HAMILTON, N.Y. – The Quinnipiac University men's ice hockey team lost to Colgate, 4-2, in the first game of its best-of-three ECAC Hockey Championship Quarterfinal series at Starr Rink in Hamilton, N.Y. With the loss, Quinnipiac goes to 19-13-6 on the year while Colgate improves to 18-14-3 overall.
Quinnipiac leading scorer Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) scored both of the Bobcats' goals to become the seventh Quinnipiac player to score twice in ECAC Hockey Tournament game in program history. Loren Barron (Glendora, Calif.) assisted on both goals while Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) and Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) also picked up assists.
The nation's leading goal scorer got on the board just over three minutes into the game when Austin Smith deposited his 35th goal of the season on a shot through traffic. After Colgate's Spiro Goulakos broke up an attempted clear by Quinnipiac goalie Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.), the puck ended up on Smith's tape in the face-off circle to the left of Hartzell where he flicked the puck on net. Hartzell was unable to stop the puck as it snuck between several bodies before finding the back of the net.
With five minutes to play in the period, Colgate's Kurtiss Bartliff was whistled for cross-checking on a hit to Spencer Heichman (Yorba Linda, Calif.) in front of the Raiders' bench. On the power play, Quinnipiac tied the game when Connor Jones scored his 11th goal of the season. After Connor won the face-off to the right of Colgate's Eric Mihalik, Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) dug the puck out of the opposite corner and sent it to the slot to Barron. Barron then hit Connor's stick in the opposite post, who one-timed the puck into a virtually empty net to tie the game, 1-1, heading into the first intermission.
Chris Wagner gave Colgate a 2-1 lead just 14 seconds into the second period. After Wagner won the face-off, Colgate played the puck back into their zone before hitting Wagner just above the blue line in the Bobcats' defensive zone. Wagner walked the puck to the top of the face-off circle, toe-dragged around a diving Quinnipiac defender, and glided into the slot where he fired the puck past Hartzell to give the Raiders a one-goal lead.
Connor scored his second power-play goal of the night just under five minutes into the period to tie the game at 2-2. After Colgate won the face-off in its own defensive zone, Barron and Peca chased the puck into the corner. Barron edged the puck over to Peca who found Connor out in front of the Colgate goal.
Late in the third period, Wagner scored his second goal of the game, this one on the power play, on a scrum in front of Hartzell. Seventeen seconds later, Matt Firman's goal gave Colgate a two-goal lead with 8:11 to play in regulation.
Quinnipiac and Colgate will meet again on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. at Starr Rink. If necessary, the two teams will also play a decisive third game on Sunday, Feb. 11, also at 7 p.m.