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Late goal spoils four point weekend
It is difficult to think of many things that can happen in 0.2 seconds.
The men’s ice hockey game between Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence Saturday night proved that a game that appears over is not over until the final horn sounds and the clock reaches 0:00.
A goal by the Saints with two tenths of a second left tied the game and after a scoreless overtime, the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
The result left head coach Rand Pecknold frustrated.
“We’ve got to put them away,” he said. “Being up 2-0 in the third, I thought we needed to get our energy level back. They dominated the whole period.”
The Bobcats wasted no time getting on the board in the first period.
Just 28 seconds into the game, Mike Atkinson chipped a puck out of the zone onto the stick of David Marshall. Marshall took the pass in stride and lifted a shot past SLU goaltender Kain Tisi for a 1-0 lead.
“It was kind of a broken play. Atkinson battled and made a great pass and hit me right in my wheelhouse,” Marshall said.
With just under 12 minutes remaining in the period, junior goaltender Bud Fisher, who was seeing his first action in net since Oct.19 made a spectacular save to keep the Bobcats in front.
Fisher had missed nearly two weeks of practice because a of a hand injury, but was happy to be back on the ice.
“I was itching to get in there, but I knew we couldn’t rush it,” Fisher said. “The building was packed tonight and the crowd was great. I was a little nervous, but I think that’s good before a game.”
Just a minute and a half later, Jean-Marc Beaudoin broke free shorthanded on a 2-on-1 with Brandon Wong. Beaudoin waited and roofed a shot over Tisi’s shoulder to give the Bobcats a 2-0 lead.
Both teams struggled on the power play through the first two periods, going a combined 0-for-7 with the man advantage.
However the Saints were able to convert on their fifth power play of the game when a shot from the point was deflected past Fisher to cut the Bobcat lead in half with under seven minutes to play in the third period.
Despite an increase in pressure from the Saints over the final five minutes, it appeared the Bobcats were going to hang on for the win.
The puck was along the side boards with five seconds left and was sent towards the middle of the Bobcat zone. Beaudoin attempted to clear the puck, but it slid onto the stick of Shawn Fensel, who beat Fisher before the buzzer sounded.
“It was a little bit of bad luck,” said Pecknold. “Jean-Marc is one of our best defensive forwards. He whacked at the puck to try and clear it and it went right to the kid. 19 out of 20 times that puck gets out of the zone.”
Fisher credited the Saints for turning up the pressure in the third.
“They played with a lot of urgency and crashed the net. They had guys in front all period and created traffic,” he said.
While the tie may come as a disappointment, Marshall stressed the importance of the weekend.
“Right now it is tough to swallow. But getting three out of four points isn’t bad. Now we just have to build on it.”
The Bobcats used goals from Jamie Bates, Beaudoin and Bryan Leitch to upend No. 8 Clarkson Friday night. It was the first victory over a Top 10 team in program history.
In front of a packed house at the TD Banknorth Sports Center, which set a record attendance at 3,444, the Bobcats were able to get back on track after earning just one point last weekend.
“This game really helped our confidence,” Leitch said. “If you can beat Clarkson, you can beat anyone in this league.”
The Golden Knights defeated the Bobcats in the ECAC Championship last year, but Pecknold said that did not play a factor in his team’s win.
“We didn’t talk much about the championship,
Pecknold said. Our focus was getting pumped to play. The student section was excellent as usual. The crowd really energized us at certain points.”
Next week the Bobcats face Princeton three consecutive times. They will host the Tigers each of the next two Saturdays, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 24 at 3:30 p.m.
A road tilt between the two is set for Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.