HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac men's ice hockey team clinched home-ice advantage in the upcoming ECAC Hockey Tournament with a 4-1 win against Brown at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center. With the win, and a Clarkson loss combined with a Harvard win, Quinnipiac now sits in tie for fifth place with Clarkson in the league standings at 9-8-4 (22 pts.) in ECAC Hockey play and 17-11-5 overall. Brown drops to 5-13-4 in league play and 8-16-4 overall.
Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) and Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) factored into all four Quinnipiac goals on the night, as Jones had two goals and two assists while Peca had four assists in the win. Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) and Zach Tolkinen (Lino Lakes, Minn.) had a goal and an assist each. Dan Clarke (Belleville, Ontario) picked up the win in goal after stopping 20-of-21 shots on goal by the Bears.
Quinnipiac fell behind early when Garnet Hathaway scored on the power play at the 11:59 mark of the second period on an unconventional play. Richie Crowley sent the puck to Massimo Lamacchia who put a shot on goal. The puck was blocked in front of the crease, sending it off the glass behind Clarke in the Bobcats' goal. The speed of the shot and the angle of the glass sent the puck straight back towards center ice where it came to rest on Hathaway's stick just above the crease. Hathaway one-timed the puck between Clarke's pads to give Brown a 1-0 lead.
From there, it was all Quinnipiac. The Bobcats outshot Brown, 31-11, over the final two periods while also scoring three power-play goals. Tolkinen's fourth goal of the season came when Peca left the puck behind the net for Kellen who spun away from the goal toward the corner before sending a back-hand pass to Tolkinen at the point. The sophomore defensemen's shot through traffic found the back of the net to tie the game and send both teams into the second intermission with the score even at 1-1.
Halfway through the final period, Brown was called for interference at the 10:31 mark and a slashing penalty at the 11:18 mark, putting Quinnipiac at a 5-on-3 advantage. Brown was then called for a bench minor and a 10-minute game misconduct that resulted in head coach Brendan Whittet being ejected from the game. Quinnipiac scored twice on the power play, with the Jones brothers each registering a tally, as Peca assisted on both goals. After Brown was whistled for a second game misconduct at the 16:13 mark, Kellen scored his 12th goal of the season to give Quinnipiac a three-goal lead in the closing minutes of the game.
Quinnipiac concludes its regular season on Saturday, Feb. 25 when it hosts Elm City rival, Yale, for the 10th Annual Heroes Hat at 7 p.m. in an ECAC Hockey match-up that can be seen live on SportsNet New York (SNY).
Quinnipiac can still gain a bye in the first round of the ECAC Hockey Tournament with a win, and some help in the standings from the league's other members. According to collegehockeystats.net:
Two byes have been clinched - Colgate and Harvard control their own destinies for the final two byes. Final home ice spot will be determined by Dartmouth-St. Lawrence game. Winner gets it, or Dartmouth gets it with a tie.
|Cornell||1-2 (clinched bye, needs 2 pts to clinch #1 seed)|
|Union||1-2 (clinched bye)|
|Colgate||3-6 (clinched home ice, needs 1 pt to clinch bye)|
|Harvard||3-6 (clinched home ice, needs 1 pt to clinch bye)|
|Clarkson||3-7 (clinched home ice)|
|Quinnipiac||3-7 (clinched home ice)|
|Yale||5-8 (clinched home ice)|
|Dartmouth||8-9 (needs 1 pt to clinch home ice)|
|St. Lawrence||7-9 (needs 2 pts to clinch home ice)|
|Rensselaer||10-11 (will travel first round|
|Princeton||11-12 (will travel first round)|
|Brown||11-12 (will travel first round)|
Seeding Scenarios for Quinnipiac (22 pts, vs Yale ) -
Seeded 3rd with a win, a Harvard loss, and a Colgate loss or tie.
Seeded 4th with a win, a Harvard loss, and a Colgate win.
Seeded 4th with a win, a Harvard win or tie, and a Colgate loss.
Seeded 4th with a tie, a Harvard tie, and a Colgate loss.
Seeded 5th with a win, a Harvard win or tie, and a Colgate win or tie.
Seeded 5th with a tie, a Harvard tie, and a Colgate win or tie.
Seeded 5th with a tie and a Harvard win.
Seeded 6th with a tie and a Harvard loss.
Seeded 6th with a loss and a Harvard win.
Seeded 7th with a loss and a Harvard loss or tie.