Hamden CT. - Colgate and Quinnipiac entered the night deadlocked for second place in the ECAC. The first period is exactly what one would have expected, as the two played up and down hockey. Quinnipiac appeared to score twice in the period, only to be ruled no goal on the ice. The first was when Brice van Brabant went in all alone but held up a Colgate player to get the puck originally. The second was a controversial kicking call, called on the ice as such. Those two were the only close calls in the period, which ended with the teams both scoreless. Colgate took the lead at nine minutes, 14 seconds of the second period when Tylor Spink went around the net and sent a wicked wrister straight past QU goaltender, Michael Garteig. QU responded minutes later when Matthew Peca sent a wrister toward the net that was tipped home by Connor Jones.
The teams entered the third period tied at one goal apiece. It stayed that way until Tylor Spink scored his second of the game, deking Garteig out as he was all alone in front of him. Darcy Murphy added an empty net goal late in the third period, giving Colgate a 3-1 victory at Quinnipiac. The win moves Colgate into second place all alone with a record of 16-11-5 overall, and 12-5-3 in the ECAC. Quinnipiac, meanwhile, falls to 21-8-5, 11-6-3 and to third in the ECAC standings. QU also falls to seventh in the Pairwise rankings, while Colgate rises into an at large bid at 13.
What I Saw
- Colgate locked into Quinnipiac and was able to do a great job holding the Bobcats to the outside. The usual possession game that QU plays was non-existent for long stretches of the game, as Gate did a great job along the walls and forechecking. The things that QU usually does really well with, it struggled with tonight and that was all Colgate winning battles on both ends of the ice. On the scoresheet, Quinnipiac and Gate were near even in attempts, until the third period, that is a rarity for QU as it normally dominates that department.
- Quinnipiac just struggled to find its game tonight. Last night it sent shot after shot toward the Cornell net. Tonight it started tentative and it seemed to stay that way for the entirety. It relies on energy throughout its lineup on a daily basis and this weekend it didn’t have it. Tonight that lack of energy spilled through the whole building, as the crowd was also quiet. For QU it is just struggling, in terms of its standards.
What I Thought
- Quinnipiac just seemed a few steps behind for much of the first 30 minutes or so but picked it up around the time that it scored its response goal. It was all wiped away minutes later though as Connor Clifton took a kneeing call that gave Colgate a five minute major power-play. When it caught its stride it ruined it by taking a dumb penalty. It is these mental errors that Rand Pecknold talked about the night prior against Cornell. It was ever present again tonight but Quinnipiac is still one of the better teams in the country. At some point it will continue clicking again.
- I was happy to see the Colgate that everybody raves about, because the last time I saw them that was hardly the case. The Gate team I saw tonight can compete with anybody in the nation, which it has on multiple occasions. For one night, its inconsistency played to the good end. It showed its potential to me and I will call them a contender, not a pretender. Look for them in the ECAC tournament. It hung with Quinnipiac and it was able to control play for long stretches. When it needed to, it weathered the storm. It was a rather impressive performance for the young team that just continues to grow and get better.
What They Said
Colgate coach Don Vaughn said,
“I thought our bench was really composed the whole night. The last couple weeks we have had great structure in our game and we had numbers back when we needed to. We just showed a lot poise. Overall our defense played as well as it has in a while.”
“Charlie had a great game tonight. He was real disappointed after the RPI game last weekend, where he felt like he wanted to have a couple back. He wanted to prove something because he is a competitor. He has a great calming effect on our team as well. He doesn’t seem to get too rattled back there. It is great for our team and great for our coach as well. I could use a little more, even moreso, at times.”
“This group is a little more mature beyond their years, this group. It has been a fun ride but we have a lot of hockey left.”
Qunnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said,
“Certainly this was a disappointing loss. We are a just a mess right now with injuries, we had multiple guys hurt in that game and we had Connor Clifton get a game misconduct. It just caused all kinds of chaos in the lineup. I thought we battled hard. We had two forwards playing defense. I did like our grit and our battle level but we are just struggling to score goals right now.”
What Else You Should Know
Quinnipiac will travel to the North Country next weekend, which is no small task. Its goal will be to get tougher mentally and to gain some consistency. This weekend was a bump in the road for a great team but one must wonder if it is waiting too long to turn on the jets. The Bobcats need just one point to clinch a first round bye.
Colgate clinched a first round bye with the win tonight, becoming the second ECAC team to do so. It is growing by day and is putting together some impressive performances. Colgate is a team that should have every team paying attention to it. The Raiders will host Dartmouth and Harvard next weekend, in a pair of games that it has very little to play for other than positioning.