HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac men's ice hockey team tied Yale, 2-2, in an ECAC Hockey match-up at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center. Quinnipiac wraps-up the regular season with a 9-8-5 mark, while Yale goes to 10-10-2 in league play. With the 5th seed clinched, Quinnipiac will host 12th seed Brown on March 2-4 in a best-of-three series.
"Our power play was great this weekend," head coach Rand Pecknold said. "We're very happy about getting three last night and two more tonight. The only blemish on special teams this weekend was the shorthanded goal, on a blown back-check, but overall I'm pretty happy with our performance."
Both of the Bobcats' goals came on the power play, as Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) set-up both markers. The first-year Bobcat had a hand in all six of Quinnipiac's six goals in a 4-1 win against Brown on Friday before Saturday's 2-2 tie against Yale. Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) had a goal and an assist - for the second straight night - while Loren Barron (Glendora, Calif.) scored his eighth goal of the season. Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) also picked up his 18th assist of the year.
"I thought me and the Joneses had great energy this weekend," Peca said. "We played off each other well and generated a lot of offense. I think everyone wanted the bye, but we'll re-focus on Brown for next weekend. Obviously, we're confident against them. We know how they play, so we hope to be prepared and be successful."
All four of the game's goals were scored in the second period, as Quinnipiac overcame a pair of one-goal deficits (1-0 and 2-1). Yale's Jesse Root scored both of the Bobcats' goals, one coming with Bulldogs skating short-handed. Root's first goal came on a pass from Charles Brockett while his second came off a rebound of a shot by Clinton Bourbonais.
After Root's first goal, just twenty-nine seconds into the second period after a scoreless first period, Barron matched Zach Currie (Victoria, British Columbia) for the team lead in goals amongst the Bobcats' defensive players with his eighth of the season. The Bobcats worked the puck around Yale's triangle, with a man-advantage, before Peca sent the puck to Connor next to the Bulldogs' goal. Connor put the puck on Barron's tape, who was waiting in the slot, and the third-year blueliner one-timed a shot past Yale's Nick Maricic to tie the game at the 9:15 mark.
At the 10:41 mark, after a contact to the head penalty whistled on Yale resulted in a five-minute power play for the Bobcats, it was Bourbounais picking up the puck it the Bobcats neutral zone and throwing a shot on goal. Quinnipiac goalie Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.) managed to stop the puck, but Root - who was crashing the net - managed to push the puck past the Bobcats' sprawled-out goalie.
Less than three minutes later, at the 13:13 mark, it was Connor with his nineth goal of the season as Peca started the play and fed Kellen for the assists on the play. While Yale held a slight edge, 13-12, in shots in the second period, it was decidedly slanted in the third as Quinnipiac outshot the Bulldogs, 15-5, but couldn't convert on any attempt on goal.
"Yesterday was a huge win for us as a team," Connor said. "We played great, especially on the power play. Tonight's game was a tough one. I feel like we should've won. It's nice to get a point, but we all wanted a victory."
Bobcat fans interested in purchasing tickets for the ECAC Hockey Tournament First Round can do so by calling the TD Bank Sport Center's Ticket Office at 203-582-3905 or by visiting the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.