No. 1 men’s ice hockey prepares for home weekend vs. Cornell, Colgate

No. 1 men's ice hockey prepares for home weekend vs. Cornell, Colgate

Max Molski

No. 1 Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey won its only game last week in yet another multi-goal comeback. The Bobcats put together five unanswered goals to overcome a 5-2 deficit with 14:41 left in regulation. Quinnipiac Head Coach Rand Pecknold says he is impressed with his team’s responses, but that he doesn’t want his team to continue falling behind.

“It’s a resilient group. It’s a testament to the character in that locker room,” Pecknold said. “In the end, we need to stop getting behind. We need to do better in the first period. It has been impressive with us coming back so many times this year.”

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The Bobcats had six different goal scorers in the victory with Sam Anas scoring two goals, including the team’s fifth goal to draw the game even in the third period. The two goals put him at an ECAC-leading 17 on the season and his 32 points have him alongside Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey for the conference lead.

“There’s a reason why we’re No. 1 and we need to be playing Quinnipiac hockey for 60 minutes,” Anas said. “We can’t wait until the third period to turn it on because in the end that’s not the way you win games.”

Quinnipiac (20-1-5, 11-0-3 ECAC) returns to the ice tonight to play the Cornell Big Red (11-7-3, 6-6-2 ECAC).

Quinnipiac won the first matchup 5-4 on Nov. 7 in Ithaca as the team completed its first three-goal comeback of the season. Bobcats were down 4-1 but strung together three straight goals in the second period before Connor Clifton put in the overtime winner.

The comeback was not the only storyline from that game. Andrew Taverner had his best game of the season against the Big Red as he knocked in two goals and also had two assists. The last matchup also featured a lot of special teams on both ends. Cornell had 11 penalties while Quinnipiac had 10 penalties and a game misconduct on Thomas Aldworth.

Cornell has gone 0-5-1 in its last six games, all of which were against conference foes, to drop to seventh in the ECAC. The Big Red’s offense has struggled over the stretch, accumulating just seven goals over those games.

Freshman Anthony Angello leads the Big Red with eight goals on the season while junior Jeff Kubiak leads the team in assists (11), points (17) and plus/minus (+12). Cornell goalie Mitch Gillam is fifth in the conference with a stout 1.98 goals-against average.

Quinnipiac wraps up its weekend with a game against Colgate at High Point Solutions Arena on Saturday. Like Cornell, Colgate is also reeling as it comes into Hamden. The Raiders have lost four straight games and has fallen to a tie for tenth (3-10-2) in the ECAC.

The Raiders are tied for second in the ECAC in conference goals allowed (42) and is last in goals per conference game (1.80). The Raiders have also struggled on the penalty kill, holding just a 73 percent when down a man.

Although senior Mike Borkowski leads the Raiders in goals (12), it is the Spink twins that lead the team in points. Tylor Spink (five goals, 18 assists) leads the team in assists while Tyson Spink (11 goals, 17 assists) is the team’s top point scorer.

Despite the mismatches in record, Pecknold says that every team is going to throw all they have at the Bobcats.

“What happens when you get to one or two or five or even top 10 in the country is you get a big target on your back,” Pecknold said. “Other teams get fired up to play you. You don’t get anybody’s B-game. Nobody takes an off night against you.”

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