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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

Quinnipiac raises record fourth-straight Cleary Cup in win at Brown

Tripp Menhall
Graduate student defenseman Jayden Lee raises the Cleary Cup after the Bobcats 5-2 win over Brown at Meehan Auditorium in Providence, Rhode Island, on Feb. 23.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The most intense moment from Quinnipiac men’s hockey’s 5-2 win over Brown Friday came 356 miles north in Potsdam, New York. 

The Bobcats needed a win, combined with anything but a regulation win for Cornell to take home their fourth-straight Cleary Cup as ECAC Hockey regular season champions. The Big Red were at Clarkson, hoping to hang onto a chance for a share of the title. 

Holding a 3-2 lead with 30 seconds remaining, it seemed like Cornell would stay in the fight. Then a centering pass from Golden Knights’ graduate student forward Anthony Romano deflected off the helmet of classmate Mathieu Gosselin and into the net. Then came a review, a celebration and a final 26 seconds without a goal. And six hours away in Providence, Quinnipiac — which had just headed to the locker room — retook the ice to lift a trophy. 

“We talk a lot about things that we’re going to do in September and October, and if we do these things right and stay the course the whole year we’ll get rewarded in February or March,” head coach Rand Pecknold said. “So this is a huge reward.”

 Quinnipiac’s seventh-overall regular season title also makes the Bobcats the first team in conference history to win four-straight outright championships. 

“Every game is a grind no matter what throughout the year,” graduate student defenseman CJ McGee said. “So it’s nice that we won a trophy here and then hopefully we can continue that grind and win a couple more.”

Quinnipiac celebrates winning its fourth-consecutive Cleary Cup following a 5-2 victory over Brown at the Meehan Auditorium in Providence, Rhode Island, on Feb. 23. (Tripp Menhall)

As for the game itself, Bobcats came out of the gates sluggish, not connecting on passes and waiting too long to shoot. But they found their stride in the final third of the first period, scoring four goals in under six minutes as Brown showed its true colors as a perennial ECAC punching bag. 

A great net-front feed from junior forward Jacob Quillan to freshman forward Mason Marcellus set the stage for the opening goal. Marcellus grabbed the pass and fired it across the slot to classmate and linemate Andon Cerbone, who one-timed the puck past Brown freshman netminder Lawton Zacher. 

Just seven seconds later, sophomore forward Anthony Cipollone doubled the Bobcats’ lead, catching a break-in chip off the boards in stride and finding nothing but twine on his shot. 

Senior forward Travis Treloar netted the game’s third goal four minutes later. Then sophomore defenseman Charles-Alexis Legault made the gap four, beating Zacher in the final minute of the period.  

“I thought Brown battled hard,” Pecknold said. “We were fortunate in the first to score some goals, we had some great grade-A (chances).”

After being embarrassed in the first, Brown outshot Quinnipiac 6-5 in the second, but failed to make up any ground on the scoreboard. Signaling defeat, the Bears abandoned their game plan as the period wound down, playing the body in every possible situation — even if it meant overskating the puck. 

“We gave up a lot of chances against, but luckily we scored those four early and were able to kind of hang on a little bit,” McGee said. “I think we could’ve been a bit more offensive late and then the game got a little chippy, which wasn’t very great.”

Graduate student forward Zach Tupker gave the visitors a 5-0 lead midway through the third, but Brown found new life in the final 10 minutes. 

The Bears scored a pair of goals — assisted by a few defensive breakdowns and untimely penalties for the Bobcats — to make the final a more respectable 5-2. 

“You get up 4-0, you think it’s going to be easy, and it’s not going to be easy, it’s quite hard,” Pecknold said. “I thought our first was really good, not clean, but you win on the road and (now) you just get on the bus and get out of here.”

Because Quinnipiac played Yale in a conference game in the first round of the Connecticut Ice Tournament, the Bobcats get Saturday off. They wrap up the regular season with a pair of home bouts against Clarkson and St. Lawrence on March 1 and 2. 

The focus until then?

“I think it’s just the little details,” McGee said. “When we play our game and we play the right way, we can beat anybody, and we can go win another national championship. So making sure we’re focusing on the little details and making sure we’re doing everything right is a big thing.”

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About the Contributors
Cameron Levasseur
Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor
Tripp Menhall
Tripp Menhall, Creative Director

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