No. 1 Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey remained undefeated in ECAC play Friday night, but could not secure a win as they tied No. 17 Cornell Big Red 2-2.
“I thought we played well tonight,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “I thought we played hard and Cornell battled. I thought Quinnipiac and Cornell both played good games tonight and in the end we need to score more goals.”
Quinnipiac (20-1-6, 11-0-4 ECAC) got on the board first with on the power play. Landon Smith got a stick on a one-timer from Tim Clifton for his eighth of the season with 5:31 left in the first.
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Cornell evened the score at one 3:44 into the second period as Jeff Kubiak swept in a wrap around goal by Quinnipiac goalie Michael Garteig for his seventh goal of the year.
A bevy of penalties on both sides put Quinnipiac on the 4-on-3 advantage with 13:28 left in the period. The Bobcats won the ensuing faceoff, Devon Toews eased a pass over to Anas, who clapped home the one-timer short side to give the team the 2-1 advantage.
Anas’ goal and assist extended his point streak to 10 games and goal streak to five games. He now sits at an ECAC-leading 18 goals and is tied atop the conference with Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey at 34 points.
“I think [Anas] is playing well,” Pecknold said. “He’s confident. He’s had a good year. He’s really working on his game, trying to round out his 200-foot game. He’s been getting better all season.”
The Bobcats, could not hold onto the lead, however, as Cornell’s Mitch Vanderlaan put in his seventh goal of the year with 2:24 remaining in regulation. The play went under review as Garteig was smothered by a number of Cornell players in the crease, but the officials ultimately upheld the call.
“I couldn’t move much on that play,” Garteig said. “The puck squirts out to a guy and I have two guys laying in my crease. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really get out to challenge the guy. It was ‘pray it hits me’ or whatever the case is and it didn’t happen.”
There were a number of chances for both sides in overtime, but the goalies kept the puck out of the net for the tie. With the four shots he faced in overtime, Cornell goaltender Mitch Gillam finished the night with 39 saves.
“I thought Mitch Gillam was really good,” Pecknold said. “He stole a point for Cornell tonight.”
The Bobcats are back on their home ice tomorrow against the Colgate Raiders (8-18-2, 4-10-2 ECAC). Garteig says that the team needs to start playing its usual brand of hockey to get back on track.
“For us right now, I think it’s just get back to the basics, get excited about playing and find motivation to win games,” Garteig said. “Obviously, we know that we’re number one in the country, but we have to play it and teams are going to be excited to play us.”
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