Bobcats beat Yale, equal longest D-I unbeaten streak
by Seth Rothman
January 12, 2008
David Marshall continued his streak as a Yale killer, Brandon Wong continued on his torrid pace since the second half of the season began, and the Bobcats (13-5-3, 6-3-3 ECAC) equaled their longest unbeaten streak since joining Division I in an impressive 3-0 win over cross-town rival Yale (7-6-3, 4-4-3 ECAC) on Saturday evening at Ingalls Rink in New Haven.
After an exciting but scoreless first period, Marshall got the scoring started. He came into the offensive zone with Wong, and after a give-and-go, sent the puck through Yale goaltender Alec Richards’ 5-hole just over five minutes into the second. It was Marshall’s 7th goal in five career games against the Bulldogs.
Even though that goal was the game-winner, the contest’s fate turned well before that.
8:38 into the first stanza, Zach Hansen took a roughing penalty, followed 28 seconds later by a holding call against Eric Lampe. Despite the 2-man advantage for 92 seconds, goaltender Bud Fisher and the Bobcats held the Bulldogs off the score-sheet.
“I thought we played well,” Bobcats coach Rand Pecknold told WQUN’s Don Boyle. “The first period was good, but I thought the second and third were phenomenal.”
The scoring held at 1-0 through most of the third period, inducing very anxious moments for the sell-out crowd of 3,486 at the “Yale Whale.”
And with seven minutes left, the anxious moments reached a crescendo for the many Bobcats fans in attendance when Yale’s Michael Karwoski hit the crossbar with a blistering shot.
Thanks to a red-hot Wong, that’s as close as the game got.
With 2:46 remaining, he took a drive that deflected off the skates of Richards, into the net, and the Bobcats had their insurance. After an empty netter by Eric Lampe two and a half minutes later, Quinnipiac had their shutout.
For Yale, their energy certainly wasn’t the issue; the competitiveness was most certainly there. Just the results weren’t satisfactory for the home team.
Pecknold said it’s thanks in large part to the back-check his team employed over the course of the night.
“That’s something that we need to do well,” Pecknold said. “When we’re good, we’re back-checking, and I think you saw that tonight.”
Since the Bobcats started getting tackled by the injury bug, their season has taken off. They’re now 8-0-1 in their last 9 despite losing three of their top 6 defensemen to injury at various points of the season. The streak is the team’s longest unbeaten streak since the 1999-2000 season, their first in Division I.
“It’s been a great run,” Pecknold said. “We’ve had a lot of kids out of the lineup. It’s a credit to our team; everyone wants to play, and its good to get kids involved.”
The sweep of Brown and Yale is the first league sweep of the season for Quinnipiac, and comes after the Bobcats struggled through their first half.
In their 4 league games of 2008, Quinnipiac has recorded a nearly-perfect 7 points. After Princeton dismantled Brown 6-2 on Saturday night, the Tigers remain in 1st place in ECAC Hockey with 16 points. The Bobcats are nipping at their heels, one point behind.
Now, Quinnipiac gets a break in ECAC Hockey play for 2 weekends. Next weekend, they play a game at Holy Cross before returning home on January 25 for a 2 game series against Niagara. Pecknold understands the importance of his team’s out of conference schedule, and insists the team won’t consider the 20 day break from league play a vacation.
“You never get a break if you want to go to the NCAA Tournament,” Pecknold said. “They’re not league games, but they still count. Last year, losing two up in Niagara probably cost us the NCAA Tournament.”
Now that his team is back in the national rankings, and 8-0-1 in their last nine games, Pecknold is determined not to let that happen again.
NOTES: There were no whistles during the first 5:22 of the opening period… Quinnipiac is now 10-0-2 when leading after two periods… The shutout is the 8th of Bud Fisher’s collegiate career, breaking the school record previously held by Jamie Holden, who graduated in 2005… Quinnipiac out-shot Yale 13-5 in the third period… Wong now has 12 points (4G, 8A) in his last 6 games, dating back to the Western Michigan tilt on December 29, including 4 consecutive multi-point games… Quinnipiac has now won 4 straight against Yale… These two teams will meet again on February 8 in Hamden.