Sunday, March 11, 2018

Quinnipiac season ends with 2-0 loss to Cornell

Quinnipiac at Cornell, ECAC QF Game 2 (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

For the first time in the Division I history of the Quinnipiac Bobcats a season will end under .500. The 2017-2018 season came to a conclusion on Saturday night with 2-0 loss to the ECAC top seed and #2 ranked Cornell Big Red in Game Two of the best-of-three ECAC Quarterfinal series before a raucous crowd at Lynah Rink in Ithaca, NY. Quinnipiac finished the season 16-18-4 to finish with its first losing season since the 1995-1996 season when they finished 11-12-4 in the second season of the Rand Pecknold era when the program was still in Division II. “It’s disappointing, said Rand Pecknold. It’s been 22 years since we’ve had a losing season. It’s a pretty good streak that came to an end.”

A night after getting their doors blown off in a 9-1 rout, Quinnipiac was much more competitive in this game and showed a lot more fight than they did in Game One but fell short of forcing a decisive Game Three on Sunday. Keith Petruzzelli (13 saves) once again started for Quinnipiac. Sophomore goaltender Andrew Shortridge was sidelined due to an injury which forced him to miss the last two series against Yale and Cornell.

Quinnipiac had 60 shot attempts in the game but what has been the story of this season they really struggled to find the back of the net. Cornell had 23 shot blocks which thwarted a lot of Quinnipiac chances. The Bobcats in the first period really tightened up on defense and out shot the Big Red 8-1 which was a big contrast from the night before when they were thoroughly dominated throughout the majority of the first period.

Just 2:01 into the second period Alex Rauter's (11th goal) hard work effort gave the Big Red the lead which they would relinquish. He took a rebound in the offensive fired a shot which was blocked and he took the loose puck and put the puck past a sliding Petruzzelli. In the third, Cornell's Anthony Angello got a five minute major and a game misconduct for a hit from behind on Scott Davidson. The Bobcats had a golden chance with a wide open net but the puck hit iron.

Quinnipiac at Cornell, ECAC QF Game 2 (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

A turnover in the Quinnipiac defensive zone gave Cornell the insurance goal by Mitch Vanderlaan (7th goal) at the 8:46 mark of the third period. Quinnipiac had another late five minute major that they could not convert on after a Mitch Vanderlaan contact to the head penalty gave him a game misconduct as well. Matthew Galajda (22 saves) recorded his 9th shutout of the season as Cornell moves on to Lake Placid for the second consecutive season while Quinnipiac's streak of five consecutive ECAC championship weekend appearances comes to an end.

Seniors Kevin McKernan, Kevin Duane, Bo Pieper, Tanner MacMaster and Landon Smith (who was injured) helped lead the program to 94 wins and two trips to the NCAA tournament and a Frozen Four berth in their time in Hamden. Quinnipiac now has seven months to prepare for the next season as they try to get back to the NCAA tournament after now having missed it in consecutive seasons after a string of four straight appearances from 2013-2016.



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