The Bulldogs came hard at the Bobcats. So hard that one Yale slap shot even sailed through Quinnipiac’s net.
The Bulldogs, ranked third in the nation, trounced the Bobcats in humiliating fashion, 6-1, in front of a student section that dwindled as the game progressed. Quinnipiac (13-13-5, 6-9-4 ECAC) had never fallen against archrival Yale (21-5-0, 15-4-0) at TD Bank Sports Center until Friday night.
Few students stood for the third period, as Yale led 5-1. Many had left already.
Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said the team wasn’t focused mentally.
“We didn’t have a good mindset tonight,” he said. “We’re a young hockey team, and we were very immature the whole game.”
Yale led right from the get-go. Just four minutes in, Yale’s Chad Ziegler notched a deflection goal. Then, in the final minute of the period, Yale’s Kevin Limbert scooped up a loose puck and beat goalie Eric Hartzell despite playing one man down.
“Our focus just wasn’t there. The first period we gave four power plays — it could have been six,” Pecknold said. “We were running around, we didn’t play our system. We know how good Yale is offensively and how good their power play is. You can’t do that. You expend a lot of energy.”
Five Quinnipiac players went to the penalty box in the first period. By the end of the game, 10 made their way to the box, compared to nine for Yale.
It got worse for Quinnipiac in the second. Pecknold went as far as saying, “it was probably our worst period of the year.”
Trailing 2-0, Quinnipiac allowed two more goals before Kellen Jones put the Bobcats on the scoreboard. Quinnipiac’s Scott Zurevinski had the puck in front of Yale’s net, backhanded it to a wide-open Jones, who wristed the puck in between Ryan Rondeau’s pad and the right post.
Rondeau finished with 30 saves. His counterpart, Hartzell, played the first two periods, recording 23 saves, until Dan Clarke replaced him in the third (13 saves).
When Quinnipiac visited Yale earlier this season, Clarke started and Hartzell replaced him in the third period. Quinnipiac lost that affair 5-1.
Yale’s Denny Kearney scored his second of the night from about 175 feet away with four minutes remaining, an empty-netter after Quinnipiac had pulled its goalie to create a 6-on-3 advantage.
“I don’t’ want to take anything away from Yale, they have an excellent team,” Pecknold said. “Rondeau played great, made some big saves. We had some chances, but the puck just would not go in for us. We need to play defense if you want to beat a team like that.”
Featured photo credit: Matt Eisenberg
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