February 27, 2010

Bobcats Knock Off No. 4 Yale Before Sellout Crowd

HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University men's ice hockey team upset nationally-ranked #5 Yale, 4-3, in its final regular-season game of the 2009-10 season before a sell-out crowd of 4,267 at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn. With the win, Quinnipiac clinches the 7th seed in the upcoming ECAC Hockey Tournament. The Bobcats are now set to host 10th seed Dartmouth on Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7 with the third game slated for Sunday, March 7, if necessary.

Quinnipiac closes the regular season at 17-15-2 overall including a 11-11-0 record in ECAC Hockey play. Yale is now 19-7-3 overall and 15-5-2 in ECAC Hockey play. They own a share of the ECAC Hockey Regular-Season Championship and will be the first seed, receiving a bye, in the ECAC Hockey Tournament.

Quinnipiac also remained undefeated at 13-0-1 when holding a lead after two periods. The Bobcats are undefeated in their last 48 games in that scenario, posting a 44-0-4 record since the 2006-07 season.

The win also ensures that the "Heroes Hat" remains at the TD Bank Sports Center. The "Heroes Hat" is played in remembrance of the victims of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and in memory of Joseph Mascali (FDNY/Staten Island 5), father of Quinnipiac alumni Chris and Jenn Mascali. The winner of the annual game between Quinnipiac and Yale at the TD Bank Sports Center wins the Hat for that year. Quinnipiac has never lost the Hat to Yale, posting a 3-0-1 record all-time at the TD Bank Sports Center.

"The 'Heroes Hat' is a big game for us," Head Coach Rand Pecknold said. "To my guys, this game against Yale is a big game. The 'Heroes Hat' is something that is important to the Quinnipiac hockey community and I'm happy to have it stay in Hamden."

Yale senior Denny Kearney scored the first goal of the game, staking Yale to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. Broc Little set up the play, dropping a pass to Kearney in the slot. Quinnipiac's Zach Hansen (White Bear Lake, Minn.) tied the game with less than a minute to play in the period.

Hansen's second goal of the year came on assists from senior stand-outs Brandon Wong (Victoria, B.C.) and Jean-Marc Beaudoin (St. Paul, Alb.). A shorthanded goal, the junior defenseman scored after an interference call on Quinnipiac. The trio heard their numbers called several times over the course of the evening as Hansen was credited with an assist in addition to the goal, while Wong had three assists. Beaudoin scored twice for the second night in a row, while also picking up one assist.

Kearney netted his second goal of the game just 1:29 into the second period, with assists going to Jimmy Martin and Mark Arcobello. Kearney's second goal of the night gave Yale their second and final lead of the night. The Bobcats rattled off three unanswered goals, two coming in the last 12 minutes of the second period.

Greg Holt (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) added to his career-high goal total with his ninth marker of the season. Hansen quarterbacked the play, carrying the puck into the Yale zone before sending it across ice to Wong. Wong handed the puck off to Holt who attacked the net. Holt faked a shot, from the right side of the goal, skated behind it and beat Bulldogs' goalie Nick Maricic on a wrap-around to tie the game.

It was all Beaudoin down the stretch as the senior captain scored twice to give Quinnipiac a 4-2 lead with 13 minutes to play in the game. Beaudoin's first goal of the game, came with just under seven minutes to play in the second period. Beaudoin's goal gave Quinnipiac a lead, with assists going to Lampe and Loren Barron (Glendora, Calif.). Barron had three assists in Friday night's win against Brown. The senior captain then scored Quinnipiac's lone power-play goal of the evening seven minutes into the third period to give Quinnipiac a two-goal lead.

Yale's Brendan Mason pulled the Bulldogs to within a goal with his ninth of the season. He was set up on the play by Tom Dignard and Jeff Anderson. Anderson fed Dignard who dropped a pass off to Mason on the goalline. Mason, also behind the goalline, sniped a shot over the shoulder of Quinnipiac's Dan Clarke (Belleville, Ont.). Clarke finished with 35 saves in the game.

The Bobcats return to action on Friday, March 5 when they host 10th-seeded Dartmouth for the first game of the ECAC Hockey Championship First Round at 7 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn. The second game is set for Saturday, March 6 at 7 p.m, with the third game, if necessary, to be played on Sunday, March 7, also at 7 p.m.