Prime time for men’s hockey

By on February 18, 2009

The Quinnipiac men’s hockey team may have played a scary game on Friday the 13th, but at least they avoided a heartbreaker on Valentine’s Day.

The 4-3 loss against St. Lawrence (16-11-3, 8-7-3 ECAC) on Feb. 13 was the Bobcats’ third straight overtime loss. The next day, the Bobcats bounced back to beat Clarkson (8-16-6, 6-9-3 ECAC) by the score of 5-3. With the win, the Bobcats are 8-8-2 in conference play, tying them with Harvard for sixth place. They hold a 15-13-2 record overall. Perhaps the Jason Voorhees look-alike lurking in the crowd was a bad omen, as Friday night was full of bad luck for the Bobcats. Just 53 seconds into the first period, St. Lawrence slipped the puck past goalie Bud Fisher for the 1-0 lead. The Saints’ Brock McBride came from behind the net and scored unassisted.

“The first goal was a wrap-around,” Fisher said. “[McBride] kind of chipped at it and it bounced off of me. It was just a weird play.”

The Bobcats managed to rebound later on in the first period, tying the game with 11:18 left. Bryan Leitch was positioned in the right corner of the St. Lawrence end and sent a pass to David Marshall, who was waiting in the crease. After getting a handle on the puck, Marshall shot it up over the head of St. Lawrence goalie Alex Petizian and into the back of the net.

With 4:30 remaining in the first period, Quinnipiac struck again to regain the lead. Chris Myers was positioned in the right face-off circle. He fired a one-timer that found the back of the net, giving the Bobcats a 2-1 edge into the second period.

St. Lawrence came roaring back, scoring another early point. 1:20 into the second period, Kevin DeVergilio grabbed a rebound shot by Jared Ross and slipped it past Fisher to tie the game, 2-2. The Saints continued to attack the net all period, out-shooting Quinnipiac 14-3. St Lawrence senior Jared Ross realized the importance of his team’s strong second period.

“In the first period they really took it to us,” Ross said. “In the second period was had to come out and match their physicality, and I think we did that.”

The Bobcats were able to hold off the Saints for the rest of the period. With 9:09 left in the third, Quinnipiac took its second lead of the night with a goal from Zach Hansen. Taking a pass from Leitch, Hansen shot from beyond the right face-off circle. The puck made its way through heavy traffic and past McBride for the 3-2 lead.

Like Jason Voorhees, though, St. Lawrence just kept coming back. At the 11:43 mark, Alex Curran managed to get the puck past Fisher, who at first appeared to have it under control. The goal counted, and sent the game into overtime.

The Bobcats found themselves in familiar territory when St Lawrence took the overtime victory. 1:06 into the extra period, Ross took a shot from the left side that found a way past Fisher. Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold was frustrated with his teams’ lack of intensity and inability to keep leads.

“Tonight I thought was the weakest game of the three [overtime losses],” Pecknold said. “I’m just looking for a goalie to win a game for me. We got to find a way to win, 3-2.”

The Bobcats responded to the tough loss with a convincing, 5-3 victory against Clarkson Saturday night.

During the game, Marshall broke the Quinnipiac University Division 1 record for career goals. His 17th goal of the season and 68th goal of his career came at the 8:41 mark in the third period. It gave the Bobcats a 4-1 lead and proved to be the game-winner.

Bryan Rufenach started the scoring for Clarkson 6:25 into the first period. Waiting at the post, Rufenach took a pass from Scott Freeman and shot it past goalie Dan Clarke for the 1-0 lead.

Quinnipiac would go on to score the next four goals, capped off by Marshall’s record-breaking shot. After a quiet first period, they surprised Clarkson by scoring three times in the second period.

Looking at a 4-1 deficit, Clarkson suddenly came to life later in the third period. At the 13:20 mark, Clarkson’s Shea Guthrie controlled a rebound by Chris D’Alvise and scored to cut the deficit to 4-2. Twelve seconds later, Lauri Tuohimaa shaved the Bobcats’ lead to one with a one-timer past Clarke.

Clarkson would not get any closer, as Quinnipiac held them off for the rest of the game. Quinnipiac’s Eric Lampe sealed the game with 32 seconds left, scoring on an empty net.

The Bobcats will host Yale on Friday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. This game will be followed by Brown on Saturday night. They mark the last two home games of the season for the Bobcats.


About John McKenna