up for the day, with Princeton going 2-3.
With the game tied, both teams seemed content to run their patient offenses, until Cornell exploded for three goals in four minutes. The first was from Justin Redd on a wide sweep, which he finished with a righty bounce shot at 12:09. The next at 11:12 saw Joe Boulukos drive and beat his man to then dump it to a waiting Greenhalgh on the crease, who turned and stuck it past Law. It seemed as if in the ensuing post-goal celebration, Boulukos may have tweaked his back, as he ran off gingerly. Cornell would display its ability to run-n-gun shortly after. Mike Riordan came up with a looseball on the Princeton offensive side, managed to hold on to it as he ran past three Princeton players to start the break. This time Collins was on the receiving end of a Nee pass to finish the break and put the Big Red up three with 9:15 to play in the game.
In a move that can be questioned in hindsight, Cornell went into a deliberate clock killing mode right after their 11th goal. Freshman attackman Henry Bartlett would enter the game as he held the ball for what felt to be close to, if not more, than a full minute. He showed his acting ability as he flailed on two different occasions on questionable Princeton checks. Cornell was able to successfully kill a full 3 minutes. Princeton head coach Bill Tierney called a timeout as soon as he could when a Cornell shot went wide at the 6:13 mark. With the right personnel in the game, Princeton was able to get the ball back on offense. However, they were unable to generate anything as they turned the ball over dropping simple passes.
Cornell was able to get the game down to close to two minutes, although Princeton did force a couple of turnovers by sending the goalie out to cover a man and doubling the ball. With 1:49 to go, junior Jason Donegar pulled the Tigers to within 2 as he put a righty bounce shot in. With possession at 1:25, Tierney again called a timeout. From the whistle, Whitney Hayes (who hadn’t been heard from in over 50 minutes) drove and found Drew Casino who ripped a shot into the net. Cornell clung to a one goal lead. Princeton would gain possession again only to have a questionable high-to-high shot be stopped (as it should be) by McMonagle with 55 seconds left in the game. Princeton rode with tenacity and forced the turnover. With the ball again, Whitney Hayes’ name appears again, this time he found Ryan Boyle who switched roles and sent the ball into the net to tie the game at 11 with 23.7 seconds remaining. This ended the 3-goals-in-1:26 run by Princeton.
Princeton had a chance to win the game with about 3 seconds remaining as Ryan Boyle was tackled in front of the crease in a no-call play.
Like the overtime coin toss in football, the overtime face-off is looked upon with great importance. Junior JD Nelson beat Casino on the face-off (see picture sequence) and Cornell promptly called a timeout. To start the ensuing possession, Cornell’s Justin Redd brought the ball to X while being covered by Princeton’s short stick defensive middie Jared Keating. Redd drove hard but Keating wouldn’t give Redd a step. Redd pulled it out and brought the ball back to X. Rather than passing it, Redd drove again, this time he was able to get a look at the net and give Cornell the win only 1:03 into overtime.
Both teams offenses’ took care of the ball for the majority of the game. Princeton’s looked bad for the few minutes before their final three goal run, as Cornell’s looked weak in the final few minutes with Princeton pressuring the ball. However, both teams only managed 18 shots on goal the entire day, showing two things: the first being that both teams are very well disciplined not to take bad shots, and the second being that their offenses aren’t about just peppering the goalie with shots. McMonagle only managed 7 saves for Cornell as Law contributed 6 for the Tigers. Most of the shots they faced were high percent shots.
With the win, Cornell opens the possibility of a tie for the Ivy League championship and automatic bid to the NCAA tourney. Princeton could have made life easy for itself as they had been undefeated in the Ivy League. Now, Princeton’s upcoming games against Brown and Dartmouth hold more meaning, as they could have had a two game lead with two to play, now they are tied for the league lead. Cornell only has one more Ivy League game left in Brown who they will face next Saturday.
|Ryan Boyle||(1, 4)|
|Drew Casino||(3, 0)|
|Whitney Hayes||(0, 3)|
|Scott Sowanick||(1, 1)|
|Erik Kudla||(2, 0)|
|Jason Doneger||(2, 0)|
|Peter Trombino||(1, 0)|
|Michael Wenzel||(1, 0)|
|Dave Law||6 (0.333)|