Senior Night spoiled by No. 13 Clarkson for No. 5 Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey

Bryan Murphy

The Saturday night struggles continued for the No. 5 Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team as its Senior Night was spoiled by No. 13 Clarkson, as it fell by a score of 5-3 on Saturday night in Hamden.

Despite the loss, senior defensemen Chase Priskie, Brandon Fortunato and Luke Shiplo and senior forwards Craig Martin and Scott Davidson were honored before the game. Priskie scored two goals and junior forward Alex Whelan added the other. Junior goaltender Andrew Shortridge made 28 saves in the effort.

[media-credit name=”Morgan Tencza” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]“For us, I mean it’s just as simple as we didn’t play well,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “We had a lot of guys that struggled tonight with puck management, just in the end not making plays. Our power play wasn’t as good as it’s been. I thought the immaturity of our team came out tonight. We’ve kind of been masking iot, but i thought we were immature with our effort tonight.”

The opening 20 minutes featured a few chances for both sides. Quinnipiac (23-7-2 overall, 12-6-2 ECAC Hockey) could not capitalize on a 5 on 3, then Clarkson (21-10-1 overall, 12-7-1 ECAC Hockey) was inches away from tallying its first goal on the power play, but Shortridge slid across the crease and flashed the pad on Clarkson’s sophomore defenseman Connor McCarthy.

With 3:26 left in the first period, after a offensive zone faceoff win by Quinnipiac freshman forward William Fallstrom, Whelan deflected a slap shot by freshman defenseman Peter DiLiberatore past Kielly to break the tie. It was Whelan’s 10th goal on the year, making him the fourth Bobcat to reach double digits in goals.

A lot more action occurred in the second as Clarkson came right out of the gates and put in two goals in the first three minutes. Clarkson freshman forward Anthony Callin picked off a Whelan pass in the Quinnipiac zone and collected his own rebound from his shot and put it home. A minute later, a one-timer by Clarkson freshman defenseman Michael Underwood just barely got past the goal line and Clarkson took a 2-1 lead.

However, not long after, Priskie went end to end dangling through the Clarkson defense and Kielly to knot the game up at two.

Clarkson answered with two more to take a 4-2 lead into the final frame. Freshman forward Chris Klack found himself wide open in front from the one-timer for Clarkson’s third goal. Then 25 second left in the period, junior forward Haralds Egle walked in all alone on Shortridge, faked a slapper and slid the rubber five-hole to extend the lead to two.

“The fourth goal, we got to get a change and we got a one on four, and I kid just tries to make a toe drag move, and we had a bad change,” Pecknold said, “I don’t want to say the game was over there, but it was a big play.”

Clarkson continued to stay hot in the third as a minute in half in, Callin fired one bar down over the right shoulder of Shortridge to make it a three goal game.

But Quinnipiac would not go down so easily. Priskie fired his second of the night off of a slap shot from the point that beat Kielly glove side to bring the Bobcats back to within two. But that’s all Quinnipiac would muster as the the comeback fell short and Clarkson took the victory 5-3.

Priskie became the all-time leading goal scorer among all Quinnipiac defensemen with his second goal, after previously breaking the Division I record. The record adds to his Hobey Baker worthy season.

“It’s a great accomplishment,” Priskie said. “Doesn’t really mean too much now. Would’ve rather have gotten a win and moved up in the standings and kind of solidified ourselves as first place.”

Quinnipiac’s struggles on Saturdays continued, as the team is 6-6-2 in the second game of a back-to-back and 1-4-1 at home on Saturdays this season.

“It’s self-accountability,” Priskie said on the Saturday losses. “If you’re a player that looks back on Saturday losses and you’re not happy with the way you played, then you’ve got to identity what you’re not playing well and change something. Because what you’re doing right now doesn’t work. I don’t think some of the guys are identifying and they want to give off the balem to someone else and I think sometimes you’ve got to look inward to make a difference outward.”

Quinnipiac’s final regular season weekend will begin in Providence, Rhode Island on Friday, March 1 against Brown, and then it’ll finish the season in New Haven against its rivals Yale on Saturday, March 2.