Rutgers is back in action this weekend on home ice against conference opponent Cornell. Check out our series preview here!
Photo: Katherine Schellin
The Rutgers University Ice Knights (5-5-2-0) return home after three weeks to face conference opponent Cornell (7-5-0-0). These two teams last met over six years ago during the 2012-13 season; Rutgers dominated in an 11-2 win, outshot Cornell 47-18, and alum Justin Gelesky tallied a hat trick.
Cornell: they began the season with a 5-1 win over Lehigh Valley (courtesy of a Dongyoon Shin hat trick) and a 6-0 win over the Penn State Berks. They lost 7-1 to Villanova to close out opening weekend. The following weekend, they opened up the scoring in a conference contest against Oswego but allowed six unanswered goals and fell 3-1 to Slippery Rock the following day.
They defeated Canisius 3-2 (came back from a three-goal deficit and James Czech scored the game-winning goal) and Buffalo 5-4 in a shootout (came back from another three-goal deficit). They beat Penn State again (final score was 8-4 and William McCrink had a hat trick) and Ithaca, both in regulation.
They then lost to Cortland 4-3; last weekend, they beat RIT in overtime and fell 7-4 to Niagara. Shin and McCrink had two goals each in the loss to Niagara.
Alex Ewald currently leads Cornell in scoring with eight goals and 11 assists, followed by Shin (8G, 10A) and McCrink (9G, 3A). McCrink also has three power play goals, the most on the team. Ross Allen (4G, 3A) and Rey Rodriguez (7A) each have seven points.
Four different goaltenders have split time this season in between the pipes for Cornell. Taidhgin Keel leads the way with a 2-3 record through six games played, and has a 3.75 goals against average and .882 save percentage. Carson Chircop, who played both games this past weekend against RIT and Niagara, has a 3-1 record (4GP), 3.84 goals against average, and .895 save percentage. Sam Seltzer and Drew Goldberg have also played in games; Goldberg has the only shutout of the season.
Rutgers: the Knights have had a bit of an up-and-down season. They began with a sweep of Villanova, and fell in overtime to Cortland but won the second half to split the series. Josh Kim tallied a pair of hat tricks in just four games. The following weekend, they also split the series with Oswego, winning in a shootout on Friday (courtesy of Kim) and being shut out 4-0 on Saturday.
They then played a home-and-home with Stony Brook, lost both games, and were outscored 19-2. They returned home two weeks later against RIT and lost both of those games, 5-3 and then 5-2. The following weekend (this past weekend), Rutgers headed up north to face Niagara in their first full road trip of the season and broke a five-game losing streak with a 6-4 win over the Purple Eagles. They would lose in overtime after holding multiple two-goal leads in regulation. They allowed the game-tying goal with 12 seconds remaining.
Captain Griffin Privitera currently leads the Knights in scoring with seven goals and 12 assists (19 points); he is riding a six-game point streak with three goals and five assists over that span, and is averaging 1.6 points per game. Kim leads all freshmen in scoring with 17 points (11G, 6A) and has four shorthanded goals. Junior Joe DeLandro has 11 points (5G, 6A) followed by Assistant Captain Tyler Gutierrez with nine (5G, 4A). Sophomore defenseman Sean Lippincott also returned from injury and had three points (1G, 2A) over the weekend.
Goaltender Chris Fiorillo started both games against Niagara; he has a 4-2 record through nine games played, 4.64 goals against average, and .883 save percentage. Freshman Brandon Schellin has a 1-3 record through five games, 5.00 goals against average, and .843 save percentage; he also missed some time due to injury.
Puck drops are scheduled for 8:30PM Friday night and 4:30PM Saturday afternoon at ProSkate Ice Arena in Monmouth Junction, NJ. This weekend will be one of the last opportunities to see the Knights play before winter break so come support!