Men’s hockey ices game early in OT again

Doug Manners

POSTED 3/9/07 AT 10:47 P.M.

ITHACA, N.Y. – The Quinnipiac men’s hockey team has a knack for wrapping up playoff overtime games in a hurry. The Bobcats have seen their last four trips to overtime in the postseason end within the first five minutes.

For the second time in six days, the Bobcats won in such fashion as Dan LeFort scored 2 minutes, 8 seconds into overtime to lift Quinnipiac to a 1-0 win over Cornell Friday night at Lynah Rink. With the win, the fifth-seeded Bobcats took the lead over fourth-seeded Cornell in the best-of-three ECACHL quarterfinal series.

Quinnipiac, which defeated Union last Saturday 5-4 in overtime to sweep its first-round series, got the game-winning goal from an unlikely source in LeFort, a fourth-line forward who had just one goal this season.

Eric Lampe shot the puck on net from along the far boards. It went through the legs of Cornell defenseman Doug Krantz and LeFort swatted the puck through Cornell goalie Troy Davenport’s legs.

“Heading into the overtime, we knew we had to get pucks to the net early,” LeFort said. “If we could create some traffic, we knew we had a chance.”

Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said having won a playoff game in overtime last weekend helped with the team’s confidence in facing the same situation tonight.

“I think there’s no question,” Pecknold said. “The guys were fired up and they wanted to get it done quickly.”

Cornell had a goal waved off early in an evenly-played third period when referee Scott Hansen ruled the puck was knocked in with a hand pass.

Dan Henningson had the best scoring chance for the Bobcats in the third with 11:13 left. The rebound squirted out into the slot, but with Davenport down Henningson couldn’t elevate the puck enough to put it over him.

Goalie Bud Fisher, who gave up three third-period goals to Union in his last game, picked up his second playoff shutout with 23 saves.

His other playoff shutout also came in the first game of the quarterfinals when Quinnipiac won 3-0 at Colgate last season. The Bobcats, who also completed a first-round sweep last year, went on to lose the next two games of that series.

Pecknold said the difference this season is that Quinnipiac has depth, whereas last season the Bobcats got most of their contributions from just one line.

“I think we’re a completely different hockey team,” Pecknold said. “We’re a much more confident team – we spent 15 or 16 weeks in the top 20 in the nation, we spent one week last year.”

For Cornell, the loss marked just its third home playoff loss in 18 games over the last seven seasons.

NOTES: Quinnipiac defenseman Matt Sorteberg left the arena after the game in a stretcher with an ankle injury. He was being taken to the Cayuga Medical Center to have it examined and determine whether he’ll be able to play tomorrow.