ECAC roundup: Quinnipiac surrenders late goal in tie with Northeastern

March 18, 2016:  Quinnipiac Bobcats goalie Michael Garteig (34) celebrates goal with teammates after goal by Quinnipiac Bobcats defenseman Connor Clifton (4) during 2016 ECAC Tournament Semifinal game between Dartmouth University and Quinnipiac University at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, NY. (John Crouch/J. Alexander Imaging)

HAMDEN, Conn. — While on paper there was a stark difference between No. 2 Quinnipiac and No. 15 Northeastern, the reigning Hockey East and ECAC Champions squared off on Friday attempting to seize an out-of-conference victory. Neither got their way after 65 minutes, ending in a 2-2 tie.

The score was mirrored, and the play at times ran parallel for both teams as well. The difference makers, as the coaches decided, were panic on one side of the puck and poise on the other.

“It was an unusual game, there were some things for us to take out of it … obviously disappointing to not hold the lead there at the end but it’s the first game of the year,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “We gotta clean areas up, we panicked a little bit with the puck. Some of our better players panicked a little. We’ll clean it up, we’ll be better tomorrow night.”

Quinnipiac’s first goal from Andrew Taverner had a long review to check for goaltender interference. Northeastern would start the second on a power play and tie it up as time nearly expired on the infraction to tie it at one.

“I thought our team got better as the game went along,” Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan said. “From the first period where we’re outshot a little but we had opportunities, and then the second and third period we really liked our offensive zone play and the opportunities in and around the net. There weren’t many penalties, but it took us out of a rhythm when we did get some penalties.”

Of the 11 infractions on the night, the second period was broken up by five combined offenses. Northeastern was the only successful party on the man advantage as Quinnipiac went 0-for-4 on the night.

“I thought they were a little bit better. We had a couple bad shifts that generated a lot of their offense, there was two really bad shifts that started with us panicking for the puck, we didn’t make a good decision with the puck,” Pecknold said.

Madigan still admired some of the successes his team had in the transition game and the work that could be done when the Huskies had the puck.

“It’s a puck possession game down low and then you’re trying to get guys into the open ice,” Madigan said. “I thought we showed a lot of patience with the puck down along the wall in the offensive zone and made some plays. We had some real good looks.”

One Northeastern forward who thrived in transition was Adam Gaudette, who both pulled the puck out from along the goal line in the first period while having strong attempts of his own on the other side of the ice.

“I’m a two-way guy but that can obviously produce,” Gaudette said. “I model my game after Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron, those are kinda guys that I really focus on.”

The Bobcats believed the game was clinched with six-and-a-half minutes left to play in the game when Bo Pieper stuffed in a shot Huskies goaltender Ryan Ruck hadn’t fully covered yet. Even in the early goings of the season, Madigan was confident his team wouldn’t be fazed.

“We’re not as seasoned as Quinnipiac, but we’ve been through a lot last year, and even in the past two years,” Madigan said. “There’s no panic on the bench and there’s a confidence on the bench of ‘hey, we’re gonna have a chance to win this, to tie the game still.'”

The poise paid off with a Nolan Stevens goal with less than a minute left in the game as three Northeastern players dropped in from the high slot. For both teams, the bounces, odd plays and penalties still ended off even for these strong schools.

“They were good tonight, we were good. They were sloppy at times, we were sloppy at times,” Pecknold said. “Hopefully it’ll be a cleaner game tomorrow night, for us at least.”

ECAC Results

St. Lawrence at Penn State

The Saints stretched a four goal lead through the first period and a half as St. Lawrence doubled up the Nittany Lions 6-3 in front of a sellout crowd in Happy Valley. Both SLU’s Sturtz and PSU’s Marnell had two goal nights.

Vermont at Clarkson

The Catamounts’ four goal outburst in the third period pushed them over the Clarkson Golden Knights 5-2, lead by Jordan Boucher’s pair of goals on the night. Clarkson maintained the shots on goal advantage all night, peppering Mike Santaguida with 37 shots in the loss.

Rensselaer at Maine

Maine’s Mitchell Fossier scored a pair of goals against the Engineers, though the teams sat even in shots through two. RPI struggled on the man advantage, going 1-for-10 on the night, while Maine went 0-for-7.

Union at Michigan

The unranked Union Dutchmen took down the No. 11 Michigan Wolverines 4-3 after two late goals with less than five minutes in the game. Michigan was held to single digit shots on goal the entire game, totaling 23. The Dutchmen posted 40 shots on Wolverines starter Zach Nagelvoort.

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