After tying Yale in dramatic fashion the previous night, the Quinnipiac Bobcats men’s ice hockey played a game of uninspired hockey, losing to Brown (3-20-4, 3-4-3 ECAC) 3-2 Saturday night at the TD Banknorth Sports Center on Senior Night. The loss drops Quinnipiac below .500 (8-9-3) in conference play.
At the end of the game, the team’s frustrations boiled over, as senior David Marshall instigated what would become an all-out brawl, resulting in multiple disqualifications for the team’s next game at Harvard on Friday. Junior Eric Lampe and sophomore Zach Hansen were also involved.
After the final buzzer sounded, at least three separate brawls erupted near Brown’s goal. The officials tried their best to put an end to the commotion, but the damage had already been done.
“This loss tonight is really going to hurt us for home ice position,” head coach Rand Pecknold said. “Now we’re going to play Harvard with possibly three of our better players out. So we’re in trouble right now.”
Brown, the last-place team in the conference, was not intimidated by the Bobcats. Freshman goaltender Michael Clemente’s 25 saves set the pace for Brown, and his play earned praise from Pecknold.
“Clemente was great,” Pecknold said. “He was good tonight and they deserved to win.”
On a night when Quinnipiac honored seven seniors, the team played down to its opponent.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Brown,” Pecknold said, “but from our standpoint, I’m really disappointed with how we played.”
Pecknold also called out his seniors.
“It’s Senior Night, and our seniors, for the most part, stunk,” he said.
Brown got on the board at the 15:39 mark of the first period. Senior forward Matt Vokes received a deflected pass from defenseman Jeremy Russell. When Vokes looked up, he found the entire left half of the goal wide open and put the puck in the net, beating senior goaltender Bud Fisher.
The game remained 1-0 in favor of the visitors until Marshall scored a 5-on-3 goal at 14:31 of the second period. Marshall received a pass from junior Jean-Marc Beaudoin at the blue line and skated up before firing a shot that hit the top part of the net to tie the game. Sophomore Zach Hansen was credited with the other assist.
Then the game got ugly for the Bobcats. Freshman Michael Wolff scored his first career goal for Brown a little more than three minutes after Marshall’s goal. His wrist shot from the point found its way through a screen set in front of Fisher to give the Bears a one-goal lead heading into the second intermission.
Brown then added another one four minutes into the third period. The Bobcats turned the puck over deep in their zone and were unable to clear the puck. Fisher made a save on a shot and thought he had the puck covered, but junior Sean McMonagle was able to poke the puck into the goal for his fourth on the season.
“I thought the second and third goals were just unacceptable,” Pecknold said. “In general, our energy level was poor.”
The Bobcats were able to cut into Brown’s lead with only 35.5 seconds remaining in the game, when senior Bryan Leitch shot the puck off Clemente’s hip, but it proved to be too little too late.
“I don’t think there was any [sense of urgency] all night,” Pecknold said. “When we’re battling for a home ice playoff spot, guys just kind of showed up at the rink tonight. I’m disappointed in my seniors. I’m really disappointed in my captains. We’re just not getting the leadership that we need.”
Quinnipiac will hope to find that leadership on Friday when they travel to Cambridge, Mass., to take on Harvard. They will then face Dartmouth the next night.