HAMDEN, Conn. — Four third period goals helped the Clarkson Golden Knights to a 4-1 victory over the Quinnipiac Bobcats in the regular season finale for both teams Saturday night at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.
“I thought we played great tonight,” said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold. “I thought we out played Clarkson.”
Clarkson got on the board first on Shea Guthrie’s power play goal. On a failed clear attempt by the Bobcats, Tyrell Mason picked off the puck, passed to Guthrie, where he would toe drag the puck around a diving Quinnipiac defender. The scrum would screen Fisher and Guthrie would put the puck in for the 1-0 lead 3:42 into the third period.
Five minutes later, Clarkson (21-8-5, 13-5-4 ECACHL), again on the power play, extended the lead to 2-0. Shawn Weller found the puck on the tape of his stick from a pass by Nick Dodge and banged home the game winner.
“I thought we played great tonight,” said senior assistant captain Michael Bordieri. “Coach Pecknold was happy with our effort.”
Early in the first Clarkson had a quality scoring chance when a Clarkson defender sent a shot at the net from the point that deflected off of the crossbar and right post. The Clarkson bench reacted as if the puck went in the net, but the referee motioned no goal.
Quinnipiac’s (16-13-5, 10-8-4 ECACHL) best chance in the second period came on a breakaway chance that was broken up by David Leggio when he came out of the net to play the puck in between the circles. Reid Cashman was the only man in the zone and deflected the attempted clear. Brandon Wong picked up the puck, but missed the net as Leggio sprawled to protect the net.
“Leggio was fantastic tonight,” said Pecknold. “He had a great game.”
With 4:09 remaining, the Bobcats pulled Fisher in favor of the attacker, while on the power play to go two men up. Quinnipiac would call on a timeout on the next stoppage of game action to set up a face off play.
The Bobcats off the face off would get the puck back to Cashman, who would cycle over to Nelson. He would find Wong in the slot and would wrist the puck past Leggio’s blocker side.
Clarkson would add two empty net goals to seal the victory for the Golden Knights, by Clitsome and David Cayer.
The Bobcats would finish zero for 11 on the power play in the game, but had 24 shots on those 11 man up opportunities.
“I’m happy with the squad. I thought we dominated them, but the puck didn’t go in the net,” said Pecknold.
Quinnipiac finishes as the number five seed and will host Union College in the first round of the ECACHL playoffs next weekend at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.
“We need to make sure we respect Union. We beat them three times last year, but they are capable of beating anyone,” said Pecknold.
Clarkson finishes as the number two seed and will have a bye next weekend.