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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Wounded Quinnipiac comes up just short against Boston College on banner night

Students, local residents and fans packed the M&T Bank Arena in Hamden on Saturday, Oct. 7 to celebrate banner night for the Quinnipiac Men’s Ice Hockey team.

HAMDEN, Conn. — On a night that celebrated Quinnipiac men’s hockey’s comeback national championship victory in April, the Bobcats gave a sold-out M&T Bank Arena a taste of that resilient flair. They rallied from down a goal to force overtime but ultimately fell short, losing 2-1 to Boston College Saturday. 

“I thought it was a great game,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “I thought they were really well prepared, obviously they’ve got some high-end players … I give them a lot of credit.”

Unlike junior forward Jacob Quillan’s title-winning goal 10 seconds into overtime against Minnesota, Eagles sophomore forward Cutter Gauthier struck with 10 seconds remaining in the extra frame, rifling a shot over the left shoulder of Bobcats senior netminder Vinny Duplessis for the win. 

The game marked BC’s first win over Quinnipiac in program history in their seventh meeting all time.

“It’s always good to win your first game, and we know what a great program they have,” BC head coach Greg Brown said. “Someone had to be the first.”

The Eagles waited out the fanfare as Quinnipiac and its raucous 3,700 fan crowd watched the team’s first national championship banner rise to the rafters, a celebration BC hopes to take to Chestnut Hill in a year’s time. 

“It’s a playbook from coach (Jerry) York,” Brown said. “You respect what the other teams (have done), you respect their building, respect what they do, and it was good for our guys to see how excited they were for that national championship. They don’t come easy.”

Dozens of Bobcat alumni from throughout the program’s history joined the team on the ice for the pregame ceremony, including defenseman Zach Metsa and forward Michael Lombardi from the championship roster. 

“I enjoyed it, probably even more than I even thought,” Pecknold said. “The banner looked great, I loved the gold and I thought that just popped.”

But after the pomp and circumstance was over, the Bobcats were ready to drop the puck.

“I’ve got over 1,000 games,” Pecknold said. “So it’s just another game. I’ve got to roll, our team was ready and prepared.”

But six minutes into the game, things looked ugly for Quinnipiac. Forwards Collin Graf and Sam Lipkin, the team’s leading scorers in 2022-23, were out of the game. 

Graf exited less than three minutes in after he was undercut behind the play by a BC forward and crashed head first into the ice.

Lipkin was ejected two minutes later for a slew foot on Eagles freshman forward Ryan Leonard.

With two-thirds of their top line gone, the Bobcats were down to just 10 forwards with more than 50 minutes to play. Junior forwards Christophe Fillion and Cristophe Tellier replaced Quillan’s wings on the first line, but Lipkin and Graf’s absence forced Quinnipiac to mismatch forwards for the remainder of the game. 

“I think we put a lot of our forwards in a tough spot,” Pecknold said. “It’s a different game when you’re playing with 10 forwards … if you’re not breathing heavy, you’re going.”

Graduate student defenseman CJ McGee stepped up and played a few shifts at forward, but ultimately it fell to the Bobcats newcomers to pick up the slack — and they did. 

Freshman forward Mason Marcellus shined in his first collegiate game. He was strong on his stick and showed poise moving the puck through all three zones, culminating when he knocked home the game-tying goal with five minutes to play to send the game to overtime.

“I thought he was excellent,” Pecknold said. “Mason and Andon (Cerbone) both played really well … For their first college hockey game it’s a lot to ask from them. They did really well and they’re just going to get better.”

Duplessis also impressed in net in his first game as a Bobcat. The BU transfer made 21 saves over 65 minutes, including a partial breakaway save on Gauthier in overtime. 

On the other end, Quinnipiac’s power play struggled mightily in the game, going 0-7 after the exit of Graf and Lipkin forced both man-advantage units to change personnel. 

Looking to rebound from Saturday’s loss, the Bobcats hit the road Sunday for an exhibition matchup with Northeastern. Puck drop is set for 4 p.m.

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Cameron Levasseur
Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor
Jack Muscatello
Jack Muscatello, Digital Managing Editor
Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director
Aidan Sheedy
Aidan Sheedy, Photography Editor

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