Quinnipiac comes up short in ECAC Hockey Tournament again, falls to Colgate in double overtime


Connor Coar

Quinnipiac’s only Whitelaw Cup win in program history came in 2016.

Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Despite a career-high 44 saves from Quinnipiac sophomore goaltender Yaniv Perets, the No. 1 Bobcats men’s hockey team once again left Lake Placid trophyless, falling 2-1 to No. 5 Colgate in double overtime Friday. 

Raiders senior forward Ross Mitton struck just under nine minutes into the fifth period to send Quinnipiac packing, extending its Whitelaw Cup drought to seven seasons. 

“It’s probably our worst game of the year,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “It’s the wrong time to do it, but it happens.”

Ignoring the typical defensive-minded play these two sides typically employ, the Bobcats and Raiders traded chances early and often. 

Colgate found itself shorthanded just 30 seconds into the contest, gifting its opponents a golden opportunity they nearly converted on. A shot from freshman forward Sam Lipkin rebounded off the pads of junior goaltender Carter Gylander and was almost driven home by senior forward Skyler Brind’Amour. An eerily similar chance by sophomore forward Jacob Quillan shortly after couldn’t find twine either.

Sandwiched between those opportunities, the Raiders broke through Quinnipiac’s defense and created a one-on-one chance with Perets, only to be denied by a sprawling pad save. 

“I thought (Perets) was excellent,” Pecknold said. “He did what he’s done all year.”

The Raiders thought they got on the board after a puck trickled behind the Bobcats’ netminder, but a net-front pig pile and an official review later, it was deemed no goal. 

Colgate would not have to wait much longer to find the back of the net. Just minutes later, a forced turnover on a Quinnipiac breakout left Raiders freshman forward Daniel Panetta all alone in front of Perets. The Belleville, Ontario, native made the most of his opportunity and sent the Bobcats into the first intermission trailing by one. 

“To play with a lead against a team like that is really important,’ Raiders head coach Don Vaughan said. “You don’t want to have to play from behind against them … (it puts) a little more pressure on them.”

The middle frame was almost entirely dictated by penalties.

A knee-on-knee collision between Brind’Amour and Colgate senior forward Colton Young near the halfway mark of the period ended the former’s night. Brind’Amour was given a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for the hit and Young headed down the tunnel with the help of trainers and teammates. 

The ensuing penalty kill could have been a dagger in Quinnipiac’s side, but it wasn’t. The Bobcats’ penalty kill, which ranks top-10 in the nation, came up big once again and shut the door on the Raiders’ lengthy power play. 

A momentum boost from the successful kill drove the Bobcats forward over the period’s final minutes, but even with three minutes of power play time themselves, the top seed couldn’t beat Gylander. 

“I thought we did a poor job of getting traffic in front of them,” Pecknold said. “We just lost our way tonight. We didn’t do a lot of things.”

Quinnipiac had a minute left on the power playas it entered the third period, and were given another chance on the man-advantage two minutes later. The Bobcats were stifled on the first, but not the second, finally breaking Gylander to even the game at one. 

Graduate student forward Ethan de Jong cut to the net and ripped a shot off both the post and  back of Gylander’s leg before trickling over the goal line. 

Both sides had chances in the 16 minutes that followed, but Perets and Gylander held strong between the pipes as the game headed into sudden-death overtime. 

With a spot in the conference championship on the line, both goaltenders elevated their play even higher in the first overtime period. Perets made 14 saves in the period to set a career-high and Gylander made a spectacular lunging stick save to rob three Bobcats on the doorstep. 

An extra 20 minutes wasn’t enough to decide the game, so the teams headed to a second overtime, where it took another nine minutes to find a winner. 

A forced turnover by Colgate on the half wall created a shot opportunity for Raiders sophomore forward Alex DiPaolo. Perets stopped the initial attempt, but junior forward Ross Mitton cleaned up the rebound to send the top-seeded Bobcats home early.

“Mitton was by far the best player,” Pecknold said. “He was outstanding, and he was rewarded for it.”

Quinnipiac will have to find a way to regroup and prepare for next weekend’s NCAA Regionals, which it’ll enter as a No. 1 seed due to its PairWise ranking.