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QU men’s hockey NCAA at-large hopes damaged with sweep by Ivies
The Quinnipiac University Men’s Ice Hockey team entered last weekend’s contests against Dartmouth and Harvard looking to improve their standing in the ECAC and build on their resume for a possible at-large bid into the NCAA tournament.
After surrendering 11 consecutive goals on their way to defeats of 7-2 at the hands of the Big Green on Friday night and 4-1 against the Crimson the following evening, the chances of an at-large bid appear to be slim for the Bobcats.
The pair of losses dropped the Bobcats to 19th in the PairWise Rankings (PWR). The PWR is a device used to determine which teams are selected to the 16-team field that decides the national championship.
The weekend started off the right way for the Bobcats, as goals by Greg Holt and Dan Travis gave the visitors an early 2-0 lead in the first period. Both goals were scored with the man advantage, and it was the third consecutive game in which Travis had scored.
Dartmouth would rebound to score three goals in the second stanza. While shots were fairly even at 9-8 in favor of the Big Green in the first period, the home team dominated play in the second period, outshooting the Bobcats 14-6.
The third period was much of the same, as the Big Green again more than doubled up the Bobcats in shots on goal, sending 20 attempts towards Bobcat netminders Bud Fisher and Pat McGann.
After an early goal in the third period gave Dartmouth a 4-2 lead, a trio of goals, one on Fisher and two on McGann, in a span of 1:22 midway through the third period put the game away.
The loss was the first loss in ECAC play for the Bobcats since a defeat at home against Union on Nov. 30, 2007. Seven goals allowed were the most the blue and gold have surrendered all season.
A stellar performance by Harvard goaltender Kyle Richter on Saturday night prolled the Crimson to a 4-1 victory.
The Bobcats got in trouble early when Dan Travis was whistled for a hit from behind, resulting in a five minute major penalty and a game misconduct for Travis.
Harvard converted on the man advantage to take a 1-0 lead, then added another goal with just under three minutes to play in the first period to enter intermission with a 2-0 lead.
Richter made his presence felt throughout the second period, stoning the Bobcats’ numerous scoring chances.
In total, the Bobcats sent 22 shots on Richter, but were unable to beat him through the first two periods.
The Crimson extended their lead to 3-0 late in the second when Fisher was beaten on a rebound that the Quinnipiac defense was unable to clear out from the front of the net.
An empty-net goal made it 4-0 Harvard before Ben Nelson tallied his 11th goal of the season to cut the lead to 4-1.
The Bobcats outshot the Crimson 38-33 on the night, but were not able to solve Richter.
This weekend, the Bobcats return home to face Cornell on Friday night at 7 p.m. and Colgate Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m.
Earlier this season, the Bobcats skated to a 1-1 tie at Colgate and fell to the Big Red 5-3.
With four games remaining in league play, the Bobcats sit alone in third place, trailing first place Clarkson by four points and second place Princeton by two points.
Behind the Bobcats, four teams are within two points. The top four teams receive first round byes in the ECAC playoffs and host a quarterfinal matchup, with the winners heading to the ECAC Championships at the Times Union Center in Albany on March 21 and 22.