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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Bobcats blank Bulldogs 1-0, advance to Connecticut Ice Championship

Freshman+forward+Mason+Marcellus+gets+fist+bumps+from+the+bench+after+scoring+the+games+lone+goal.
Ethan Hurwitz
Freshman forward Mason Marcellus gets fist bumps from the bench after scoring the game’s lone goal.

HARTFORD — “Beat Yale” is back, but not at M&T Bank Arena. Quinnipiac and Yale men’s hockey brought the rivalry to the XL Center in Hartford Friday night, and as the last 13 matchups have gone, the Bobcats emerged with a 1-0 victory.

“We talk a lot about embracing the grind,” head coach Rand Pecknold said. “You’re going to have to grind out wins at times.”

Quinnipiac saw its biggest stage since the Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla. While the Bobcats haven’t traveled nearly as far and the ultimate prize isn’t a national championship, Quinnipiac is en route to its third-consecutive Connecticut Ice title.

Following a difficult road trip to Central New York — dropping back-to-back games at Colgate and Cornell —  a taste of championship hockey was exactly what Quinnipiac needed.

“The one thing that we see a lot as defending national champions is these teams, they play well against us,” Pecknold said. “There’s no easy games.”

The first 20 minutes were quiet, but the Bobcats managed to strike first with an early goal from freshman forward Mason Marcellus. 

“I think we all kind of touched on it,” Marcellus said. “(Senior forward Travis Treloar) made a good pass and it went under (freshman goaltender Jack Stark)’s arm and over his head. It was a good play by all of us.”

That’s not to say Quinnipiac didn’t struggle offensively, with pucks hitting posts and passes not connecting on the far post.

Luckily for the Bobcats, the Bulldogs weren’t much better. 

Quinnipiac’s defense prevailed halfway through the second frame as senior goaltender Vinny Duplessis fought off a Bulldog attack that nearly tied the game. The Quebec City native also earned his third shutout of the season.

That was about all the action either side could accumulate. The game was a stalemate with the Bobcats holding on 1-0. Thanks to Quinnipiac’s solid defense, that’s how the score remained. 

“I thought we had a really good game plan,” Pecknold said. “I wish we could have scored more goals but it’s hockey.”

Quinnipiac had opportunities to bolster its lead, but Yale’s defensive neutral zone coverage and a stellar performance from Stark made up for what its offense failed to do: keeping the deficit at one for 48 minutes. 

“I don’t know the guy but I stopped (Stark) after the game at the end of the line and said, ‘hell of a game’ because it was crazy,” Marcellus said.

With 1:10 remaining in regulation, Yale head coach Keith Allain pulled Stark to throw Quinnipiac off its rocker. The Bulldogs pressed, getting inches away from evening the score. 

“Everyone wants to score, everyone wants to get on the board,” Marcellus said.

Ultimately, the Bobcats escaped with a gritty win, sending them to the CT Ice Championship once again.

One major takeaway from the semifinal bout is that the Bobcats had just two penalties without consequence. Quinnipiac’s undoing this season has been undisciplined play.

The Bobcats were the least penalized team in the nation in 2022-23. Currently, they rank 34th.

“Coach Rand was telling us all game just kind of stay focused,” Marcellus said. “Stay on them and (goals) will come.”

Quinnipiac takes a crack at its third-straight CT Ice trophy against UConn on Jan. 27. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. 

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Amanda Dronzek, Associate Sports Editor
Ethan Hurwitz, Sports Editor

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