Sunday, February 25, 2018

Quinnipiac falls in regular season finale 4-2 to Clarkson

Quinnipiac at Clarkson (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

The Quinnipiac Bobcats concluded the regular season falling on the road 4-2 to the #10 Clarkson Golden Knights on Saturday night. For the first time in the Division I history of the Quinnipiac hockey program they will finish a regular season below the .500 mark. Coming into the night the Bobcats needed to win to wrap up home ice. Coupled with their loss to Clarkson all three teams that Quinnipiac was jockeying for position won knocking Quinnipiac down to the 9th seed and a trip the Ingalls next week to face Yale. This is the first time since the 2005-2006 in Quinnipiac's inaugural ECAC season that they have not hosted a playoff series.

Quinnipiac got off to a good start when Tanner MacMaster fed Kevin Duane on the doorstep for goal. The lead was short lived as Kelly Summers found a rebound in front and banged it past Andrew Shortridge (21 saves and an assist). Coming into the game the key was the minimize the production of the Clarkson sophomore like of Rempal, Brosseau and Sturm and tonight that was clearly not the case.

With Brosseau and Sturm assisting on the first goal, that trio would go on to score the next three Clarkson goals and combine for 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists) on the night. Just 27 seconds into the second period Sheldon Rempal sent a pass from the half wall to Nico Sturm who ripped a wrist shot high past Shortridge. Ten minutes later Clarkson got away with what looked to be an offside by Devin Brosseau who has crossed into the offensive clearly before the puck got in. Just seconds after that Rempal fed Brosseau who made a move around Karlis Cukste and back handed it past Shortridge. The play was reviewed but the goal was upheld. You be the judge here. 

Quinnipiac at Clarkson (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

Quinnipaic got within a goal with under three minutes to play in the second on the power play when Chase Priskie absolutely tee'd off on a shot from the face-off circle for his team leading 7th power play goal and 9th overall. Odeen Tufto picked up an assist to record his 39th point of the season. Even with a few power play opportunities in the third period this was as close at the Bobcats came as Nico Sturm sealed Clarkson's 20th win of the season with the empty net goal.

It's now on to the ECAC playoffs where Quinnipiac will face Yale in a playoff series for the first time since 2014 when the Bobcats swept the Bulldogs in Hamden ending Yale's chance to defend its national championship. Quinnipiac is looking to keep winning to avoid their first losing season 1995-1996 when they went 11-12-4 at the Division II level.

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