Rutgers returned home after three weeks to face conference opponent Cornell and swept the regular season series, winning 7-4 Friday night and 4-2 Saturday afternoon. Keep reading for the full recap!
Photo: Katherine Schellin
Your Rutgers University Ice Knights earned a weekend sweep of Cornell at ProSkate this past weekend! They won 7-4 Friday night and 4-2 Saturday afternoon. They head into Thanksgiving break with a 7-5-2-0 overall record (5-3-2-0 in conference).
Friday night, Rutgers got off to a slow start but was able to find the back of the net early, courtesy of freshman Mason Jenne, assisted by linemates Tyler Gutierrez and Jake Goldstein. Jenne scored his first career goal against Niagara two weeks ago. The Knights entered the first intermission with a 1-0 lead.
At the start of the second, they allowed Cornell to tie the game; Alex Ewald, their leading scorer, had the tally. About nine and a half minutes in, Goldstein and Cornell’s Rey Rodriguez took coincidental minors and the teams played four-on-four for two minutes. The ice opened up a little bit and Griffin Privitera scored, putting Rutgers back on top. The Knights poured it on for the rest of the second period, adding goals from Goldstein and Josh Kim (2), giving them a 5-1 lead entering the third period.
At the start of the third, Cornell would pull within three on an unassisted tally from Ewald and they would score again (William McCrink) to make it a 5-3 game but there was still plenty of hockey to be played. Kim scored three minutes later from Tyler Allen and Privitera, earning his third hat trick of the season. Cornell scored again but Jenne scored into their empty net (his second goal of the game) to secure the win.
Kim (3G), Goldstein (1G, 2A), and Lippincott (3A) had three-point nights and a handful of other players had two. Freshman goaltender Brandon Schellin made 29 saves.
Saturday afternoon, they started out a little flat again but Lippincott continued his hot streak by getting Rutgers on the board a minute into the game. His goal was unassisted. Cornell would tie the game soon thereafter and the score remained tied into the first intermission. Schellin came up big early in the second to keep the score even.
Joe DeLandro scored his sixth goal of the season to put Rutgers back on top 2-1; Lippincott had the lone assist. The team took a pair of minors to give Cornell a 5-on-3 power play but the team’s penalty kill came up big and was able to survive without conceding the tying goal. The score remained 2-1 at the end of the second.
Rutgers began the third period with an abbreviated power play but could not convert. Shortly after, Cornell “scored” to tie the game. A shot from the blue line bounced off of two posts and out of the crease but the referees declared it a good goal.
But the game would not stay tied for long: Chris Holowko scored on a partial breakway unassisted to put the Knights on top and a power play goal from Tyler Allen with five minutes to go would cement the sweep. The team was also able to kill a 6-on-3 towards the end of regulation after Cornell pulled their goaltender. 4-2 was the final from ProSkate.
Eager to get back on the ice, sophomore defenseman Sean Lippincott has had an immediate impact: the team is 3-0-1-0 since his return and he had six points (1G, 5A) this past weekend in addition to his three against Niagara. He currently leads all defensemen in scoring but more importantly, anchors the back end when he’s out on the ice.
He said, “I just feel like being out there, trying to lead. I’m able to help my teammates see the ice a bit better. They’re playing very well lately. We’ve been having some good practices. They’re looking around, I’m looking around. They’re just making smarter plays, having more time with the puck, producing more offense.”
So can he go two points per game as a blueliner this season?
“I don’t know. It’s a pretty hard feat. We’re gonna be playing some really good competition and I just so happen to hit my teammates who are in the right place at the right time for some assists and score a goal randomly here and there so that’s obviously a goal of mine, to get points, but overall I just want the team to win.”
Another highlight from this past weekend was the team’s third line: senior Assistant Captain Tyler Gutierrez and his freshmen linemates Mason Jenne and Jake Goldstein. They combined for seven points Friday night: Jenne with two goals, Gutierrez with a pair of assists, and Goldstein with a goal and a couple assists.
Head Coach Joe Dickson said, “They’re a nightmare to play against. They are nonstop. They don’t stop moving their feet. They are strong on the puck and they don’t shut up. All three of them are pests. You look at the dictionary and what a pest is, it’s all three. They’ve been really good for us. I’m very happy with that combination.”
And starting goaltender Brandon Schellin had an excellent weekend in net for Rutgers. He stopped 71 of 77 shots (should be 72 of 77) to post a .922 save percentage and earned both wins. After Saturday’s game, he said, “Last night, definitely the fourth one should have been mine. Never can really say it’s anybody’s fault when it’s a five hole but the other ones, it’s tough. 3-on-1’s, you can get ‘em occasionally but… goals go in sometimes. We just gotta bounce back and today, the first goal, the kid had a good shot. I gave him about an inch and he got it.”
And what did he have to say about the controversial second goal?
“The second one is a different opinion but the ref could swear it went in. I don’t know, I take physics and I kinda know that it’s impossible. I tried talking to the ref but he didn’t really have any time for me so it’s life. It went in but we still took the win so I’m fine with it.”
Dickson praised the freshman, saying “He played very well this weekend. He did exactly what I asked him to do which was stop worrying about the extracurriculars and just focus on stopping the puck. Today, especially, he was outstanding. Best player on the ice by far. Without him, I’m not sure where that score would’ve been today.”
Dickson also credits the team’s outstanding penalty kill, citing players DeLandro, Privitera, Holowko, Lippincott, Cole Asroff, and Brian Frister. Frister, in particular, had a big weekend, including a huge stop in front of the net Saturday afternoon.
One thing that needs to be worked on, however, is closing out games and not conceding three-goal leads. The team did it twice against Niagara and after going up 5-1 Friday night, they allowed two goals and let Cornell pull within two. That killer instinct is still missing.
Privitera said, “I think overall we get a little too complacent with ourselves especially when we’re up in a game like 3-0. We get complacent and start to sit back instead of keep going. We start to play different and that’s something we gotta work on and we gotta play the same no matter what the score is for all 60 minutes and that’s important for our team to work on.”
But for now, after a weekend sweep of a conference opponent, the team will get to thoroughly enjoy their Thanksgiving break.