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Quinnipiac drops Clarkson to stay unbeaten

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POTSDAM — Just about everything went Quinnipiac’s way Friday night in a men’s ECAC Hockey game against Clarkson University before 2,098 fans at Cheel Arena.

Not only did the Bobcats earn a 5-2 victory against the Golden Knights, but the father of Quinnipiac forward Jeremy Langlois also won the 50/50 raffle.

“I was impressed with their team,” Clarkson coach Casey Jones said. “I thought they really supported pucks well. They were clearly the better team on the ice. I thought they took it to us in every facet of the game, from special teams on down.”

Quinnipiac (6-3-1 overall, 3-0 ECAC Hockey) continued an impressive start to conference play by limiting Clarkson’s opportunities. The Golden Knights (1-5-4, 1-1-1) finished with 20 shots, but managed only 11 through the first two periods and were already down 4-1 by that point.

“I thought we played real well,” Bobcats coach Rand Pecknold said. “It was a good road game. It wasn’t perfect, but we played well. You can’t do much better than 3-0, so we’re happy with that. Clarkson’s a good team and it’s a tough place to play, so we are happy to get out of here with the two points.”

Quinnipiac scored first just 4 minutes, 52 seconds into the game on a shot from Matthew Peca.

But the Bobcats’ second goal showed the type of effort that led to the comfortable win.

Forward Bryce Van Brabant hassled Clarkson players as they tried to move the puck from behind their own goal and up the ice. When he drew a second Clarkson player over to help, that freed up his teammate Jordan Samuels-Thomas for a shot, and he made it 2-0 at 11:46 of the first period.

“I had an empty lane to pick and choose where I want to shoot,” Samuels-Thomas said. “A lot of credit to (Van Brabant).”

Clarkson received a spark of hope early in the second period when defenseman Nik Pokulok scored just a few seconds after a power play ended at 3:21 to make it 2-1.

“I got the puck in the middle of the blue line and saw a hole and let her rip,” Pokulok said.

But Quinnipiac squelched any hopes for Clarkson to extend its unbeaten streak to six games by tacking on two power-play goals in the second period on a deep shot from Zach Davies at 6:02 and a shot from Samuels-Thomas at 13:06 that hit the post and went in, giving the Bobcats a 4-1 lead.

Prior to Friday’s game the Bobcats had difficulty on the power play, scoring on just 2 of 41 chances.

“It’s been a little bit of a struggle this year with the power-play goals,” Pecknold said. “It’s been great in practice. I don’t envision that being a problem this year, but it was a little drought at the beginning of the season.”

Clarkson had three power-play chances in the second period but produced only one shot during those attempts and had only five shots in the period.

“I thought we kind of came unraveled a bit in (Quinnipiac’s) third goal,” Jones said. “I thought the first period was our most complete period of the night. They had a couple nice goals. I thought they did a good job of burying some shots.”

Quinnipiac scored its final goal at 3:10 of the third period on another long shot from a defenseman, this time Mike Dalhuisen produced the goal.

“They did a really good job of taking away ice tonight,” Clarkson’s Andrew Himelson said. “They played a good defensive game. We really didn’t have too many opportunities for odd-man rushes.”

Clarkson, as it has a few times this year, kept working hard when it was behind and produced a power-play goal from freshman Paul Geiger with 20 seconds left to cut the final deficit to 5-2. It was only the second power-play goal allowed by the Bobcats this season in 44 attempts.

“As soon as the game is over you spend a little time thinking about it, figure out what you did wrong, and move on,” Himelson said. “You can’t dwell on these kind of games. We need to figure out where we messed up tonight and play better tomorrow.”

n NOTES: Clarkson faces Princeton at 7 p.m. tonight. The Tigers tied St. Lawrence University 3-3. ... Former Golden Knight Erik Cole, now a member of the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens, attended Friday’s game.



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