No. 16 Quinnipiac fights off early deficit, ties with Brown 2-2

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No. 16 Quinnipiac fights off early deficit, ties with Brown 2-2

Ben Upson

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There are nights sometimes where teams just have to roll with the punches. Saturday’s ECAC Hockey matchup between Quinnipiac (17-9-2, 10-4-2 ECAC Hockey) and Brown (6-16-1, 6-9-1 ECAC Hockey) was one of those games. At the end of the night, the Bobcats left Providence with a hard-fought 2-2 tie against the Bears knowing that they could take away some positives despite not being on top of their games.

Brown got off to the better start, beating Quinnipiac to many pucks early thanks to a strong offensive attack. The Bobcats had their share of opportunities early in their zone, but had a few of their shots ring off the post.

Late in the first period, Brown struck first as senior forward Brent Beaudoin was able to get his fifth goal of the season past Quinnipiac junior goaltender Keith Petruzzelli. Beaudoin still wasn’t done, as he found the back of the net for the second time of the night at the 17:23 mark of the second period to double their lead. For Beaudoin, it was the first multi-goal game of his senior season and third overall of his college career.

The Bobcats’ energy level had cratered and hope was dwindling as they were now facing a 2-0 deficit late in the second period to a Brown team who shocked them in the ECAC Hockey Tournament quarterfinals in their last meeting in March 2019.

After recovering from a deficit Friday at Yale, Quinnipiac had to fight from behind for the second time of the weekend. With seconds remaining in the second period, sophomore forward Ethan de Jong was able to sneak the puck underneath Brown senior goalie Gavin Nieto to quickly cut the deficit to 2-1. Odeen Tufto picked up an assist, continuing his successful season. With the helper, he increased his season assists total to 27 and points total to 31, both top marks among all other ECAC Hockey players.

The late goal finally gave the Bobcats a spark of momentum after being outshot by Brown 20-10 in the second period. It did not take long, as senior alternate captain Alex Whelan broke away to notch a goal from the right side around Nieto just minutes into the third period of action to even the score at 2-2.

From that point, both teams locked into a physical battle, scrapping for the puck and looking for any chances to end the contest in regulation, especially the Bobcats, who held the upper hand in the third period by doubling Brown’s shot attempts 26-13. There was a very close call midway through the third period as sophomore forward Wyatt Bongiovanni fed a pass toward Tufto out front that appeared to have gotten through at first glance, but after a review, it was determined that the Bobcats did not get one past Nieto and over the line. After a scoreless overtime, the game ended in a 2-2 tie.

It was not their best performance, but Quinnipiac earned one important point on the night from the tie and now possesses third place in the ECAC Hockey standings over Harvard. They’ll look to continue their momentum in conference play with just four weeks to go before the conference playoffs. The Bobcats return to Hamden next weekend for important home matchups with No. 5 Clarkson (20-6-2, 13-3-0 ECAC Hockey) on Friday and St. Lawrence (3-21-4, 1-14-1 ECAC Hockey) Saturday.