The Clarkson University Hockey team battled back from a slow start against Quinnipiac at the Bobcats' High Points Solution Arena, but could not take down the nation's third-ranked team, falling 6-3 in ECAC Hockey action on Friday night in Hamden, CT.
The Golden Knights will look to gain valuable points in league play on Saturday when they play Princeton at Hobey Baker Rink in New Jersey. Ranked 14th in the national polls, Clarkson owns a 16-11-2 overall record and holds fifth place in the ECAC Hockey standings with a 9-6 conference mark.
Quinnipiac, which is tied for the most wins in the country, outshot Clarkson 36-18 and enjoyed a considerable margin in power plays, going 1-of-11 on the man advantage, while the Knights were 1-of-5.
The high-flying Bobcats (20-4-5, 10-2-3) put the Green and Gold into a hole right away, scoring twice in the first 74 seconds to set the tone early. Quinnipiac took the lead just 10 seconds after the opening faceoff on a goal by Connor Jones. At 1:04, Matthew Peca gave the home team a 2-0 advantage. Quinnipiac went on to outshoot the Knights 14-2 in the first period, but several big stops by freshman Ville Runola (Raisio, Finland) kept the Bobcats from piling on the score.
Clarkson regroup in the first intermission and came out strong to start the middle frame, and tied the game just 78 seconds into the period. Senior Jarrett Burton (Echo Bay, ONT) put the Knights on the scoreboard 27 seconds in on a deflection off a shot from the point by sophomore defenseman Paul Geiger (Stouffville, ONT). Senior Will Frederick (Allison Park, PA) also got a piece of Geiger's shot to record an assist.
At 1:18, senior Allan McPherson (Kinburn, ONT) netted his team-high 10th goal of the season to tie the game 2-2. McPherson picked up a rebound off a shot from the blueline by freshman defenseman James de Haas (Mississauga, ONT) and scored while lying on the ice for his 92nd career point.
Clarkson had two good opportunities to take the lead, but after video reviews on the scoring attempts, no goal was ruled both times.
Quinnipiac regained its lead late in the second with a pair of goals just under five minutes apart.
Cory Hibbeler found a loose puck in the slot and sent a wrist shot under the crossbar at 12:38. Peca tallied his second goal of the game, knocking in a rebound at 17:29 to make it 4-2 after 40 minutes.
Midway through the final period, Clarkson pulled to within one on a power-play goal from de Haas. At 10:59, de Haas finished off assists from sophomore blueline partner Kevin Tansey (Hammond, ONT) and classmate A.J. Fossen (Maple Grove, MN) with a wrist shot from the left circle for his third career goal.
The Bobcats, however, would answer back with their own power-play tally and a shorthanded marker to preserve the win. Bryce VanBrabant connected on Quinnipiac's ninth man-advantage opportunity of the night at 13:10 to make it 5-3, and Kellen Jones closed out the scoring with a shorthanded marker, the first allowed by the Knights this season, at 16:20.
Making only his second NCAA appearance of the season, Runola finished with 30 saves.