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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac upset in second-straight ECAC Semifinal, shutout 3-0 by St. Lawrence

Quinnipiac+head+coach+Rand+Pecknold+in+the+press+conference+following+a+3-0+loss+to+St.+Lawrence+in+the+ECAC+Semifinals.
Peyton McKenzie
Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold in the press conference following a 3-0 loss to St. Lawrence in the ECAC Semifinals.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Maybe it was because senior forward Christophe Fillion’s chain snapped mere seconds into the game. Maybe it was because of a controversial call on a St. Lawrence goal that was reviewed for a kick. 

Or maybe Friday night’s 3-0 ECAC semifinal loss to No. 7 St. Lawrence happened because Quinnipiac had its worst outing all season, being shut out in a playoff game for the first time since 2018.

“Honestly, I’m embarrassed,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “I think as a staff or myself personally we take a lot of pride in being one of the best coached teams in the nation. I think that’s why we’ve made it over the last 10 to 12 years. Details, little things, executing. Again give St. Lawrence credit, I won’t take anything away from it but I’m embarrassed.”

For the first five minutes of the game, the reigning national champions dominated. But the other 55 minutes? 

It was all St. Lawrence.

“I think we played our identity,” Saints graduate student goaltender Ben Kraws said. “That’s what we’ve been doing the last month and we’ve been having a lot of success, so (if we) stick to our identity we can beat anybody.”

St. Lawrence hasn’t exactly had a memorable year, going 13-18-6 prior to the semifinals. But one of those wins was a 3-1 upset over Quinnipiac on Feb. 9. And that victory just happened to put the Saints into hyperdrive for their second season.

“We’ve got a sign on our wall in our locker room that says, ‘Your responsibility as a member of this program is to help others be great,’” Saints head coach Brent Brekke said. “It’s not about you, it’s about the guy next to you and across from you. (Players and staff) bought in and you’re going to see the results of it.”

Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. 

The first frame was a defensive duel, with Kraws and Quinnipiac senior goaltender Vinny Duplessis making big-time saves under high danger opportunities.

And despite what the score showed, the Bobcats still had 22 shots on net. The issue wasn’t offense, it was discipline. Ugly turnovers and misplaced passes in the offensive zone came back to haunt Quinnipiac. It felt practically identical to its 3-2 double overtime loss to Colgate just last year.

“They’re devastated,” Pecknold said of the team. “The staff, we’re devastated.”

What really stunned the Bobcats was the penalty kill, their biggest rival to date. Sophomore forward Sam Lipkin went to the box for slashing midway through the second frame, giving St. Lawrence a golden opportunity to build on its 1-0 lead. And it did. 

Sophomore forward Felikss Gavars crossed the puck to senior forward Max Dorrington, who appeared to intentionally direct it into the back of the net with his foot. Or at least that’s what it looked like. Quinnipiac challenged the call, but ultimately it stood. The Saints were up 2-0 and time was running out.

“We have a certain way that we kill penalties and we didn’t kill properly,” Pecknold said. “We’ve been doing it all year and we just haven’t executed. That’s not what we’re about.”

To truly stick the knife in Quinnipiac’s coffin, the Saints scored in an empty-net goal with less than two minutes in regulation — an extremely uncharacteristic result for the Bobcats. Pecknold is known for having success with the 6-on-5 advantage when a game is on the line. But Friday just wasn’t the day for miracles.

“It’s a wake up call for sure,” graduate student defender Jayden Lee said. “You just have to forget about this one and move on.”

Come Selection Sunday, Quinnipiac will drop to the No. 8-10 seed heading into the NCAA Tournament, potentially facing Wisconsin in the Providence Regional next week. Then again, it’s postseason college hockey and nothing is ever certain. 

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Amanda Dronzek, Associate Sports Editor
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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