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Two Jean-Marc Beaudoin goals helped give the Quinnipiac Bobcats a 4-3 victory over the No. 4 Yale Bulldogs Saturday night in the final ECAC Hockey regular season gave for both teams.
Having been coined “The Whitney War,” it was everything player and spectator could ask for. Hitting, scoring, defense, and goaltending all played a factor in the contest between the two schools, separated by just miles.
“We’re happy to get a win over a top five team in the country,” said Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold. “The guys played hard tonight and we were resilient. I don’t know if it was our best game, but we found a way to win.”
The Bulldogs controlled play early on in the contest, as the Bobcats took four interference penalties and Yale outshot Quinnipiac by a 14-6 margin, but Quinnipiac controlled momentum heading into the first intermission.
Yale (19-7-3, 15-5-2 ECAC Hockey) jumped out to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period when Denny Kearney poked home a shot between the legs of Bobcats’ goalie Dan Clarke. Broc Little carried the puck behind the goal line and fired a pass to the front of the net, where Kearney stood and put the puck in.
The Bobcats scored with just under one minute remaining on a penalty kill. Beaudoin and Brandon Wong crossed into the Bulldogs’ zone. Beaudoin dumped the puck into the corner, where Wong picked it up and fired a pass into the slot, where Zach Hansen blasted a shot on the open net side.
“Our guys played great on the weekend; Beaudoin had six points, Lampe had four, Wong was great both nights making plays,” said Pecknold. “The pivotal play was the short-handed goal. That was a huge goal and was the biggest turning point.”
It appeared as if Quinnipiac (17-15-2, 11-11-0 ECAC Hockey) scored again, just 25 seconds later, but the Bobcats were called for goaltender interference as the puck crossed the net, negating the goal.
Kearney added his second goal of the game, this time on the power play at 1:29 of the second. Marc Arcobello sent a feed to Kearney at the right circle. He corralled the puck and made a move to free himself of the defender and popped the puck over the shoulder of Clarke to regain the lead.
Quinnipiac evened the score when Greg Holt scored a wraparound goal on Yale’s Nick Maricic. Wong created a turnover in the defensive zone and sprung Holt into the offensive zone. Holt crossed the line and kept the puck on his forehand and went behind the net. Maricic stayed on the near post and didn’t recover in time to get to the back post as Holt slipped the puck around the post and in at 8:12.
“We certainly didn’t have that energy that we usually have,” said Yale coach Keith Allain. “I don’t know if it was emotional or physical or a combination of the two.”
Beaudoin gave the Bobcats their first lead of the evening when Eric Lampe carried the puck in on a two-on-one and sent a pass on the tape to Beaudoin, where he touched the puck and directed it through the five-hole at 13:45.
Quinnipiac took a two-goal lead advantage when Beaudoin added his second of the game, this time on a power play. On the odd man rush, Lampe again hooked up with Beaudoin. Lampe took the puck hard to the net for the shot and Beaudoin followed the play and poked home the rebound at 7:03 of the third.
Brendan Mason cut the deficit to one when he ripped a one-timer shot from the right circle past Clarke. Tom Dignard sent a pass across the circles to Mason for the goal with under five minutes to play.
Quinnipiac is now 6-3-1 all-time against Yale, with a 3-0-1 record at the TD Bank Sports Center. The game was also the annual “Heroes Hat” award matchup between the two schools. The award honors those who lost or risked their lives during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
Olympic Gold Medalist Hannah Kearney was in attendance for the contest, as her brother plays for Yale. Kearney won the first gold medal for the United States in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, winning the women’s moguls competition.
Quinnipiac claimed the seven seed for the ECAC playoffs and will host the 10 seed Dartmouth Big Green in the opening round best-of-three series next weekend.