Cornell bested SU in early April, with a 13-8 victory in Ithaca but the Orange still own the all-time series lead, at 65-37-1. Syracuse is also 35-16 against the Big Red in Syracuse, and 2-1 in the NCAA Tournament.
Turning our attention to those postseason matchups, here’s a quick rundown of each NCAA Tournament game between these programs:
1987: Cornell 18, Syracuse 15
The No. 2 Big Red simply had SU’s number that year, winning both matchups -- including a 19-6 drubbing of the Orangemen at the Carrier Dome during the regular season. In the Final Four, Big Red’s firepower continued, putting up more goals in that game than they did in any other game in the tournament that year. While Gary Gait managed five SU goals on the day, Cornell’s John Wurzberger had five of his own as part of the barrage. The Big Red got off 39 shots as well, to Syracuse’s 34 -- finally pulling away slightly in the fourth.
1988: Syracuse 13, Cornell 8
SU managed a double-dose of revenge in 1988, beating Cornell 19-7 in Ithaca during the regular season, then 13-8 in the NCAA Tournament Final (in Syracuse) to cap off an undefeated campaign. Unlike the previous season, it was the Orangemen who were relentless getting shots off at the Cornell net, releasing 50 in all. Syracuse had a 2-1 lead after one, then opened up an 8-1 lead at halftime before holding on for the five-point victory.
2009: Syracuse 10, Cornell 9 (OT)
The first game that probably comes to mind when you think of these two teams facing off in the NCAAs. It seemed likely the No. 2-seeded Orange would face a powerhouse, top-ranked Virginia squad in the final that year, but Cornell upended the Hoos with a resounding 15-6 upset in the semifinal. That led to the All-CNY final and one of the sport’s most thrilling postseason finishes. Syracuse scored three goals in the final 2:46 — including Kenny Nims’s equalizer with four seconds to go — to tie the game at nine apiece, then Cody Jamieson buried the winner in OT.
Hopefully this year’s edition is much more reminiscent of the two recent matchups than the first one. Syracuse has won three straight vs. Cornell at the Carrier Dome, with the last loss coming in 2011.
This next matchup is on Sunday night at 7:15 p.m. ET from the Dome, and on ESPNU for those watching from home.