For Quinnipiac, the celebration of its seniors started before the puck dropped...
Bobcats drop third straight on Senior Night
In the final home game of the regular season the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team dropped its third straight game, losing 3-1 to Colgate. Tylor Spink netted two goals to lead the Colgate Raiders to their second consecutive victory.
“Certainly a disappointing loss,” head coach Rand Pecknold said after the game. “We’re just a mess right now.”
The first period of play saw no goals for either team, but it did witness four penalties, three coming from Quinnipiac players. Luckily for the Bobcats, their strength lies in their penalty kill. Quinnipiac held off Colgate for the total of six minutes the Raiders spent with the man advantage to keep the score knotted at zero.
At the beginning of the middle period it was the Raiders having trouble staying out of the penalty box. However, after three straight power plays Quinnipiac was still unable to find the back of the net.
Quinnipiac outshot its opponents 73-37 this weekend, but only managed to score two goals in the losses.
“I did like our grit and our battle level killing off those penalties, but we’re just struggling to score goals right now,” Pecknold said.
Nearly halfway through the period Colgate broke through the Quinnipiac defense to collect the first goal of the game. Spink scored his first of two goals lifting the puck over Bobcat goalie Michael Garteig’s reaching glove to make it 1-0.
The lead wouldn’t last long. Less than two minutes later Connor Jones capitalized on the Bobcat’s fourth power play. Jones took a pass from Matthew Peca and beat Colgate goalie Charlie Finn to even the score at one.
Shortly after, Quinnipiac gave Colgate a huge opportunity when Connor Clifton was handed a five-minute major penalty for game misconduct. Clifton was ejected from the game and Matt Lemire served the penalty.
Despite being a man down once again, the Bobcats penalty kill remained perfect to keep the score tied 1-1. That score would stay for the remainder of the period.
The final period would decide the game. Spink picked up his second goal of the game to take a 2-1 lead for Colgate. Spink found himself with an open net as Garteig was sprawled in front of the net having blocked a previous shot.
At a minute and 18 seconds left in the game Darcy Murphy sealed the win for Colgate with an empty net goal.
Injuries could be to blame for the Bobcats rapid decline in production. The most notable loss on the ice is currently forward Jordan Samuels-Thomas, who hasn’t played since the Bobcat’s 6-3 win over Clarkson Feb. 7.
“We don’t want to make excuses,” senior captain Cory Hibbeler said. “We have injuries, everyone gets beat up during the season. There’s some guys that need to step up, that includes myself and we’re just going to have to deal with them.”
Starting the weekend, Quinnipiac was tied with Colgate for second in the ECAC. Following the two losses, Quinnipiac has dropped to third behind Colgate and Cornell is hot on the trail only one point behind.
The Bobcats are on the road next weekend for their final two games of the regular season against Clarkson and St. Lawrence. Play next weekend will determine what seed Quinnipiac falls into for the start of ECAC playoffs.
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Former teammates behind opposing benches at the Frozen Four