Quinnipiac men’s hockey sweeps weekend

Bryan Lipiner

Sometimes there are parts of the game you can’t control.

For Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold and the men’s ice hockey team, it’s injuries and players feeling under the weather.

Despite such issues, Quinnipiac found a way to sweep its weekend, defeating Harvard 3-2 Friday evening and Dartmouth 3-1 Saturday night, pushing its unbeaten streak to 12 games in the process. Bryce Van Brabant, Cory Hibbeler and Jordan Samuels-Thomas each lit the lamp for the Bobcats, the latter two for the second time this weekend.

“We’re sick and we’re struggling a little bit, didn’t have great legs all weekend,” Pecknold said. “You can’t use that as an excuse. You need to be better, but we’ll take our points and move on.”

Quinnipiac next plays on Nov. 22 at Princeton, giving the team some time to heal up.

Pecknold stated Friday night that Quinnipiac’s effort against Harvard resulted in its “worst game all year.” The head coach said he saw some improvement Saturday.

“We were a little bit better,” Pecknold said. “I still don’t think it’s as good hockey as we’ve been playing. We didn’t generate the forecheck, pucks on net. I thought we were too cute in a lot of scoring situations.”

Though unsatisfied with the team’s weekend, Pecknold gave credit to sophomore Alex Barron, who recorded five points between the two games, three of them coming against Dartmouth.

“He’s been playing really well,” Pecknold said. “He’s really taken a jump from last year. His freshman year, he tried to do a little bit too much. He’s calmed down as a player. He’s emerged as a top-4 defenseman for us.”

“It felt great,” Barron said on the weekend. “It’s not often I get three assists. It was awesome, felt really good.”

Barron’s first assist came just 3:06 into regulation. After a battle along the boards, Barron sent the puck down to Hibbeler at the goal line. Hibbeler then fed Van Brabant in the slot, going shelf on goaltender Cab Morris for the one-goal lead.

Quinnipiac added two more goals to its lead in the second period. In the fourth minute of play, Cory Hibbeler skated up the near-side wing, going glove side on Morris for his second goal in as many nights. Then at 12:14 while on the power play, Alex Barron hit Jordan Samuels-Thomas with a pass at the dot. Samuels-Thomas then ripped the puck off the post and in for the 3-0 Bobcats lead.

Dartmouth struck back minutes later, cutting the Bobcats’ lead to two. Geoff Ferguson connected with Tim O’Brien on a long pass, O’Brien skating onto a breakaway and beating Garteig blocker side.

The Bobcats limited Dartmouth to only three shots on goal in the final stanza, holding on for their second straight win.

“I felt like we played a lot harder,” Hibbeler said. “We made some mistakes, but overall we’re pretty happy with how we played.”