No. 2/4 Quinnipiac stays undefeated in ECAC Hockey play after 6-3 win over Clarkson


George Maddaloni

Quinnipiac men’s hockey is now 8-0-0 in ECAC Hockey play.

Zack Hochberg, Staff Writer

HAMDEN, Conn – After Friday night’s 2-1 victory over St. Lawrence, No. 2/4 Quinnipiac men’s hockey head coach Rand Pecknold said he wanted the team to score more goals. On Saturday night, the Bobcats granted his wish, scoring six times en route to a 6-3 victory over Clarkson.

Quinnipiac got on the board first when senior defender CJ McGee got his stick on a loose puck, cleaning up the mess for an early 1-0 lead.

The Bobcats struggled to maintain their lead, however. Clarkson freshman forward Brady Egan fired a wrist shot that flew past the glove of Quinnipiac sophomore goaltender Yaniv Perets, tying the game at one.

The Golden Knights continued to hound for loose pucks near the goal, which helped them score their second goal in just five minutes, as sophomore forward Ryan Richardson took advantage of a scramble in the crease.

Despite its struggles in the first period, Quinnipiac thought it had tied the game in the final minute. Graduate student defender Zach Metsa’s shot got deflected into the net by graduate student forward Ethan De Jong, but the referees waved it off due to high sticking. 

With no answer to the goals from the Golden Knights, the Bobcats found themselves in a hole heading into the first intermission. 

“We were losing battles and we were turning pucks over,” Pecknold said. “You just can’t play sluggishly against Clarkson.”

The Bobcats’ recent trip to Belfast last weekend may have caught up to them as they played sluggish to start the contest. 

“We had a little bit of a Belfast hangover for sure,” Pecknold said. “I don’t know if it was from the emotion or the plane flights and the jet lag, a lot of our guys were great, but we had some kids that struggled this weekend from a mental standpoint and from a physical standpoint.”

Whatever sluggishness they may have been feeling in the first period was immediately erased by an electric second period. 

Sophomore forward Collin Graf took advantage of a two-on-one to tie the game for Quinnipiac, slotting a shot past junior goaltender Ethan Haider for his seventh goal of the season. 

Quickly after, Clarkson freshman defender Tristan Sarsland got sent to the box, putting the Bobcats on the power play with a chance to take the lead.

Graduate student defender Jake Johnson made sure the Bobcats’ golden opportunity didn’t go to waste, powering a shot past Haider with just under a minute to go on the power play, reclaiming the lead for Quinnipiac. After McGee was called for a slashing penalty, the Golden Knights had a chance to respond. However, the Bobcats were able to kill off the penalty.

With all of the momentum in the Bobcats’ favor, they scored again. This time, it was senior forward Joey Cipollone, following up on his own rebound to give Quinnipiac an all-important insurance goal.

“Going into the second, we knew we had to hit the reset button, get a little bit more puck possession and more o-zone time, which we ended up doing, and obviously it paid off for us,” graduate student forward TJ Friedmann said. 

With the offense humming, Quinnipiac was able to add another goal early in the third period to essentially put the game away. 

Graduate student defender Jacob Nordqvist sent a beautiful cross-ice feed to senior forward Skyler Brind’Amour, who didn’t miss a wide open net to put the Bobcats up 5-2.

After four straight unanswered goals, Clarkson finally decided it was time to answer. After Nordqvist went to the box for holding, junior defender Noah Beck cut the Quinnipiac lead to two just five seconds into the power play. 

Friedmann almost had an empty-netter with a minute left, but he was unable to chase down the puck. However, the St. Louis native redeemed himself 30 seconds later, finding the open Clarkson net to put the Bobcats up 6-3.

“(The) main goal was just to get the puck out, don’t let them score, and then obviously took advantage of getting a second chance,” Friedmann said.  

The Bobcats remained unbeaten in ECAC Hockey play at 8-0-0 with the victory over the Golden Knights. 

Quinnipiac now turns its attention to next weekend, where the Bobcats will host RPI on Dec. 9, and Union on Dec. 10, with both games taking place at 7 p.m.