Quinnipiac gets humiliated by Dartmouth

Quinnipiac gets humiliated by Dartmouth
by Seth Rothman
February 15, 2008

Dartmouth University (9-11-4, 4-10-3 ECAC) used 7 unanswered goals to embarrass the Quinnipiac Bobcats 7-2 in ECAC Hockey play in Hanover, NH on Friday night in front of 2.837 patrons at Thompson Arena.

Quinnipiac (17-8-4, 9-4-4 ECAC) started out well against a Dartmouth team that started the game dead last in the ECAC Hockey standings, but the Bobcats could not keep the intensity up.

Seven minutes in, Dartmouth’s Matt Reber took a hooking penalty, and Quinnipiac’s Greg Holt capitalized. After senior Ben Nelson hit the post, Holt drilled the puck from the left-wing side off Dartmouth defenseman Joe Stejskal’s skate and into the net.

Nearly five minutes later, Quinnipiac struck again on the power play. Dan Henningson blasted a shot from the point that got deflected by senior Dan Travis. When Dartmouth goaltender Mike Devine made the save but couldn’t control the rebound, Travis pounced to give the Bobcats the 2-0 lead.

That’s when the wheels fell off for Quinnipiac, who then allowed 7 unanswered goals — 3 in the second and 4 in the third.

After the game, Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold was not happy with how his team protected the lead.

“We played a bad hockey game,” Pecknold told WQUN’s Don Boyle. “Even in the first period we weren’t very good. Bud had a great first period; he made a lot of saves. After that, our goaltending was poor, defensemen were poor, forwards were poor, it was a bad game.”

It was the second period that doomed Quinnipiac. Lazy play by the Bobcats in their own zone allowed Dartmouth to get back into the game. With the Quinnipiac lead at 2-1 and the clock reading 6:12 left in the second period, Dartmouth’s Kyle Reeds had the equalizer when his shot ran up the shoulder of Bobcats goaltender Bud Fisher and into the net.

Nearly four minutes later, Scott Fleming put a dazzling move on Bobcats defender Dan LeFort and roofed the rubber past Fisher. The senior was thrust into the role because freshman Zach Hansen has been added to the injury report after injuring himself last weekend.

“We’re so banged up with Zach Hansen going down; he’s been so great for us,” Pecknold said. “He’s a breakout machine, he really gets that puck out of the zone. We found a way to overcome a lot of losses this year, but with [Sorteberg] and Bauer out and now Zach, we just couldn’t find a way to do that tonight.”

It was a game that showed very little defensive intensity by Quinnipiac. No one was playing the body in the defensive zone, and Dartmouth took advantage by embarrassing Quinnipiac over the final 40 minutes.

“They’re a young team with a ton of freshmen, and they played hungry,” Pecknold said. “They wanted the game tonight and we just showed up and put the skates on. We talk a lot about playing hungry, and ‘how bad do you want it?’. The team that wanted the game tonight won the game, and they deserved to win.”

So now, Quinnipiac has to find a way to recuperate from Friday’s contest and get ready for a hungry Harvard team. It’s a quick turnaround for the Bobcats after the embarrassment suffered at Thompson Arena.

“We’ll have to find a way [tomorrow night],” Pecknold said. “We have a good team, we’ll have a gut check and come out tomorrow and play well.”

NOTES: Dartmouth out-shot Quinnipiac 43-23 for the game, and 34-15 over the final two periods. … Quinnipiac was a perfect 2-2 on the power play. … The margin of defeat is the largest for Quinnipiac since the start of last season when they lost 6-1 against North Dakota to begin the season. … It is their largest conference defeat since a 6-0 thrashing against Cornell on Jan. 13, 2006 . … The loss is also Quinnipiac’s first loss to an ECAC Hockey team since November 30 when they fell to Union. They were 7-0-2 in league play during that span.

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