Friday, March 17, 2017

Quinnipiac season concludes with 4-1 loss to Harvard

Quinnipiac vs. Harvard (photo by BobcatsHockeyBlog.com)
In the home of the most famous upset in sports history, the Quinnipiac Bobcats fell behind in the third period 3-1 with 16 minutes left to play seeking some of the 1980 US Men's Olympic Hockey Team magic. There would be no magic tonight in the house of the "Miracle on Ice" as the Bobcats ECAC Tournament run to Lake Placid and its 2016-2017 season has come to a conclusion. Needing to win out this weekend to reach its fifth consecutive NCAA tournament, Quinnipiac couldn't keep Harvard's top ranked offense at bay.

The two teams came out skating well and feeling it each out for the better part of the first period. Andrew Shortridge made two big saves early, but gave up big rebounds on both that the Bobcats were able to clear. Midway through the period, Harvard had a flurry of chances and spent a good minute to a minute and half in the Bobcat zone peppering multiple shots on Shortridge before Quinnipiac was able to clear the zone. Quinnipiac finished the period strong putting a few real good chances on Merrick Madsen who stood tall. Harvard out shot Quinnipiac 13-6 in the opening frame with Andrew Shortridge playing a key role in why the game remained scoreless.

Harvard continued to pepper Shortridge in goal in the second period but it wasn't until Michael Floodstrand stole the puck in a battle against Bo Pieper on the board after which he brought down into the zone where he fed Sean Malone in the low slot who buried a wrist shot past Shortridge. Quinnipiac answered a little more than five minutes later after Harvard's Jake Horton took a hooking call giving Quinnipiac its second power play of the game. Thomas Aldworth took a pass down low from Derek Smith where he snuck one past Madsen for the goal. Luke Shiplo also picked up an assist on the goal. Harvard would respond two minutes later when Sean Malone put home a rebound off of Nathan Krusko's shot. It was the third game in the last four where the Bobcats gave up a goal in the final minutes of a period.
Quinnipiac vs. Harvard (photo by BobcatsHockeyBlog.com)
In the third period it was the hottest player in the ECAC tournament finding the back of the net again as Sean Malone made a nifty back hand shot past Shortridge for the hat trick to extend the Harvard lead to 3-1. It was the 4th goal of the tournament for Malone and 9th point in total in the last three tournament games. Quinnipiac had a few power play chances in the middle of the period but couldn't muster a goal past Madsen. Luke Esposito put the game on ice with an empty net goal to end the season earlier than Bobcat fans have been accustomed to seeing. Andrew Shortridge made 32 saves in the loss and kept Quinnipiac in the game closer than it could have been with some strong saves at key times. Quinnipiac just couldn't get the breaks it needed or cook up enough offense against a Harvard team that might be the school's best since the 1989 national championship team.

While Quinnipiac's season is over, Harvard will head to ECAC championship where they will face rival Cornell for the Whitelaw Cup. The Quinnipiac 2017 senior class of Connor and Tim Clifton, Derek Smith, K.J. Tiefenwerth, Tommy Schutt and Joe Fiala completed their careers with 102 wins, 2 Cleary Cup Championships, a Whitelaw Cup Championship, 3 NCAA tournament berths and was the 2016 National Runner-up. These six players will be missed and we thank them for their contributions to the Quinnipiac hockey program and to the university community as well.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

3 comments:

  1. Out of all the sports, I have zero interest in hockey. I have no idea about the rules of this game and how is it played. But this is some really good stuff for my hockey fan friends!

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  2. This is a good review of the match. You have summed up the whole match in just few lines that's so intelligent of you.

    ReplyDelete