Union draws No. 5 Cornell

The Big Red menace is coming to Messa Rink next weekend.

The Big Red menace is coming to Messa Rink next weekend.

Fourth-seeded Union will host No. 5 Cornell in the ECAC Hockey tournament best-of-three quarterfinal series, beginning Friday at

7 p.m. The Big Red advanced to the second round by routing 12th-seeded Dartmouth, 6-0, in the deciding game of their first-round series Sunday at Lynah Rink. Cornell won the best-of-three series, 2-1.

The Dutchmen (15-12-6) and the Big Red (16-13-3) finished tied for fourth in the regular season. Union earned the first-round bye by virtue of sweeping the regular-season series. It is the highest finish ever for the Dutchmen in their 17-year Division I history.

Both games were decided by a goal. Union pulled out a 2-1 victory Jan. 12 at Messa when Matt Cook’s goal 3:53 into the third

period snapped a 1-1 tie. Late in the game, Dutchmen goalie Justin Mrazek made an incredible kick save on a Doug Krantz wrist shot, despite having a stick stuck in his pad strap that made it difficult for him to stand up.

In the rematch Feb. 15 at Lynah, Cook and Mrazek were the stars again. Cook scored twice, and Mrazek made 25 saves to help the Dutchmen overcome a 2-0 deficit and win, 3-2.

In 10 previous tournament appearances, Union has yet to win a series. The Dutchmen’s postseason record is 2-19. Cornell has won a league-best 11 tournament titles, the last coming in 2005.

In Sunday’s deciding game, Raymond Sawada had two goals and an assist to spark the Big Red.

In the other deciding game, Tyler Burton scored the game-winning goal for the second straight night and had an assist, lifting eighth-seeded Colgate to a 3-1 victory over No. 9 St. Lawrence to take the series, 2-1.

The Raiders (16-5-6) will face top-seeded Clarkson (20-10-4) next weekend in Potsdam.

The other quarterfinal series will have second-seeded Princeton

(17-12) hosting seventh-seeded Yale (15-12-4), which swept Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in two overtime games, and No. 6 Quin­nipiac (19-13-4) visits No. 3 Harvard


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