ECAC: Malott's first-period hat trick sparks Cornell over Princeton

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PRINCETON, N.J. — Cornell freshman forward Jeff Malott was still waiting to record his first collegiate goal after 14 games this season. He put that statistic to rest in the opening 20 minutes on Friday night at Hobey Baker Rink, scoring on his first three shots as No. 19 Cornell (10-4-1 overall, 5-2-1 ECAC) upended host Princeton (7-11-1, 3-9-1) by a 5-1 count before 2,232 onlookers.

Malott, from Burlington, Ont., lit the lamp for the first time as a member of the Big Red just 5:37 into the contest when he scored on a shot from the right circle. After Princeton’s Max Veronneau tied matters just 29 seconds later, Malott scored again from the right circle at 11:32, then finished off his hat trick with another deflection, this time from the left circle, at 14:21. His three points in the first period matched his output for the entire season, all on assists.

“It was nice to finish,” said Malott, the first Cornell freshman to notch a hat trick since Matt Moulson. “Everybody was playing well, and five goals (as a team) is a good night.”

Malott, who later suffered an undisclosed injury and did not play the last two periods, came back to the bench after each score to approving teammates.

“They were pretty happy, and we said ‘Let’s not take our foot off the gas’,” he recalled. “After I left the game, I called my dad, and he was watching.”

“We talked,” said Cornell coach and former defenseman Mike Schafer. “He (Malott) was due. He’s a great kid, and was a little snake-bitten. He got a couple of tip-ins, and he’s a good player with a bright future.”

Schafer also recorded his 400th career coaching win on Friday, all with the Big Red in 22 seasons. He said the milestone meant a great deal to him, as he also spoke of coaching legends Jerry York and the late Ron Mason.

“It means a lot, coming at my alma mater, and it’s something to enjoy,” related Schafer.

Mitch Vanderlaan and Alex Rauter also scored for Cornell. Mitch Gillam finished with 31 saves for the Big Red, which has now won eight of its last nine outings overall.

Friday marked the first home game for the Tigers, who went 0-for-6 on the power play, since Dec. 17 against Minnesota State. A 5-4 setback that night began their current four-game losing string, which followed six straight wins.

Colton Phinney made 21 saves for Princeton, and is now the school’s all-time leader with 2,968 stops (and counting). The old career mark was 2,951 saves, set by Ronald Dennis in 1983.

Cornell, which had beaten Princeton, 4-2, at home back in November, extended its lead over the Tigers to four points in the ECAC standings. Princeton now hosts Colgate tomorrow night, while Cornell travels to Quinnipiac.

ECAC roundup
 
No. 16 St. Lawrence 2, at Brown 1
Ryan Lough and Eric Sweetman scored two minutes apart in the third period for the win for the No. 16 Saints, who had trailed after two periods in Providence. Zack Pryzbek registered Brown’s lone goal.

No. 15 Quinnipiac 4, Colgate 1
No. 15 Quinnipiac got goals from four different players, two of them set up by Karlis Cukste, over the first two frames. The Bobcats scored three times in the middle period, while launching 49 shots on goal in all. Colton Point had 45 stops for the Raiders.

Rensselaer 4, No. 2 Harvard 0
The Engineers jumped out to a four-goal lead after 40 minutes, scoring two power-play goals in surprising the No. 2 Crimson. Evan Tironese had two assists for RPI, while Jacob Hayhurst’s power-play goal 2:38 into the game stood up as the winner. Chase Perry finished with 41 saves for the shutout.

No. 11 Union 4, Dartmouth 1
Brett Supinski scored two goals for the No. 11 Dutchmen, both on the power play, before he helped set up Jeff Taylor’s third-period score. Spencer Foo drew assists on Union’s first three goals before closing out the scoring with his own late in regulation.

Yale 2, Clarkson 1
John Hayden’s goal with 59 seconds left in the third period was the difference as the Bulldogs edged the Golden Knights. Luke Stevens had Yale’s other goal, while Sam Vigneault connected for Clarkson with the man advantage.

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