While the temperatures are on the rise this summer, the action inside of Lynah Rink will be red hot as the Cornell Big Red men’s hockey team officially announced its 2019-2020 regular season schedule on Thursday afternoon.
While the summer is often viewed as a down period for hockey, head coach Mike Schaffer and his staff have been busy securing nine commitments from incoming freshmen, who will join a Big Red team that overcame a slow start in 2018 to compile a 21-11-4 record on the way to a runner-up finish in the NCAA East Regional final to the Providence Friars.
The 2019-2020 Big Red squad will bolster 29 players, 20 of which are returning from last year’s successful campaign. Among those returners are the goaltending tandem of Mathew Galajda and Austin McGrath, defensive leader Yanni Kaldis and the team’s leading scorer, Morgan Barron.
This season will certainly come with many expectations for the Big Red following a deep postseason run, but a few preseason matchups play favorably into the Big Red’s hands.
As per tradition, Cornell starts the preseason with the annual Red/White Game on October 19, before taking on Nipissing University from Ontario and the United States National Team Development Program’s Under-18 team to round out the exhibition schedule.
The regular season will begin the same way it did during the 2018-2019 campaign, with a two-game series against the Michigan State Spartans, on the road in East Lansing. The Spartans, who started the season well before the Big Red, physically outplayed Cornell in Ithaca last season.
The following weekend, Nov. 8 and 9, brings about the home opener for the Big Red as they waste little time diving into ECAC play against Ivy League opponents Brown and Yale.
The marquee matchup of the first half of the season comes with a meeting with the Terriers of Boston University inside of Madison Square Garden on Nov. 30. Last season’s battle inside of the world’s most famous arena was between the Big Red and rival Harvard, who now play the following weekend in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Any follower of Cornell hockey understands the long holiday break brings about questions of the readiness of the Big Red to jump back into conference action in early January. This season, to help bring the team back into conference action, the Big Red will head to Las Vegas for the Ice Vegas Invitation on Jan. 3 and 4.
The following weekend, Cornell officially kicks off the second half of the season with a road series against Rensselaer and Union before a non-conference clash with Northern Michigan.
There will be a special feel to the Jan. 25 home matchup for the Big Red, as this time the Harvard Crimson comes to Ithaca, looking to avenge the 2-0 loss inside of Lynah Rink last season.
Feb. 7 and 8 see the Big Red enter its annual home and away weekend with the Colgate Raiders, as Cornell plays the hosts in the Friday night clash before taking to the road for Saturday evening.
The regular season comes to a close with a Feb. 28 and 29 home weekend against St. Lawrence and the defending ECAC champion Clarkson Golden Knights.
In all, the Cornell faithful will see the Big Red play inside of Lynah Rink 13 times during the regular season in addition to the three preseason contests.
With the returning veterans and the mixture of talented freshmen, the Big Red look poised to repeat the success that guided them to a memorable run last season.
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