HAMDEN, CT — The Quinnipiac University Bobcats (3-3-1, 1-1-1 ECAC) upset the Clarkson Golden Knights (6-3-0, 3-1-0 ECAC) 3-2 at the TD Banknorth Sports Center Friday night.
This was the first meeting between the two clubs since Clarkson defeated Quinnipiac in the ECAC Hockey championship game last year.
The Bobcats took a 3-2 lead when Bryan Leitch knocked home a loose puck off a shot by Ben Nelson. Jamie Bates sent a pass down to the bottom of the left circle and Nelson got a shot off. Clarkson’s David Leggio made the save, but the rebound trickled out and Leitch pounced on it, getting the game winner.
“We did a good job on the winning goal,” said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold. “We got pucks to the net and did everything to get the goal.”
Both teams came out of the locker room flying in the first period. Each team had numerous scoring opportunities, but it would be the Bobcats who scored first late in the stanza.
Bates scored his first of the season at 18:24 of the first when he grabbed a pass from Leitch in his glove, put it on the ground and blasted a shot past Leggio.
“It was phenomenal,” said Leitch. “He [Bates] caught it at his ear and put it down. I think Leggio wasn’t ready for the shot.
Quinnipiac almost extended the lead when defenseman Meyer joined the rush into the Knights’ end and got the puck on the backdoor, but Leggio slid over and made a pad save to deny the Bobcats.
“I thought for whatever reason that we didn’t have the legs tonight,” said Clarkson head coach George Roll. “Credit to them [Quinnipiac]. They were first on a lot of the pucks and won some battles. I thought the game was fairly even.”
Heading the second period, Clarkson controled the pace of place and outshot and outscored the Bobcats in the period.
“I thought we struggled at times tonight and our energy level wasn’t where it could be,” said Pecknold.
Clarkson tied the score on a Chris D’Alvise tap-in goal. Shea Guthrie shot from the right circle, and Quinnipiac’s Peter Vetri was unable to control the rebound, and D’Alvise would pushed the puck into the net.
Mike Atkinson received a penalty at the conclusion of the second period, putting Clarkson on the power play to start the third period, but it was negated midway when Steve Zalewski was called for holding the stick.
Phil Paquet left the ice at 15:39 of the third period, putting Clarkson down to five defensemen and he did not return to the game. He skated off under his own power, not putting weight on one of his legs. Paquet was out earlier in the year with a knee injury.
The Bobcats scored just two minutes later on a wraparound goal by Jean-Marc Beaudoin. Brandon Wong sent a pass behind the net to Beaudoin, who came out from behind the net and walked in front of the net and snapped a shot past Leggio for the 2-1 score.
Clarkson evened the score at two when David Cayer intercepted a failed clear and came into the slot. Cayer fired a shot through the five-hole for the tally.
The Bobcats take on St. Lawrence tomorrow at 7 p.m., while Clarkson heads to Princeton for a 4:30 p.m. tilt.