Quinnipiac Licks Its Wounds, Looks For Redemption
by Joshua Seguin/Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. Quinnipiac entered the weekend assured of the top seed in the NCAAs, and will go out the same way. But it didn't look like such a team on this night. In a top to bottom struggle, from the goaltender out, Quinnipiac lost 4-0 to seventh-seeded Brown, costing the Bobcats any chance at their first Whitelaw Cup.
“We are disappointed,” said Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold. “It is almost inexplicable how badly we played today. Ultimately it is my responsibility to get them up and I will take full blame. This can’t happen this time of the year.”
Early, the Bobcats looked like the aggressors, but they were unable to solve Brown goaltender Anthony Borelli. The frustration only mounted, as Brown would strike first, and then again for a 2-0 first-period lead.
Brown‘s compete level never waned and it seemed as though the Bobcats never were able to match it. Last weekend, and for much of the season, Quinnipiac was the team that came to play every night and the team that everyone knew was going to give its A-effort. It carried the Bobcats through a 21-game unbeaten streak.
“I am very concerned that we haven’t gotten back to the level of that,” said Pecknold. “We had some games in there where we played poorly, but Eric Hartzell bailed us out over and over again. He has been the most valuable player in the country. But tonight that didn’t happen, and we were never able to get our legs under us.”
“We were doing everything we thought we needed to, to be ready for today,” said captain Zack Currie “We thought we were ready for tonight but obviously we weren’t but I can’t give you a reason right now, but we thought we were doing everything we needed to.”
The Bobcats never were able to get a good response shift and never were able to take the momentum, but they did have a lot of possession early. But Brown merely played the same game its opponent did for much of the season.
Quinnipiac has another opportunity this weekend, because there is a consolation game in the ECAC tournament. It means relatively nothing to Quinnipiac, except as an opportunity to redeem itself and not lapse into more bad habits.
Quinnipiac's naysayers will come out in earnest again, but the Bobcats showed resiliency last weekend off a Friday loss, defeating Cornell 10-0. Quinnipiac will face Yale in that consolation, which may need to win to secure an NCAA bid, so it will have its hands full.
“Tomorrow is big for us,” Currie said. “We need to right the ship and we are lucky we have some hockey left. We need to use it get ourselves going again.”
The top is well and good for Quinnipiac, but it knows it needs something more than that to hang its hat on going into the national tournament.
“Right now this game will be used as a teachable moment,” Pecknold said. “We will be in the NCAA tournament next weekend, just who we play and where we don’t know yet and that will be a big stage just like today was. We need to figure out what we did wrong today, we need to learn from it and have some emotion and passion next weekend. There is a lot of pride in that locker room and we won’t roll over and mean this game doesn’t mean anything, because we play hard every game.”
A national title is every team’s ultimate goal, but another goal is a conference title, and that opportunity was missed by Quinnipiac.