Men’s ice hockey unbeaten streak snapped

Bryan Lipiner

Being relentless. Being tenacious. Attacking the puck, and not giving them time and space.

Those were Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold’s keys to keeping the nation’s leader in points Greg Carey and his linemate Kyle Flanagan of St. Lawrence away from the net Friday evening. Unfortunately for Quinnipiac and Pecknold, the former of which could not be contained offensively.

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Carey recorded his 21st and 22nd goals of the season in St. Lawrence’s 2-1 victory over No. 1 Quinnipiac at the TD Bank Sports Center, snapping the Bobcats 21-game unbeaten streak dating back to Nov. 9, 2012. Combined with Yale’s 2-1 loss to Union, Quinnipiac clinched the ECAC regular season title in the form of the Cleary Cup.

“We had great chances tonight,” Pecknold said. “You gotta give a lot of credit to Matt Weninger. He was the best player on the ice tonight. That’s what hockey is all about; goalies can win hockey games.”

Weninger stopped 30-of-31 shots on the night, including 17 in the final stanza.

“It was fun, and obviously it led us into a good position for the rest of the year,” Quinnipiac captain Zack Currie said, regarding the streak. “It was a fun ride, but it’s just one loss. We’re still a good [team].”

Carey’s second goal of the evening, and eventual game-winner, came at 2:30 in the third period. Carey picked up the puck in the far side corner, skating in alone on Hartzell. Carey then rifled a shot top shelf to give St. Lawrence the 2-1 lead.

St. Lawrence opened its scoring early in the contest, getting on the scoreboard at 4:37 in the first period. Flanagan set up at the left point, later driving a shot on Hartzell. George Hughes picked up the rebound, before feeding Carey on the right side of the slot, hitting the open net for the 1-0 Saints advantage.

Quinnipiac struck back in 14th minute of the first, after killing off Ben Arnt’s game misconduct and major penalty for contact to the head. Jordan Samuels-Thomas skated up the right wing on a 3-on-2, before crossing over a defender. Samuels-Thomas then walked in, deked, and wristed a shot past Weninger to knot the game at one.

The Bobcats had a plethora of chances throughout the final period. Midway through the third, Russell Goodman was denied in the right side of the slot. Later, Travis St. Denis and Kellen Jones skated into a 2-on-1 before being stoned by Weninger on the centering feed.

Goaltender Eric Hartzell notched 12 saves Friday. Forward Bryce Van Brabant was also credited with his fifth assist of the year.

“In the end, it’s not about chances or shots, it’s about goals,” Pecknold said.

The Bobcats look to begin a new streak tomorrow night when they host Clarkson. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.