The common theme of both Harvard head coach Ted Donato and Quinnipiac assistant coach Bill Riga’s statements after Friday night’s contest between the ECAC Hockey rivals was emotion.
It was a fitting theme for the evening, as it was emotion that led to No. 4 Harvard defeating No. 15 Quinnipiac, 5-2, at Bright Landry Hockey Center in Boston.
With the game deadlocked at one after the first period, the Crimson received an opportunity in the form of a Connor Clifton interference penalty. Moments later, Tanner MacMaster was sent off for interference.
Nathan Krusko capitalized on the subsequent five-on-three opportunity, a goal that led to a review. Overshadowing the review, however, was a heated discussion between Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold and the officials. It escalated to the point where Pecknold was ejected from the game.
Riga refused to reveal during the postgame press conference what was said between Pecknold and the officials.
The ejection, and the accompanying minor penalty for abuse of officials, led to another five-on-three opportunity for the Crimson. Harvard’s Alexander Kerfoot scored on it, and moments later Krusko scored on the residual power play to give Harvard the 4-1 lead, which was enough to give the Crimson the win.
“We have an excellent power play,” Donato said. “I think [associate head coach] Paul Pearl does an amazing job with our power play. I think we have two units; I think there’s a lot of competition in a good way, within those two groups, one group scores the other group goes out, real hungry to execute well. I think we did a good job finishing our chances.”
The troublesome sequence of events in the second period for the Bobcats negated a strong first period. Donato noted that, while Harvard outshot Quinnipiac in the first, he believed that Quinnipiac got more “grade-A” chances during the period.
Yet the penalties, most notably the one assessed to Pecknold, ultimately put the Bobcats in a precarious position.
“We gotta realize that we lost a lot of firepower from last year’s team,” Riga said. “We don’t score four, five, six goals a game every night anymore, so we need to figure out, if we’re going to win games, we need to play well defensively, give ourselves chances to win games 3-2, 3-1. We did not do that tonight because of the penalties.”
The win was Harvard’s first against Quinnipiac since March 20, 2015, when the Crimson defeated the Bobcats in the ECAC Hockey Tournament semifinal, en route to Harvard’s 2015 Whitelaw Cup victory.
Dartmouth 5, Princeton 0
A goal and assist by Corey Kalk powered the Big Green over Princeton in Hanover, N.H. Princeton starting goalie Colton Phinney was pulled after the halfway point of the game. Devin Buffalo recorded the shutout for Dartmouth.
No. 16 St. Lawrence 3, Canisius 3
Sixty-five minutes weren’t enough to decide the non-conference contest between St. Lawrence and Canisius at the HarborCenter in Buffalo, N.Y. Carson Gicewicz had two goals for the Saints.