The Quinnipiac Bobcats took a deciding 6-3 victory against the Colgate Raiders to further increase their lead atop the ECAC.
Special teams was the deciding factor in the game, as the Quinnipiac’s fourth-ranked power play in the nation got to work. The Bobcats (21-1-6, 12-0-4 ECAC) went five-for-three on the man advantage while holding the Raiders (8-19-2, 4-11-2 ECAC) scoreless on five power-play opportunities.
“The difference tonight was special teams, and we put ourselves in that position,” Colgate coach Don Vaughan said. “We took too many penalties against a good, skilled team and that was the difference tonight.”
For Vaughan, the score line was much more lopsided than the overall effort he saw from his team.
“I thought we competed really hard tonight, even in the third. I know we gave up a couple of goals in the third period, but I really liked our battle. We had some good chances. It certainly wasn’t a 6-3 game in my mind. I was pleased with our overall effort.”
Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold agreed that the game felt much more like the tie game through the first two periods.
“It was close and we were hanging on for dear life; I thought Colgate was really good tonight,” Pecknold said. “I thought we did a good job of finishing them off in the third. That’s what you’re supposed to do at home, and we took advantage of them.”
The teams were tied twice in the game. Sam Anas opened the scoring with five minutes left in the first period on a power play which held until Ken Citron scored three minutes into the second.
Quinnipiac defenseman Connor Clifton, pinching in to stand at the top of Charlie Finn’s crease, knocked in the goal to give the Bobcats the lead again. Two minutes later, Tim Harrison knocked in a power-play goal for the Raiders to tie it once again.
The Bobcats then pulled away to score three straight, starting with freshman Luke Shiplo, who played in his first weekend since Nov. 21 against St. Lawrence.
“You gotta take your opportunities when you get them,” Shiplo said. “It was a good game and I had a good bounce tonight, got a goal. They’re supportive.”
Sam Anas’ two goals on the night extended his 11-game point scoring streak and six-game goal scoring streak, maintaining his spot as the ECAC leader in those categories.
“I just came right out of the box. McKernan had his head up, and I just took the pass,” Anas said. “Finn showed poke check pretty early, so I slid it on the ice and it went in.”
Finn stood to face 42 shots from the Bobcats in a season where more pucks to face has proved troublesome. His record when facing 30 or more shots now drops to 3-8-1 this season.
Even with the tilted score, Vaughan sees Darcy Murphy’s goal with 2:18 left to play in the game and indication of the character of his team.
“This team does not quit; our record is not what we want it to be or expected it to be, but the team has never quit,” Vaughan said. “We’ve been in almost every game we’ve played this year, and I’m just proud of the way they continued to battle.”
For the Bobcats, coming away the victors before two road weekends in the ECAC is momentum they’re excited to capture.
“We’ve been tying a lot of games lately, and most of the times we’ve been coming back, but last night Cornell scored late, so it was nice to have a lead in the third here, and able to expand it,” Anas said.