HAMDEN, CT — David Marshall’s overtime goal at the 8:02 mark of the first overtime proved to be the difference in a 7-6 win for the sixth seeded Quinnipiac University Bobcats over the No. 11 seed Brown Bears in game 1 of the ECAC Hockey playoffs at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.
“I know Eric [Lampe] won a big battle in the corner and got alone in the slot and threw it on net,” said Marshall. “I was lucky enough to get one by.”
Lampe came out of the corner and fired a shot on relief goaltender Mark Sibbald and Marshall picked up the rebound and back handed it off the inside of the post and in to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead in the series.
“I thought we did a good job of reloading in the fifteen minute resurfacing session before the overtime and came out and dominated in overtime,” said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold. “I give my guys credit for that.”
The Bobcats were coming off closing the 2007-2008 campaign with six straight loses while Brown are winners of three of their last five to close out the season.
The Bobcats last win came Feb. 10 against Brown.
Brown got on the board first when Sean Muncy tipped a loose puck out of the air, through loose traffic and into the back of the net with 1:57 remaining in the first period. Quinnipiac’s Bud Fisher was unable to control the initial shot and it popped into the air, where Muncy tipped it in to end the first period.
Quinnipiac woke up after the first intermission and scored five goals in the opening 4:53 and six overall in the second period. The two teams combined for eight goals in the stanza.
The Bobcats evened up the score at one a piece, 41 seconds into the second period with Brandon Wong’s goal. At the blue line, Dan Henningson fired a shot at the net and Wong tipped it off the shaft of his stick and under the cross bar.
The line of Ben Nelson, Jamie Bates, and Bryan Leitch, all 100 point scorers for Quinnipiac, accounted for the next five goals chasing Brown’s Dan Rosen from the net.
Seventeen seconds after Wong’s goal, Ben Nelson scored his first of the game when he fired a puck home from the slot, with Bates and Leitch assisting.
At the two minute mark, Nelson scored his second on a nifty behind the back, back hand shot. Nelson received a pass from Leitch in the slot and threw the puck on net and in. David Marshall also assisted on the goal.
Leitch got in the action with two goals of his own. Leitch’s first goal came when he fired a shot from the bottom of the left circle. Mark Nelson wrapped the puck behind the net to Bates and he fed Leitch for the one-timer shot that beat Rosen over the shoulder and under the crossbar.
After the fifth goal, Rosen was pulled in favor of Mark Sibbald. Rosen finished with 18 saves.
After the goaltender change, the Bears then answered back with two power play goals of their own.
“We’ve got issues with our defensive play and a commitment to winning right now,” said Pecknold. “We need to straighten those out.”
Brown cut the deficit to three goals when Ryan Garbutt scored a power play goal at 10:34 of the second. Garbutt drove hard to the net and poked home a loose puck in the crease which appeared to be covered by Fisher.
With 2:11 remaining in the period, Chris Poli rifled a one-time shot through traffic for his sixth goal of the season.
Bates finished off the scoring when Brett Dickinson fed him the puck and Bates flicked the puck up and over the glove side of Sibbald with just over a minute remaining.
As a Bobcat penalty was expiring, Brown cut the deficit to two goals when Sean McMonagle put home his own blocked shot at 12:59 of the third.
Brown scored their third power-play goal with 4:46 remaining in the third period when Garbutt pounced on a loose puck outside of the crease to make it a one goal deficit. Fisher made three saves, but the defense was unable to clear the puck from the zone.
With 5.4 seconds remaining in the third period the Brown Bears’ Prough tied the score at six a piece when he poked a puck home through the crease from a pass from Matt Vokes.
“We got up 5-1 and we just shut it down,” said Pecknold. “We’ve done that a lot this year. We got leads and we don’t have that killer instinct.
The two teams square off again tomorrow night at 7 p.m. in game 2 of the playoff series, with the Bobcats looking to advance to the next round.