HAMDEN, CT — The Quinnipiac Bobcats and Harvard Crimson battled to a 3-3 tie at the TD BankNorth Sports Center Friday evening.
After taking the Catamount Cup last weekend and winners of five straight, the Bobcats looked to make a move up the ECAC Hockey standings with a win over Harvard, but both teams came away with just one point.
“I think all 60 minutes we were sluggish from a defensive standpoint,” said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold. “Our forwards and our d-core struggled a little bit.”
Bryan Leitch opened up the scoring for the Bobcats when he banged home a loose puck in the crease. Dan Travis sent a pass from the bottom of the right circle over to Brandon Wong. Wong tipped the shot saved by Harvard’s Kyle Richter, but was jarred loose when Wong fell over Richter. Leitch followed the play and made it 1-0 Bobcats at 11:34.
Just under a minute later Ben Nelson gave Quinnipiac a two goal lead. Jamie Bates fed Nelson from behind the net. Nelson deked around a defenseman and backhanded the puck under the cross bar.
Harvard cut the deficit in half with just under four minutes to play. Michael Biega received a 2-on-1 pass from Paul Dufault and banked it off the post and in for the tally marker past Bobcats’ Bud Fisher.
With just 16 seconds remaining the Bobcats would again go back up by two. On the breakout from behind the net Jean-Marc Beaudoin sent a pass up to Wong. On another odd man rush, Wong took the initial shot and Travis followed the play and banged home the rebound left by Richter.
The Bobcats were up 3-1 after the first period, Pecknold did not approve of his teams play.
“I wasn’t really happy how we played in the first,” said Pecknold. “I know we were up 3-1. We were sloppy defensively and didn’t take care of our D-zone very well.”
He did touch upon the positives.
“What we did do well was when we had chances we finished them,” said Pecknold. “We have a lot of dynamic kids who can make plays when they get a chance.”
Both teams started the period 4-on-4 due to a protocol violation, and Harvard took advantage with Mike Taylor’s goal. Off the face off won by Alex Meintel, Brian McCafferty corralled the puck and fed Taylor for the goal.
Chad Morin scored the second goal of the period for the Crimson, this time on the power play. Jimmy Fraser cycled the puck to the point where Morin rifled the puck past a screen in front of Fisher for the goal.
The Bobcats are unbeaten in their last six games, while Harvard is winless in their last seven contests.
Harvard (6-6-3 overall, 5-3-2 in the ECAC) travels to Princeton tomorrow night, while Quinnipiac (10-5-3, 3-3-3) hosts Dartmouth in a Sunday afternoon matinee.