Hamden, CT. - Cornell and Quinnipiac played a physical quarterfinal last season, in which Quinnipiac won in three games. Tonight, was much of the same and the bad blood continued between the schools, as the two played a very physical game. Quinnipiac scored first at 12 minutes, 54 seconds of the first period when a Cornell defender kicked the puck into his own net on a Quinnipiac feed from Tommy Schutt, who was credited with the goal. The Big Red, as it usually does, responded moments later, as Joakim Ryan sent a wrister from the point straight into the net. The teams took the 1-1 game into the second period and much of the same physical play ensued. Cornell broke the one all deadlock at 13:27 of the period when Brian Ferlin went in on a breakaway and beat Garteig, high over his glove.
The third period was much of the same, as Quinnipiac pummeled Andy Iles with shots and dominated the shot attempts, 38-6. Cornell held on to win on the road, 2-1, against the Bobcats. Cornell moves into fourth place all alone with a 13-7-5 overall record and 9-6-4 mark in the ECAC, one point clear of Yale for fifth. Quinnipiac falls to third in the ECAC standings with a record of 21-7-5, 11-5-3. Cornell also gained in the Pairwise rankings, where it now sits in ninth, while Quinnipiac remains in sixth place.
What I Saw
- Cornell and Quinnipiac played easily the most physical game I have seen this year. Last year, in the Quarterfinals these two played penalty filled affairs and the bad blood was ever evident tonight. The checks were harder, the physical play was high but yet both teams have some skill too. When these two teams get together, the crowd is fired up and it makes for a great hockey game. If you like physicality and hard hits these two provide it.
- Quinnipiac may have led heavily in shots, 41-14 and in attempts 75-32 but that was rather misleading as the territorial play was more even than that. Cornell matches up really well with QU because of its size and that was evident in the game. Cornell is very efficient offensively, often times scoring on few shots. It has become its mantra for much of the season. The one concern I have for Cornell is it misses a lot of shots high and wide, from quality scoring areas. Tonight it was opportunistic at times, but a lot of great opportunities were wasted by missing. In the third period, though, Cornell attempted just six shots, which is all the more concerning.
What I Thought
- The Bobcats have struggled to finish for much of the season and it seems to be catching up on them. Tonight it sent many shots towards Andy Iles, but the latter is an ever wily veteran and he sent away everything that he saw. Quinnipiac needs to do a better job getting people to the net and finishing its opportunities. Many of the things that have haunted it all year, are finally catching up on it. Tonight’s third period was a great example. Of the 38 shot attempts sent toward the Cornell net, only eight were grade A’s. of those eight, one was blocked and four missed the net.’
- Quinnipiac is arguably the best possession team in the country, but yet this leads to nothing in terms of scoring on most nights. It has its random night it finishes everything, but others it just doesn’t finish. This is going to come back and bite. Possess the puck all you want, but finishing is a whole different skill. For Quinnipiac, that is what is different with this year’s team.
- Cornell might be the most opportunistic team in the country. When it gets quality chances it puts them away. Because it is so big, it gets traffic in front and goalies are screened. For Cornell though it may get few opportunities to shoot, but it does make hay on when it does. It is vintage Cornell hockey in all honesty, plain and simple.
What They Said
Cornell Coach Mike Schafer said
“The obviously shoot the puck from a lot of areas on the ice. One of the things that we wanted to do was to keep them on the perimeter and I thought we did a very good job with that, even in the third period. They did a tremendous job down the stretch creating some great scoring chances. We got luck but we had no puck luck last weekend. It wasn’t a thing of beauty but it is a road win against a really good hockey team.”
“Andy is such a competitor and was upset with last week not getting the wins at home. Tonight he played well and had he played really well. He was upset with his rebound control, a bit tonight, but if he sees he stops it. He might not have the best statistics in the league, but I wouldn’t trade him for any other goalie in the league.”
Cornell Goalie Andy Iles,
“It was one of those night where we had a little puck luck. I probably made the game a little more difficult for myself than I would have liked. It was one of those nights we wanted to battle for 60 minutes and I thought we did that tonight.”
Qunnipiac Coach Rand Pecknold said,
“Not often do you lose a game outshooting a team 41-14 and obviously we are disappointed. I thought we did a lot of things well tonight but the Cornell goalie was excellent and they did a good job of clearing some pucks. We had some great looks to tap it in the net and just didn’t finish. We had some issues defensively at times. Even though we only gave up 14 shots, we gave up breakaways. It is unacceptable to turn the puck over and we need to learn from it.”
“A couple of our guys were just a little off in their mental toughness tonight. They werent bad hockey players, but were just a little off. A great example was the last power-play we had, was that we turned the puck over four times in the first 45 seconds. Give Cornell credit, they played hard and found a way to win.”
What Else You Should Know
Quinnipiac will face Colgate on Saturday night at the TD Bank Sports Center. The Bobcats have struggled to a 3-4-0 record in its last seven games. QU has lost consecutive home games for the first time this season.
Cornell snaps a three game losing streak with the win against the Bobcats. Cornell now sits in the last first round bye spot all alone, with an opportunity to pick up two more points tomorrow night against last place Princeton.