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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Late interference call proves fatal for Quinnipiac in overtime loss to Clarkson

Tyler Rinko
Quinnipiac junior forward Collin Graf fends off Clarkson sophomore defenseman Tristan Sarsland in a game at M&T Bank Arena in Hamden in March 1.

HAMDEN — Rand Pecknold shouts across the ice at an official as he walks off following Quinnipiac men’s hockey 3-2 overtime loss to Clarkson Friday. 

He throws his hands in the air. The official throws his hands in the air. Pecknold shakes his head as he steps back onto the bench and heads down the tunnel. 

He’s frustrated. So is Clarkson head coach Casey Jones. Both expressed plenty of displeasure with the officials throughout the night, Pecknold just got the last laugh — or shout — because the 10th and final penalty called cost Quinnipiac the game. 

Graduate student defenseman Jayden Lee stepped forward at the offensive blue line, waiting for freshman forward Andon Cerbone to lead the zone entry. Golden Knights graduate student forward Anthony Romano cut across the line to stay with Cerbone, colliding with Lee for half a second, then continued in stride. That was enough for the officials to call interference on Lee in a 2-2 game with 24 seconds left in regulation. 

Clarkson scored in the dying seconds of that power play in overtime, handing Quinnipiac its first home conference loss since February of 2022. 

“Disappointing,” as Pecknold put it postgame. 

“We don’t lose a lot at home.”

He’s right. The Bobcats have just five home losses in the last three seasons. That’s not to say they played well Friday. Clarkson outworked, outmuscled and outsmarted them for nearly all 60 minutes plus change. 

But they still nearly outskilled the Golden Knights, despite being outshot for the first time in two months. 

There were chances — plenty of them — for Quinnipiac to build a lead in the first period. Junior forward Christophe Fillion had a breakaway he couldn’t convert on. Freshman forward Anthony Cipollone sent a shot high on an empty net. Sophomore forward Sam Lipkin set up and was the recipient of two back-door feeds in the span of 30 seconds, but Clarkson graduate student Austin Roden shut the door on both of them. 

“We had three breakaways, we had an empty net, you’ve got to score goals through there somehow,” Pecknold said. “It’s just sort of how hockey goes sometimes, the goalies are good.”

The second and third were less rich in chances, but the Bobcats added a pair of goals from graduate student forward Zach Tupker and senior defenseman Cooper Moore, each in response to Clarkson taking the lead. 

Quinnipiac senior defenseman Cooper Moore celebrates after scoring the game-tying goal against Clarkson at M&T Bank Arena on March 1. (Jack Spiegel)

But a collection of egregious turnovers and unnecessary high-danger plays made up the majority of Quinnipiac’s highlights in the final two frames. The Golden Knights’ second goal, a shorthanded tally by sophomore forward Erik Baargholtz, was the direct result of a bad pass from Lipkin to the right point and an equally poor pinch by Lee to try to keep the puck in the zone. 

“It was a struggle mentally for a lot of our guys,” Pecknold said. “They lacked passion at times and it’s a disappointing effort.”

While the loss doesn’t move the needle for the Bobcats in the ECAC Hockey standings, it did drop them back down to No. 8 in the Pairwise, making an eastern regional in the NCAA Tournament Providence or Springfield more likely. 

Quinnipiac closes out the regular season against St. Lawrence Saturday. The Saints haven’t won in Hamden since they upset the Bobcats in overtime in the 2021 ECAC Championship game. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. 

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Cameron Levasseur
Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor
Tyler Rinko, Associate Photography Editor

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