By Jamie Palatini
After the final whistle blew in Quinnipiac’s men’s ice hockey game against Brown, the Bobcats showed more fire and energy than they did in 60 minutes of play.
Quinnipiac (15-14-3. 8-9-3 ECAC) followed up an embarrassing performance with an even more embarrassing display of sportsmanship, inciting a full out brawl after a 3-2 loss to the lowly Brown Bears (3-20-4, 3-14-3) at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.
The fracas fired up behind the Brown net, with David Marshall, Eric Lampe and Zach Hansen all involved for the Bobcats. It was unclear who started the fight, but all three received game misconducts and disqualifications which will force them to miss the Bobcats’ next game at Harvard.
Saturday’s lackluster performance came on the heels of one of Quinnipiac’s best games, a 3-3 tie against ECAC leader and crosstown rival Yale. But the Bobcats played with only a fraction of that intensity and energy against a Brown team in the basement of the ECAC and only two wins to its name all season.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Brown, but from our standpoint I’m really disappointed with how we played,” Pecknold said. “We’re battling for a home-ice playoff spot, and the guys just kind of showed up at the rink tonight.”
Tonight was Quinnipiac’s final home game, which was preceded by Senior Night festivities honoring seven players who were participating in their final game on home ice. Both of the Bobcats’ goals were scored by seniors, Marshall and Bryan Leitch, but Pecknold felt the negatives far outweighed the positives.
“I’m disappointed in my seniors, and I’m really disappointed in my captains,” Pecknold said. “We’re just not getting the leadership that we need.”
With 4:10 remaining in the first period, Brown took the lead. While on the power play, Jeremy Russell’s pass was deflected through the slot into the left faceoff circle. Senior goalie Bud Fisher slid across the crease to try and recover, but Matt Vokes got to the loose puck and lifted it over Fisher to give Brown the 1-0 lead.
Quinnipiac had two 5-on-3 advantages in the second period, and was able to score on the latter. Marshall skated into the slot of the Brown zone untouched, and fired a snap shot into the top right corner of the net past Brown goalie Michael Clemente. It was Marshall’s 18th goal of the season, and Quinnipiac had tied the game at one.
But with 2:16 to go in the second period, the Bears retook the lead. Freshman defenseman Michael Wolff’s soft wrist shot seemingly had eyes and fluttered past a screened Fisher to give Brown the 2-1 advantage.
Just over four minutes into the third period, Brown extended their lead. After Andrew Meyer failed to clear the puck, Jordan Pietrus picked up the loose puck and passed it to Sean McMonagle. Fisher caught a piece of Pietrus’ shot, but not enough of it as the puck trickled in behind him to spot Brown a two-goal lead.
“That’s the hockey game right there,” Pecknold said. “If you’re looking for the pivotal moment, it’s right there…two seniors with no urgency.”
Leitch scored with 35 seconds remaining to pull Quinnipiac within a goal, but the Bobcats were unable to score the equalizer.
The Bobcats currently sit in seventh place in the ECAC, and are now in danger of having to travel on the road for the first round of the playoffs. They’ll look to regroup on Friday when they travel to Cambridge, Mass., to play Harvard.
Click here to view the box score from this game.