Quinnipiac forced to regroup after ‘worst game of the year’

The phrase, “Quinnipiac will live for another day” didn’t mean the same Friday as it did last Saturday in Hamden, Conn.

Quinnipiac will play Saturday, but it won’t be in the championship game after Brown handed the Bobcats a 4-0 loss in the semifinals to force QU into the consolation game.

2013 ECAC Hockey Championship

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After dominating ECAC Hockey during the regular season, the Bobcats still don’t have an answer for Brown. The Bears were the only ECAC team not to lose to Quinnipiac this season. Brown scored two late goals in the closing minutes of the third period to tie the Bobcats 3-3 to spoil QU’s senior day last month. Friday, they ended the Bobcats’ chance for a Whitelaw Cup.

Following the loss, Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold was not afraid to be blunt about the Bobcats’ performance.

“We stunk in every facet of the game and it was our worst game of the year,” Pecknold said. “Obviously, we can’t have that at a time like this. I can’t explain it; I can only accept the blame for it. It’s almost inexplicable how bad we played today. Ultimately, it is my responsibility to get these guys ready, so I’ll take full responsibility.”

Despite being among the top-ranked teams for most of the season, the Bobcats are still new to just about every piece of the postseason. None of the players on the Bobcats roster have made it past the second round of the ECAC tournament and no one has played in the NCAA tournament.

“It’s a great group of guys and an awesome locker room with awesome character and they feel as bad as I do,” Pecknold said.

The loss could be damage the Bobcats’ fight for national respect, even after silencing some doubters by responding to a Game 1 loss to Cornell last week with a 10-0 drubbing of the Big Red the night after.

“Right now, this is a teachable moment,” Pecknold said. “We are going to be in the NCAA tournament and I don’t know who we are going to play or where we are going to play. We need to learn from today and play with some emotion and passion. There’s a lot of pride in that locker room.”

The Bobcats have one last chance to prepare for the NCAA tournament when they take the ice Saturday afternoon. In many cases the consolation game is merely an opportunity for a team to fight for the third-place title, but for Quinnipiac it seems more of an opportunity to prove that the team the league saw Friday is not the one that will be a No. 1 seed next week.

“We are going to compete and play hard tomorrow,” Pecknold said confidently. “These guys are not going to roll over. We’ll be good tomorrow. We’ll play hard tomorrow.”