For Quinnipiac, the celebration of its seniors started before the puck dropped...
Bobcats outshoot Big Red, still fall 2-1
Both the No. 5 Quinnipiac and the No. 13 Cornell came into Friday night’s game off a loss on Feb. 15, but ultimately, the Big Red skated away with the first win of the weekend. The Bobcats fell to the Big Red, 2-1.
Without looking at the final score, the stat sheet leans heavily in the favor of Quinnipiac. The Bobcats ripped 41 shots on the night, but Andy Iles dove, caught and snatched his way to a 40-save night in net for the Big Red.
“Against a goaltender like Iles, you’ve got to capitalize on your chances, and we just couldn’t do that tonight,” captain Cory Hibbeler said.
The Bobcats did manage to break through first in the opening frame of the game. Bryce Van Brabant was able to break through with his 14th goal of the year. Connor Clifton took a shot that Iles deflected to Tommy Schutt. Iles again deflect Schutt’s shot, but Van Brabant was there to knock it into the net.
Cornell managed 14 shots in the game but made them count, including a rebuttal that came just seconds after Van Brabant’s score.
Ryan Joakim notched his sixth goal against Michael Garteig, with assists from John McCarron and Joel Lowry just 49 seconds after Quinnipiac put itself on the board.
The second score for Cornell came on Brian Ferlin’s one-on-one, skating by a Quinnipiac defender to rip a top shelf shot by Garteig.
Head coach Rand Pecknold said that this was a problem for the Bobcats. Despite outshooting Cornell, the defense could not hold up.
“Ultimately, we had some issues defensively at times, even though it was only 14 shots, you can’t give up breakaways,” Pecknold said.
The Bobcats were able to fight off a barrage of shots against Yale, walking away with a shutout despite 33 shots on net. For Hibbeler, being constant is among the challenges the Bobcats face.
“Consistency for us is probably the toughest part, to bring it every game and I think that we all wanted it tonight,” Hibbeler said. “For us, it’s just cleaning up the mistakes and playing Bobcat hockey.”
With the ECAC loss behind it, Quinnipiac has a chance to split a conference weekend against No. 19 Colgate. As the last home game of the regular season, there was already an emotional charge tied to it.
Friday’s game only adds to it, according to Hibbeler.
“If we didn’t want to win the game, we definitely want to win it that much more,” Hibbeler said. “That’s for sure. I mean, obviously tonight was disappointing, but Senior Night [is] tomorrow and we have a tendency to come out a little flat on Saturdays, so we definitely have something to prove.”
Hibbeler and the rest of the seniors will be honored before the puck drops against Colgate Saturday night.
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Former teammates behind opposing benches at the Frozen Four