March 3, 2012

Special Teams the Difference as Quinnipiac Evens First Round Series with 3-0 Win in Game 2

HAMDEN, CT  – Facing elimination following Brown's 4-1 win on Friday night, Quinnipiac (18-12-6, 9-8-5) scored just 2:11 into the game and never looked back, en route to a 3-0 victory over the Brown men's hockey team (9-17-5, 5-13-4) on Saturday evening in game two of the best-of-three first round series at the TD Bank Sports Center. The Bobcats converted two of four power play chances and killed all three Brown power play opportunities to earn the victory and force game three.

The Bobcats came out flying, nearly taking a 1-0 lead just 15 seconds into the game when Reese Rolheiser shot just wide from the left side of the crease. However, Quinnipiac was able to draw a penalty just 1:10 after the opening faceoff and Connor Jones converted the man-advantage 61 seconds later to give the hosts a 1-0 lead at 2:11. After taking a pass from Matt Peca, Jones skated across the crease from left-to-right and back-handed his shot past senior Mike Clemente (Great Falls, VA), beating him five-hole.

Quinnipiac continued to outskate Brown and extended its lead to 2-0 just past the midway point of the period when Loren Barron's wrist shot from the left side deflected off the skate of a Brown defenseman and past Clemente at 10:05. Barron's shot was headed well wide of the net to the far side, but the puck took a lucky bounce for the Bobcats, as Brown trailed, 2-0.

Brown opened the second period with 55 seconds left on its second power play of the game and then went up on a five-on-three 22 seconds into the period. However, Quinnipiac was able to kill both the two-man-advantage and the remainder of the power play to maintain the 2-0 lead.

Following the Bears' power play chances early in the period, Brown was unable to generate much of anything offensively, getting outshot, 13-4, during the 20-minute frame. For his part, Clemente was outstanding at the other end, stopping everything he saw and making several spectacular saves to keep Brown within striking distance heading into the final period.

The Bears looked to get in the scoring column early in the third period, but Eric Hartzell stopped freshman Ryan Jacobson's (Greenwood Village, CO) attempt from the doorstep and then made another save on a shot by freshman Joey de Concilys (St. Catharine's, ONT) from high in the slot to keep Brown off the board.

Quinnipiac extended its lead to 3-0 with just three seconds left on its third power play of the game with 13:16 remaining. It was another unlucky bounce for the Bears, as Peca's shot from the bottom of the left faceoff circle bounced off the back of a Brown player and over Clemente's shoulder, before hitting the far post and trickling into the net.

With the Bears still trailing, 3-0, and just over eight minutes left to play, a five-minute major and game misconduct to Jacobson would put Brown on the kill for the next five minutes. The Bears were able to kill the penalty but were left with just three minutes to attempt a comeback.

Clemente finished with 39 saves, while Hartzell made 16 for Quinnipiac, as Brown was outshot, 42-16. The Bears and Bobcats face off again tomorrow evening in the third and deciding game of the series, set to begin at 7:00 p.m. The winner will advance to next weekend's ECAC semifinals. The Bears would face top-seeded Union with a win, while Quinnipiac would face fourth-seeded Colgate with a victory.   

BROWN                    0            0            0            x            -             0
QUINNIPIAC            2            0            1            x            -             3

First period – Q, C. Jones (Peca, K. Jones), PP, 2:11; Q, Barron (Peca, K. Jones), 10:05. Penalties – B, 2-4; Q, 2-4.

Second period – No Scoring. Penalties – B, 0-0; Q, 1-2.

Third Period – Q, Peca (K. Jones, C. Jones), PP, 6:44. Penalties – B, 3-17; Q, 0-0.

Saves
B, Mike Clemente (60:00), 17-13-9-x – 39; Q, Eric Hartzell (59:48), 7-4-5-x – 16.

Attendance: 2,092