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February 22, 2014

Cornell Claims Men's Ice Hockey Title

Courtesy of Cornell Athletic Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Cornell snapped an 0-for-32 slump on the power play with juniors Brian Ferlin and Jacob MacDonald both scoring on the man advantage to power the Big Red to a 4-1 victory at Princeton. With the victory, the Big Red clinched the Ivy League men's ice hockey title outright for the second time in the last three years.
 
MacDonald finished the night with a goal and an assist, and freshman defenseman Clint Lewis added his first collegiate goal to help 13th-ranked Cornell (14-7-5, 10-6-4 ECAC Hockey) build a three-goal lead and eventually secure its second four-point road trip in the last four weeks.
 
The Big Red killed off an early Princeton power play and took control of the first period soon thereafter. Working on its first power play of the game, Cornell took advantage of a turnover behind the Princeton net. Joel Lowry sent the puck from behind the net toward Cole Bardreau drifting backward off the post to the left of Tigers goalie Sean Bonar. The pass slid by Bardreau but hit Ferlin in stride, swooping into the slot. He gathered and fired a high shot past Bonar to give Cornell a 1-0 lead 8:33 in.
 
The Big Red could have built on its lead multiple times if not for the solid goaltending of Bonar. Cornell then had to kill three consecutive penalties in the opening half of the second period, weathering the storm before getting its own chance on the power play late in the frame. MacDonald gained the zone on the right side and passed to Patrick McCarron at the center point. He returned the favor to MacDonald, who corked a one-timed slap shot over Bonar's blocker to give the Big Red a sorely needed insurance tally 2:42 before the intermission.
 
Lewis extended the Big Red's lead to 3-0 with 9:13 to play in the third. MacDonald set Lewis up for a long shot along the ice from the left point that squeaked under Bonar with Jake Weidner creating confusion in front of the net.
 
Princeton (5-22, 4-16) got on the board with an extra-attacker tally by Alec Rush with 2:52 remaining, but John McCarron countered with an empty-netter for the Big Red's fourth goal. With the victory, Cornell stayed in fourth place in the ECAC Hockey standings with 24 points – two points ahead of Yale (22) and Clarkson (21) for the fourth and final spot warranting a first-round bye.