No. 16 Cornell Men’s Hockey Tops, 6-2
TROY, NY – Seniors Linden Ture and Jakub Lacka each scored a pair of goals to lead the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men’s hockey team to a 6-2 win over 16th-ranked Cornell University Friday night at Houston Field House. With the victory, the Engineers improve their record to 13-17-3 (8-9-0 ECAC Hockey), while the Big Reds drop to 13-7-4 (8-5-4 ECAC Hockey).
RPI scored five unanswered goals to overturn a 2-1 deficit after one spell. Graduate student Justin Addam (Auriers, France / Robert Morris University) tied the score at 2-2 with a scoring goal at 10:24 of the second. Receiving a cross pass on the right wing, he lifted a backhand shot under the crossbar for his eighth goal of the season.
Just over six minutes later, Lacka (Bratislava, Slovakia/Central Illinois Flying Aces) put the Engineers ahead (3-2) with a power play. Junior Simon Kjellberg (Nashville, TN / Dubuque Fighting Saints) sent the puck into the slot for Addamo, who ended up hitting it through the bottom of the left circle for Lacka, who one-handed a shot into an open net.
Linden (Great Falls, VA / Lone Star Brahmas) doubled the RPI advantage at 10:28 of the third, netting a shot on a partial breakaway, after taking a feed from the left wall by Lacka. Linden broke away from the right side of the Cornell area and fired a shot into the top left corner of the net for his second goal of the game and the team’s leading 13th of the season.
With just over five minutes left in regulation time, the Engineers earned their second five-minute major of the game. Two minutes into the power play, the Big Red beat freshman goaltender Joe Howe (Shanty Bay, ON / Grande Prairie Storm) for a 6-4 advantage.
Senior RPI Jacques Johnson (Bloomington, MN/Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) bagged the first of two empty nets at 6:41 p.m., getting a shot just inside his own blue line. Lacka then capped the scoring with his own tally into an empty net, passing the puck from the red line, before bringing it in close.
Linden scored the game’s first goal at 8:16 of the first period. Helpers went to see a classmate Ottoville-Leppanen (Espoo, Finland / Espoo Blues U20) and second year Lauri Sertti (Espoo, Finland / Amarillo Bulls).
Cornell fought back to take the lead, starting with an equalizer from senior Max Andreev (Moscow, Russia/Central Illinois Flying Aces), who drilled a shot into the top corner of the net for his ninth goal of the season.
A power-play goal from junior Ben Berard (Duncan, BC/Powell River Kings) gave the Big Reds a 2-1 lead at 17:42 of first. He fired home a point shot from senior captain Brenden Locke (Iroquois Falls, ON / Cobourg Cougars) for his 10th of the year.
Engineering Freshman Goaltender Jack Watson (Toronto, ON / Coquitlam Express) made 39 saves to improve to 5-4-0 this season, while Howe (4-3-0) turned aside 13 saves at the other end of the rink.
RPI was 1 for 3 on the power play, while Cornell was 1 for 5, while recording 15 shots on goal.
The Engineers’ four-goal margin of victory is the largest over the Big Red since their 9-1 win on March 4, 1994.
Rensselaer is back in action tomorrow against Colgate for the 44th Annual Big Red Freakout! The puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. Cornell travels to Schenectady to face Union (7 p.m.).