Men’s ice hockey beats Brown on Senior Night

Men%27s+ice+hockey+beats+Brown+on+Senior+Night

Justin Cait

Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey defeated Brown in a prelude to a first round of ECAC playoff series by a final score of 4-1 on Saturday’s Senior Night at home.

[media-credit name=”Julia Gallop” align=”alignright” width=”300″]IMG_4574[/media-credit]

Quinnipiac seniors Joe Fiala, Connor Clifton, Tim Clifton, K.J. Tiefenwerth and Tommy Schutt were all in the lineup, while senior captain Derek Smith was sidelined with an undisclosed injury after taking a high hit in last night’s game against Yale.

With the win, the Bobcats improve to 19-3-2 overall and 13-8-1 in conference play while Brown’s record worsened to 4-23-2 overall and 3-18-1 in conference play.

“It was a good win. I don’t think we played our best in the first, we kind of reloaded in the second, came out hard and found a way to finish in the third,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “It’s a nice win to get for our seniors on Senior Night, [these are] six kids that have done a lot for our program.”

Quinnipiac was once again first on the board in this game when freshman Nick Jermain scored an absolute beauty of a goal. Jermain had speed entering the zone, executed a gorgeous toe-drag move around the defenseman, then tucked home the puck on his backhand for his fourth goal of the season and first at High Point Solutions Arena.

“I think I’ve tried that move like 15 times this year, and it’s the first time it actually worked,” Jermain said. “I just kind of of got lucky and was able to finish it.”

Less than a minute later, Brown took the buzz out of the crowd with a goal of its own.

Forward Charlie Corcoran followed the puck after it took a strange bounce off of senior Connor Clifton’s helmet and put it past freshman goalie Andrew Shortridge for his 15th goal of the season.

In the second frame of play, Quinnipiac came out with a bang, scoring two goals in the first two minutes of the period.

The first came off the stick of junior Tanner MacMaster, who made a slick backhand to forehand move before taking a snapshot off the post and in for his seventh of the season. On the goal, junior Landon Smith earned the additional assist, landing him at a tie for first on the team in points scored (25) with sophomore Chase Priskie.

[media-credit name=”Julia Gallop” align=”alignright” width=”300″]IMG_4489[/media-credit]

Just over a minute later, sophomore Thomas Aldworth was able to find a puck through a couple of Brown Bears defensemen and sweep the puck under the pad of goalie Gavin Nieto for his seventh of the season as well.

Five minutes later, freshman Alex Whelan accelerated for a breakaway where he rifled a wrist shot past Nieto for his third goal of the season to give Quinnipiac a 3-1 lead going into the third period.

In the final stanza of play, there was no scoring, but plenty of power play opportunities for the Bobcats, who went 0 for 6 on the night.

Shortridge continued his consistent effort stopping all six shots he faced in the third and a game total of 18 saves on 19 shots, good enough for a 0.947 save percentage on the night.

[media-credit name=”Julia Gallop” align=”alignright” width=”300″]IMG_4616[/media-credit]

Moving forward, Pecknold believes his team is ready, but hopes that his squad is 100-percent healthy come playoff time.

“I wish we were healthier. I think we’re banged up a little bit,” Pecknold said. “For us right now, we just have to get healthier and hope we can get some guys back for next week. We’re a better team when we have our full lineup.”

Next up, the Bobcats take on Brown at home again on March 3 in the first of a best-of-three game series to determine who will move forward into the next round of the ECAC playoffs.