Holiday Hockey: Cornell men and women face Boston University on Saturday

November 28, 2015 by Mark H. Anbinder

In what's become a Thanksgiving weekend tradition, Big Red men's hockey heads to Madison Square Garden for tonight's non-league contest against Boston University. The women face the Terriers as well, in a weekend tournament at the University of Vermont.

Facing off at Madison Square Garden.Facing off at Madison Square Garden.It's the fifth edition of "Red Hot Hockey" for the men, taking place every other year since 2007, rekindling the decades-old rivalry between the Big Red and Boston University. Even though Cornell and BU haven't been in the same league for thirty years, the rivalry is so strong that no matter what team Cornell faces, there's still always a chant: "Screw BU! ___ too."

The Big Red hold a 23-19-2 all-time lead in the series against BU, but hasn't beat them lately; the Terriers have won three of the four previous Red Hot Hockey installments, with 2009's match-up ending in a tie. (In alternate years, Cornell beat Michigan and Penn State at the Garden, though the ticket sales weren't as brisk.) Before the MSG series began, twelve years into head coach Mike Schafer's tenure, Cornell had a three-game winning streak against BU in the Schafer era.

Cornell comes to tonight's game with a 6-1-1 record, 4-1-1 in ECAC play, though, and ranked in the national polls, after posting a pair of shutouts last weekend, a tie and a win at Yale and Brown, earning junior netminder Mitch Gillam ECAC Player of the Week honors. They were his third and fourth career shutouts, and his current shutout streak of 167 minutes and 41 seconds coming into tonight's game is the sixth longest in program history.

BU is 7-4-2, 3-2-2 in Hockey East action, after splitting a weekend series with visiting Michigan and shutting out Bentley on Tuesday 3-0. The win against Michigan featured a wild come-from-behind finish, with three Terrier goals in the last ten minutes for a 3-2 victory.

Cornell's women have had an up-and-down season so far, with a win against the visiting University of Western Ontario followed by a trio of losses to Boston College and RPI. Most recently, the Red split a weekend at Mercyhurst, with a 6-1 win last Saturday, including a hat trick for junior Hanna Bunton, making up for Friday night's 5-1 loss. Freshman Micah Hart posted her first career points in the games, with the Red's lone goal on Friday keeping it from being a shutout, and a pair of assists on Saturday. The team is 3-5-2 and 1-2-2 in the ECAC heading into this afternoon's game against BU, who are 10-6-1 on the year, 8-3-0 in Hockey East play. Cornell plays the Terriers at 1pm on Saturday, and will face the host Vermont Catamounts at 4pm on Sunday. Both games are on CatamounTV.

Tonight's Red Hot Hockey game can be watched for free on the Ivy League Digital Network, and is on WHCU 870AM or 95.9FM in Ithaca. The puck drops at 8:15pm.

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