March 8, 2010

Men's Ice Hockey Defeats Dartmouth, 2-1, To Advance To ECAC Hockey Championship Quarterfinals

HAMDEN, Conn. - Quinnipiac University men's ice hockey head coach Rand Pecknold became the fourth coach in the history of Quinnipiac Athletics to win 300 career games as the Bobcats defeated Dartmouth, 2-1, to advance to the ECAC Hockey Championship Quarterfinal Round. The Bobcats will head to Schenectady, N.Y. to take on No. 3 seed Union next weekend in a best-of-three series to run March 12-14. Quinnipiac advances to the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals for the fifth straight season as its all-time ECAC Hockey Championship First-Round Series record improves to 10-2.

Pecknold's career record improves to 300-199-47, making him the 67th coach in NCAA Division I coaching history with 300 wins. Quinnipiac also improves to 19-16-2 on the year, giving Pecknold his 12th year in his last 13 behind the bench with 19 wins. In addition, Quinnipiac's unbeaten streak when leading after two periods is extended to 50 games as the Bobcats have posted a 46-0-4 record over that span.

"We're excited to move on," Pecknold said. "Our guys were gritty and Dan Clarke was good and we prepared better. I thought he was excellent and was confident. He was our best player tonight."

The Bobcats received goals from Eric Lampe (Madison, Wisc.) and Ben Ketchum (Greenwich, Conn.) in the win. The star of the night may have been goalie Dan Clarke (Belleville, Ont.), who stopped 26 of 27 shots by Dartmouth, including the first 22 he saw in the game. The Bobcats defense clamped down in the third period, allowing just four shots on goal by the Big Green while Quinnipiac blocked 16 shots in the game.

Lampe's goal came with under four minutes to play in the first period. The senior center blocked a shot just above the blue line and jumped to his feet while collecting the puck. In an instant he was heading down the ice, one-on-one with Dartmouth starter James Mello. Skating in to Mello's left, Lampe blasted a shot to the opposite post, rattling the puck home to put Quinnipiac on-top, 1-0. The goal was Lampe's 13th of the season. The goal proved to be the last action of the night for Mello who left the game in favor of Jody O'Neill. O'Neill stopped 20 of 21 shots on goal while blanking the Bobcats over the final 38:03 of the game.

"It was pivotal we got the first goal and have a lead," said Pecknold. "It was the key to the game for us."

One minute, fifty-seven seconds was all sophomore Ben Ketchum needed of the second period to get in the Bobcats' record book. Ketchum did not play last season while on the Bobcats' roster, and was appearing in his ninth game of the season. Ketchum picked up an assist in last night's loss to Dartmouth for his first career point. Ketchum's first career goal came off a rebound from a shot by Ben Arnt (Oakdale, Minn.). Arnt took a pass from Russell Goodman (Saskatoon, Sask.) and put a shot on O'Neill. O'Neill was able to kick it away, but it was picked up on the crease by Ketchum. Ketchum faked a shot, slid across the crease and went to the backhand to beat O'Neill and give Quinnipiac a two-goal lead.

Joe Stejskal scored Dartmouth's only goal of the game with the assist coming from Scott Fleming. The goal was scored at the 13:57 mark.

The ECAC Hockey Championship Quarterfinals commence on Friday, March 12 with a best-of-three games format through Sunday, March 14. In addition to Quinnipiac heading to No. 3-seed Union in Schenectady, N.Y., No. 1 Yale will host No. 11 Brown, who upset No. 6 Rensselaer on the Engineers home-ice. No. 2 Cornell will host No. 9 Harvard, who unseated No. 8 Princeton from its home-ice advantage to advance to the next round. No. 4 Colgate will also host No. 5 St. Lawrence, who held off No. 12 Clarkson to move-on in the Quarterfinals.