2019 NCAA Division I Men

The NCAA hockey tournament is already unscrewed. One seed and defending champion Denver goes down! The NCAA Hockey Tournament, known for its massive upsets, has already taken its first victim to the Denver Pioneers. The Big Red took down the Pioneers in a 2-0 shutout by Cornell goaltender Ian Shane.

The Denver Pioneers were not just a one seed and defending national champion, but they may also be the only candidate from outside the Big 10 that hockey experts pegged a lock to go to the NCAA Frozen Four in Tampa, Florida. Denver won’t even get to play in their own regional championship, as Cornell stopped them cold.

Cornell shocks the NCAA hockey world in 2-0 upset over Denver

After sweeping Clarkson in the first round of the ECAC Hockey Championship, the Cornell Big Red were taken out of their conference championship quickly. Harvard made quick work of the team thought to be the second best in the conference. Harvard took a 0-0 tie to OT where the Crimson ended it.

That single goal is the only one that Big Red goaltender Ian Shane has allowed in the last 12 days. Shane shut down the Pioneers on Thursday afternoon, keeping all 27 shots out of the net.

On the other end of the ice, it was an onslaught for Pioneers goaltender and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Magnus Chrona. Chrona gave up two goals early in the first period, and although he was able to keep the puck out of the net for the rest of the game, it wouldn’t be enough.

Three minutes into the opening frame, Jack O’Leary took advantage of a rebound in front of Chrona that bounced back from a shot by Max Andreev. O’Leary crossed the crease and pushed the puck past a sprawling Chrona to put the Big Red up early.

Cornell!!! Take a 1-0 lead to start the 1st thanks to Jack O’Leary 👀 https://t.co/BwdtEozC8p

With three minutes left in the game, Ben Berard drove the puck through the blue line on a rush for the Big Red. After his shot went wide, Jack O’Leary found the puck again behind the net. O’Leary scooped a pass back out to Berard in front of the goal crease, where he buried it past an out-of-position Chrona.

Ben Berard makes it 2-0 Cornell! Can they pull off the upset? https://t.co/7OhEG0EDX9

For the Big Red, the win was a huge upset. Nearly half of the Pioneers roster were NHL draft picks, including Avalanche 2021 second-round pick Sam Behrens, Penguins 2021 second-round pick Tristan Broz, and 2022 Minnesota Wild second-round pick Rieger Lorenz. All the talent was kept off the scoreboard by the sophomore goaltender from California, Ian Shane.

Cornell will move on to face the Boston Terriers, who were emphatic in their victory earlier in the day by beating Western Michigan, 5-1. Cornell will look to be a giant killer against the NCAA Hockey East Conference champion Terriers.

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