NMU Hockey Opponent Preview: Cornell Big Red
The Northern Michigan Wildcats welcome the Cornell Big Red to the Berry Events Center in Marquette this weekend for a huge non-conference series. Both hockey teams have gotten off to mediocre starts, but both teams also have a chance to pick up two big wins in an attempt to right the ship this weekend. Cornell lost it’s first non-conference series at home to Michigan State (a mutual opponent with NMU, who split their opening series with the Spartans), but picked up two wins against conference opponents against Yale and Brown. Northern Michigan had a big weekend of their own last weekend, earning a series split in WCHA play against #9 ranked Bowling Green, holding the high powered Falcon offense scoreless on Saturday night. Here’s a look at the Wildcat’s opponent, as these two teams meet for the seventh and eighth times in history.
Cornell Big Red:
Head Coach: Mike Schafer
2–2–0 (2–0–0 ECAC)
Currently ranked #17 in USCHO.com poll.
Last season’s record: 25–6–2
Qualified for NCAA Tournament as a #1 seed. Eliminated by Boston U 3–1.
Won ECAC regular season championship.
- Trevor Yates- The senior Forward and alternate captain had 13 goals, 13 assists last season, and was tied for the team lead in goals and assists. The 6’2” German Centerman has split time this season between the AHL and ECHL. He is currently on the Grand Rapids Griffins roster.
- Anthony Angello- In his Junior season last year, Angello was tied with Yates for the team lead in goals and assists. The 6’5” former 5th round Pittsburgh draft pick elected to forego his senior season to turn pro, and got some AHL playoff experience at the end of last season. He currently has 4 goals and two assists in 9 games this season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL.
- Alex Rauter- Last season’s captain scored 11 goals, 9 assists in his senior campaign. He is currently has one assist in 2 games played for the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL.
- Junior Defenseman Yanni Kaldis- As a sophomore, Kaldis had 4 goals and 15 assists. He is picking right back of where he left off last season, currently leading the team in points with 3 goals and 2 assists.
- Senior Forward Mitch Vanderlaan- Of the veterans on this Big Red roster, Vanderlaan was the high point-getter last season, with 7 goals and 13 assists. He has 4 assists already this season, scoring at a clip of a point per game.
- Sophomore Forward Morgan Barron- Already with 3 goals in 4 games this season, Barron will look to keep up that pace if wants to eclipse his the 18 point total that he posted during his freshman season.
- Sophomore Goaltender Matthew Galajda- Last season played in 29 games, posting insane numbers: 21 wins, 5 losses, 1.51 GAA, .939 SV%
Freshman to Watch:
Forward Max Andreyev- The young Russian has a goal and 2 assists in his first season with Cornell. He put up solid numbers with Central Illinois during his one year in the USHL, with 12 goals and 31 assists. Coach Schafer will hope that those numbers can translate to the college game.
Both teams will be looking to get two wins this weekend. It should be quality, competitive hockey both nights at the Berry. Non-conference wins are vitally important to a teams hope at making the NCAA tournament, so this series could have implications later in the season. While it would be nice to see the Wildcats pick up their first series sweep of the season, I’m predicting that these teams split the weekend.