HAMDEN, Conn. — On Friday night the Quinnipiac Bobcats started off their 2011 playoffs with a bang as they defeated Brown 4-0 in the opening round of the ECAC playoffs. Quinnipiac’s Dan Clarke made 22 saves between the pipes for the shutout, while Brown’s Mike Clemente and Anthony Borelli combined for 23 saves.
Quinnipiac wasted no time jumping on the board first as Jeremy Langlois picked up the game winner just 15 seconds into the first period. Shortly after the opening faceoff, Langlois carried the puck through the neutral zone on the right wing with two Bobcats following and one Bruno defending. Russell Goodman was wide open on the right wing looking for the pass, but Langlois had a different idea as he rifled a wrist shot in the top left corner for the 1-0 lead.
“It gave us a little bit of confidence and all and all I thought we played well tonight,” said QU head coach Rand Pecknold. “Then, when we needed it I thought Clarkie was very efficient.”
“They played like a division one hockey team and we did not,” said Brown coach Brendan Whittet. “We had no desire, no heart, no pride and it was obvious from the drop of the puck.”
Quinnipiac extended their lead to two 13:56 into the first. In most cases the pipes are a goaltender’s best friend, for Clemente that wasn’t the case. After Ben Arnt’s shot from the point rang off the right post it deflected off of Clemente’s back and sat in the crease where junior Yuri Bouharevich tapped it home for his first career playoff goal.
The Bobcats took a three-goal lead 4:55 into the second period on a Zach Hansen blast from the point. After Scott Zurevinski’s shot was blocked in the slot, the rebound went to the near-side corner, where Goodman sent it the right point. Hansen took the feed and rocketed the slap shot through Clemente’s five hole.
Clarke kept his shutout going after robbing Chris Zaires on the doorstep. As Zaires entered the zone he had a clear path to the net. He deked through the slot and tried to send the puck low on the right side. Clarke stuck out his left leg and stopped the puck with his skate.
“I had the game against Union and after that I got some confidence,” said Clarke.
Following the save, Zaires was called for goalie interference and the Bobcats went on the power play. Kellen Jones broke in on the right wing and skated down low in front of Clemente. His initial shot was saved and picked up by Jones in the slot. Jones took the rebound on Clemente’s right, deked, dragged and ripped his wrister between the pipe and the Clemente’s blocker.
Following Jones’s goal, Brown pulled Clemente for Anthony Borelli. Borelli made 15 saves in his 34 minutes of shutout hockey.
“We’re not going to change our systems or who we are or our tactics. It is going to come down to who has more heart,” said Whittet.
The puck will drop at 7:00 for the second game at the TD Bank Sports Center.