ECAC Roundup: Quinnipiac, Union, Colgate Advance
Clarkson Uses PP to Force Game 3
CHN Staff Report
Jordan Samuels-Thomas was missed while out of the Quinnipiac lineup. But the big power forward came through Saturday, getting the third-period game winner as Quinnipiac defeated Yale, 5-3, to sweep the quarterfinal series and advance to Lake Placid.
Quinnipiac will face Colgate in Friday's semifinal.
"We feel excited to move on, looking forward to Lake Placid," QU coach Rand Pecknold said. "We played well tonight, wasn't perfect. I thought we struggled a little bit in the second but had a great first and third. We're fortunate to move on."
Beating Yale, a team that Quinnipiac has pumped up as its main rival, being only 10 minutes away, especially after losing to the Bulldogs in last year's national championship game, was particularly nice for the Bobcats. But the players also acknowledged that Yale still has one up on them.
"I don't think we'll be satisfied until we get a national championship and an ECAC championship," Connor Jones said.
Freshman Sam Anas, who wasn't there last season, said, "Obviously beating Yale is fun, no matter what the circumstances are. This year we're gonna make a good run, excited to see what we can do down the stretch."
Anas had two goals in the game, and with 21, is one of the nation's top rookies.
Yale freshman John Hayden also scored twice and was a bright spot.
“I thought Hayden was one of our better players last night, and he was even better tonight,” Yale coach Keith Allain said. “Our freshman did a good job this year and we expect big things from them in the future.”
Yale allowed 11 goals on the weekend, after getting mostly strong play from freshman Alex Lyon all year. But it wasn't all on him.
"Our team game wasn’t good enough for me to say,” Allain said. "I don't think our team game was good enough this season, and the goalie is part of our team."
Union finally allowed a goal for the first time in four games, but went on to defeat 10th-seeded Dartmouth, 4-2, to sweep the series.
Union responded after a first in which it took three minor penalties and allowed two power-play goals.
"How important is it to ya, that's the message," Union coach Rick Bennett said about what he told the team following the first period. "And I thought our leaders did a good job. And in general everybody bought in, and it's important. And it has to be important if you want to move on. It's not what I say, it's what they're going to do and how they react. ... It's up to them to carry it through."
Union extended its home winning streak to 12 games and its unbeaten streak to 11 games. Daniel Carr and Max Novak scored the comeback goals. Novak had a strong weekend after returning from an injury that kept him out a few weeks.
Carr's goal was his 20th of the season and seventh in the last five games. He reached 20 for the third time in his four-year career at Union.
"Big-time players come up big in the playoffs," Bennett said. "He brings it in practice. He does the extra stuff a lot of guys don't do, and that's why he's consistent. That's a message we keep telling our younger guys, and hopefully they see that. They see how he's rewarded. And he's so strong on his one-one-battles, it's a tough matchup for other players to try to contain him sometimes. ... I don't want to blow him up too much here — by the same token, he was our best forward this weekend."
Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet saw his team suffer through a disappointing season, but finished with four solid playoff games.
“I can’t ask any more from this team than what they gave here the last two weeks," Gaudet said. "They’re an incredibly resilient group. ... I'm disappointed for our team because I thought we played well enough to win both games, but they're an excellent team — a tough team to play against."
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Clarkson forced a third game with a 3-1 at Cornell, which included a pair of power-play goals. The Golden Knights won despite being limited to 15 shots on net.
"It can go that way in hockey," Cornell coach Mike Schafer said.
Goalie Steve Perry and the Clarkson defense held Cornell to 0-for-5 on the power play.
"The thing that was best about (Perry) tonight was, he was picking pucks up in traffic, and that's usually a sign he's locked in," Clarkson coach Casey Jones said.
"I would've liked us to be more disciplined in the third period, not to hem us in there and give them some momentum. We had a lot of guys killing. But I thought we competed really hard, and executed the game plan, and managed the puck much better tonight."
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Colgate got a hat trick from Darcy Murphy to defeat St. Lawrence, 4-3, and advance to Lake Placid, where it will face Quinnipiac's in Friday's semifinal.
Charlie Finn kept the Raiders in the game multiple times as he stopped two shorthanded breakaways for the Saints. Both came on tough turnovers at the offensive blueline.
"I thought it was a heckuva comeback against a team playing desperate hockey," Vaughan said. "The core is a young team that hasn't been there so much. So we're excited to be going to Lake Placid."