HAMDEN – After surrendering a two-goal lead, it would be easy to look at the Quinnipiac men’s hockey team’s 2-2 tie with Harvard as a blown opportunity. But considering how poorly the Bobcats played, they were lucky to escape with one point in Tuesday’s ECACHL game at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.
The Bobcats allowed 41 shots and finished with a season-low 18 shots, mostly because they spent much of the game in their own end. Quinnipiac (12-8-5, 8-3-4 ECACHL) struggled to put the puck on net when it was in the offensive zone and finished with just two shots on five power-play opportunities.
“That’s probably the most dominated we’ve been in a number of years,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “I didn’t even think we had 18 shots.”
Despite being outplayed, Quinnipiac had a 2-0 lead until the final minute of the second period due to a strong performance by Bud Fisher, who stopped the first 30 shots he faced.
With 1:15 left in the second, Fisher stopped Mike Taylor on a shorthanded breakaway to keep Harvard (7-12-1, 5-9-1 ECACHL) off the scoreboard. But 25 seconds later, Dave Watters stepped out of the penalty box and put the puck through Fisher’s pads with a wrist shot from the slot.
“To get one by [Fisher] gave us a little jump going into the locker room and also a little hope going into the third that we could not only make a comeback, but also give ourselves a chance to win the game,” Harvard head coach Ted Donato said.
Penalty-killing has been one of Quinnipiac’s biggest strengths this season and it increased its streak to 30 straight successful penalty-kills by shutting down all six Harvard power plays – officially, at least.
With one second left in the Crimson’s sixth man advantage, Kevin Du was just outside the crease and jammed a loose puck past Fisher to tie the game at 2-2 with 5:54 left in the third period.
“I didn’t think he had a lot of room, just a bad bounce I thought,” Fisher said.
Quinnipiac had the only goal of the first period as Eric Lampe scored on the power play with 5:46 left. Rather than take the shot from the point, Reid Cashman made a pass to Lampe, who was open at the right post and fired a one-timer past Harvard goalie Kyle Richter.
Bryan Leitch gave the Bobcats a 2-0 lead 8:38 into second. Cashman’s shot from the left corner deflected off Leitch, who was standing in front of the net, for his ninth goal of the season.
“We were pretty fortunate to get up 2-0, because I think if we were down 2-0, there’s no way we would’ve come back,” Pecknold said.
Pecknold said he talked to the team after the game about game preparation.
“We’ve done a great job some nights with coming out ready to play and dominating teams,” Pecknold said. “On the flip side, we’ve been complacent at times, and I think that’s what happened tonight.”