Dec. 27, 2003
Estero, Fla. – Freshman goaltender David McKee stopped 27 Notre Dame shots to record his second consecutive shutout as the 14th-ranked Cornell Big Red blanked Notre Dame 4-0 Saturday afternoon in the first game of the Everblades College Hockey Classic.
McKee, who blanked Harvard, 1-0 on Dec. 6, now has three shutouts in his rookie season for Cornell. He got all the offensive support he would need from junior Mike Knoepfli (two goals, one assist) and sophomore Daniel Pegoraro (a goal and an assist).
The loss extends Notre Dame’s losing streak to a season-high three games and drops the Irish to 8-6-2 on the year. Cornell improves to 5-2-5 for the season.
“We have to learn how to score goals when we get the chances,” said Notre Dame head coach Dave Poulin following the game.
I liked our energy, especially in the second period when we played like we have most of the season. We were making smart decisions with the puck, finishing checks, moving the puck. We had our chances to score but didn’t capitalize on them.”
Coming off a 21-day break that saw neither team play competitively since Dec.6, the first period got off to a sluggish start before Cornell used the power play to take a 1-0 lead at 8:51 of the opening stanza.
Knoepfli got his first goal of the night when he pounced on the rebound of a Matt Moulson shot that Irish goaltender David Brown stopped from the slot and lifted it over Brown for his second goal of the season.
Despite being outshot 10-5 in the opening period, the Irish had several quality chances as both Tim Wallace and Mike Walsh rang shots off the post on two Notre Dame power-play chances.
The Irish found their legs in the second period and took the play to Cornell, out shooting the Big Red, 14-7 in the period, but could not dent freshman goaltender Mike McKee.
Meanwhile, Cornell was upping its lead to 2-0 with another power-play goal at16:47 of the second period. This time, center Chris Abbott did the honors after Brown stopped Pegoraro in close. Brown was run over in the crease and Abbott had time to move across the front of the goal and fire the puck over the freshman goaltender for his second goal of the year.
Cornell sealed the win at 6:21 of the third when Knoepfli’s shot from the right wing circle deflected of an Irish defenseman over Brown’s left shoulder and under the crossbar for his second of the night.
Pegoraro closed the scoring at 9:20 when he scored his first of the season, beating Brown low to the ice from between the hash marks for the final score of 4-0.
The Irish finished the night 0-for-6 on the power play while Cornell converted 2-of 6 chances. Notre Dame outshot Cornell 27-22 on the night. Brown finished with 18 saves for the Irish. Notre Dame returns to action on Sunday, Dec. 28 at 1:05 p.m. when they face the Maine Black Bears in the third-place game. Maine fell to Ohio State, 4-2, in Saturday’s second game.
“We really want to go into the second half on a positive note. We have a chance to do that on Sunday and get back to the way we played earlier in the season,” said Poulin.
** The Irish wore dark green and gold jerseys for the game versus Cornell. This gives the Irish a fourth jersey as they wore gold earlier this season. The last time Notre Dame wore green jerseys for hockey was on March 17, 2000, in the semi-finals of the CCHA Tournament at Joe Louis Arena versus Michigan State. They lost that game by a 4-0 score.
** Cornell’s win over Notre Dame was the first ever for the Big Red versus the Irish. Notre Dame owned a 3-0 all-time record versus Cornell coming into the game.
** The Irish have not won the first game of an in-season tournament since the opening game of the 1995 Bank One Badger Classic when they defeated Wisconsin, 3-2. They lost in the championship game of that tournament, 8-3 to Boston University. The Irish are 0-5-1 in opening games since that win over Wisconsin.
** The last time the Irish were shutout was on Feb. 1, 2003 when Ohio State blanked the Irish 2-0 at the Joyce Center.
** The shutout ended Notre Dame’s streak of nine consecutive games with at least one power-play goal. The Irish were 0-for-6 versus Cornell.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 F
Notre Dame (8-6-2) 0 0 0 0
Cornell (5-2-5) 1 1 2 4
First Period: CU: Mike Knoepfli 2 (Matt Moulson, Charlie Cook), PPG, 8:51.
Penalties: ND: 3 for 6 minutes; CU: 1 for 2 minutes.
Second Period: CU: Chris Abbott 2 (Daniel Pegoraro), PPG, 16:37
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; CU: 3 for 6 minutes.
Third Period: CU: Knoepfli 3 (Shane Hynes, Ben Wallace), 6:21; CU: Pegoraro 1 (Hynes, Knoepfli), 9:20.
Penalties: ND: 3 for 6 minutes; CU: 4 for 8 minutes.
Shots On Goal:
Notre Dame 5 – 14 – 8 – 27
Cornell 10 – 7 – 5 – 22
ND – David Brown (60:00) 9 – 6 – 3 – 18
CU – David McKee (60:00) 5 – 14 – 8 – 27