No. 6/7 Bobcats stifle Cornell, shut out Big Red 2-0


Jack Muscatello

Saturday marked the first time Quinnipiac has beaten Cornell since Jan. 31, 2020.

Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor

HAMDEN, Conn – For a team whose slogan is “Yell Cornell,” the Big Red were awfully quiet Saturday night. 

The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team skated Cornell into the ground to take the lead early and held that advantage through the final whistle, winning 2-0.

The Bobcats outright flummoxed the Big Red in every fashion during the first period. 

Defensively, Quinnipiac made Cornell’s life in the attacking zone hell. Every puck that dared to enter the middle of the zone met a Bobcats stick or body. Through 20 minutes, Quinnipiac held the advantage in shots 18-0.

“When you outshoot a team 17-0, 18-0, you have to be up more than 1-0,” head coach Rand Pecknold said. “Right away I was like ‘we have to get two or three this period,’ but it is what it is, their goalie played great.”

On the offensive end, the Bobcats ran Cornell’s forwards in circles at the top of the zone with crisp and intentional passing. Quinnipiac forechecked aggressively, winning puck battles and supporting the puck well for when it didn’t. The Bobcats peppered Big Red sophomore goaltender Ian Shane from every direction, and eventually, he gave way. 

Off a faceoff win, sophomore forward Jacob Quillan ripped a shot off a pair of Cornell shin pads. That puck found its way to the stick of graduate student defenseman Jake Johnson at the left point, who wired a shot that Quillan tipped over the right shoulder of Shane. 

“We knew we had to get traffic in front of the net,” Quillan said. “Get in his eyes, find a way to get a greasy one. (I) happened to get lucky in the slot there, got a stick on it and it happened to go in.” 

The story of the second period was much like Friday’s matchup against Colgate: lots of penalties and little success on the power play for either side. 

Quinnipiac got its chance when Big Red junior forward Gabriel Seger was ejected for boarding Bobcats’ graduate student forward Desi Burgart. The ensuing five minute man-advantage saw few grade-A chances for the home squad, who sit at 19% on the power play this season. 

Ironically, as soon as the penalty expired, the Bobcats began to jump at Cornell’s throat. They managed four or five consecutive quality scoring chances in a span of 30 seconds after the play returned to even, but that too was to no avail. 

“(Freshman forwards) Victor (Czerneckianair) and Anthony (Cipollone) got out there, they were buzzing a little bit and guys got fired up from that,” Pecknold said. “I think that it helped us that there was no whistle (after the penalty expired) and they were exhausted from killing that five.”

Cornell had its own opportunity on a lopsided power play after Bobcats’ sophomore goaltender Yaniv Perets was called for a trip that set up a 5-on-3 for a full minute. The Big Red failed to convert or record a shot on the advantage, so the Quinnipiac lead remained 1-0 after two. 

In the final frame, Cornell spent significantly more time in the Bobcats’ end than the previous two. However it still failed to put shots on net, only registering five in the period (though that more than doubled its total from the rest of the game). When you don’t put many shots on, you tend not to score, and that was the case for the Big Red. Quillan added an empty netter for his fourth of the season with little time left on the clock as Quinnipiac registered the 2-0 victory. 

This was the first time Cornell has been shut out since 2020, when the then-No.1 Big Red were handed a 5-0 beatdown in this same arena. 

Shane was fantastic for the losing team, recording 26 saves, including some phenomenal second chance stops to keep his team in the game until the dying seconds. 

For Quinnipiac, Perets made nine stops to earn his second shutout of the season, but it was the Bobcats defense who made more. Quinnipiac was credited with 15 blocked shots in the win, including a massive desperation block from senior defenseman Jayden Lee on Cornell’s 5-on-3 chance. 

“We knew we were in a hole,” Lee said. “29 (senior forward Ben Berard), he’s a big threat. He scored a couple goals against us last year and we knew we needed to take that away. It was just one of those things, to win hockey games you’ve got to block shots, you’ve got to play hard.”

Building off a big opening weekend of conference play, Quinnipiac will hit the road next weekend for a pair of ECAC Hockey matchups, first with Brown on Friday night before heading to Yale Saturday for the first installment of the Battle of Whitney Ave.