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Lake Superior St. 5, Cornell 4

March 23, 1996

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Matt Alvey scored on a power play early in the third period Friday night to snap a 4-4 tie and lift Lake Superior State to a 5-4 victory over Cornell in the first round of the East Regional of the NCAA Division I hockey tournament.

Alvey took a goalmouth feed from Bates Battaglia and flipped it past Cornell goalie Jason Elliott at 6:05 to send the Soo Lakers (30-7-3) into the next round against second-seeded Vermont (26-6-4), the regular-season champion of the ECAC.

Cornell (21-9-4), which won its eighth ECAC tournament a week earlier, lost the game during a time the Big Red had excelled all season _ when they were at a disadvantage. They ended the season ranked first in the nation in penalty killing, allowing only 29 goals in 217 chances, and killed all but one of Lake State’s six power plays.

The Big Red mounted a furious rally in the final two minutes in an effort to send the game into overtime. P.C. Drouin, who scored Cornell’s first goal of the game, nearly beat Laker goalie John Grahame with 1:46 remaining, but his shot from the left side of the net glanced off Grahame’s pads and slammed off the crossbar before landing harmlessly in the right corner. Grahame finished with 24 saves.

Leading 2-1 entering the second period, the Lakers took a two-goal edge at 3:03 when Darcy George gained control of the puck in a crowd in front of the Cornell net and flipped it past Elliott, who suffered only his second loss in 15 starts. Elliott, also the national leader in save percentage at .927, stopped 33 shots.

Jamie Papp scored on a backhander off a faceoff deep in the Laker zone to pull Cornell within 3-2, and the Big Red began to exert sustained pressure. Cornell appeared poised to tie it when it got a two-man advantage for 45 seconds midway through the period. But the Big Red did not mount a threat and were stunned when Keith Aldridge, just out of the penalty box, scored a shorthanded goal on a breakaway at 12:58 to give Lake State a 4-2 lead.

Cornell stormed back to forge a 4-4 tie and set up the tense third period. Andre Doll scored at 14:26 off the rebound of a shot from the right point by Jeff Burgoyne, and Mark Scollan did nearly the same thing, converting the rebound of a point shot by Jason Dailey on a power play with 3:00 remaining.

The Soo Lakers, who defeated Wisconsin here to win the national championship in 1992, went ahead 1-0 on their first real shot on goal in the game. Jason Sessa scooped up a lead pass from defenseman David Lambeth, stepped around the defense just inside the Cornell blue line, and beat Elliott between the pads at 1:49.

Cornell, making its first appearance in the tournament since 1991, evened the score on a power play. With the Lakers pinned in their own zone, Drouin took a cross-ice feed from defenseman Steve Wilson, and his rising slap shot beat Grahame over the right shoulder at 6:36.

Lake State regained the lead just 34 seconds later when Brian Felsner’s quick wrist shot from the right side of the net sailed over Elliott’s shoulder and just under the crossbar.

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