Quinnipiac wins Cleary Cup, wraps up regular season title defeating Brown 4-1

Quinnipiac wins Cleary Cup, wraps up regular season title defeating Brown 4-1

Andrew Badillo

By: Victoria Rutigliano 

The Cleary Cup twinkled in front of Quinnipiac players and fans alike on Friday night after the Bobcats defeated the Brown Bears in a decisive 4-1 victory.

The win handed Quinnipiac the ECAC regular season title for the second time in a row and the third time in the past four years.

“I think it was probably one of our better games in the second half of the season so we need to build off that,” Quinnipiac goalie Michael Garteig said. “We just won a Cleary Cup, which is pretty awesome. It’s not an easy thing to do in a league this hard and the ECAC is stacked in my opinion.”

Quinnipiac took 38 shots in the victory to Brown’s 18 and dominated the faceoff circle winning 41 of the 64 draws.

With the game being senior night for the Bobcats, Garteig had an emotional stance when discussing his team throughout the seasons.

“We’ve accomplished a lot in our four years here. And that group of guys, I could probably cry talking about how awesome they are. You know realistically it’s been the best four years of my life and we’re not done yet.”

Head coach Rand Pecknold thought his team’s growth had a lot to do with the gradual development of his players.

“Every season we have kids who step up,” Pecknold said. “Even player like Toews and St. Denis this year who were great players for us last year. Now they’re elite players in the country, they’re two of the better players in the country.”

Just a minute and 23 seconds into the game, Travis St. Denis netted a power-play goal through the legs of Brown goalie Tim Ernst to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead. St. Denis picked up the scraps after two initial shots from linemen Sam Anas and Landon Smith. With the goal, St. Denis racked up his eighth consecutive point.

“As a smaller guy I can’t be battling in front with the bigger guys,” St. Denis said. “I kinda gotta go around the net and find the open area spots, so yeah I’ve just been finding them lately.”

While St. Denis notched the goal, his shot actually came off of a borrowed stick. After breaking his stick on the ice, St. Denis quickly grabbed the next available stick from the bench.

“I got to the bench and actually had MacMaster’s stick. I made a pass with his stick and was like wow this thing’s flexy there’s no way I can shoot high,” he said. “So as soon as I got it, I ripped it low and luckily it went in.”

With the assist on St. Denis’ goal, Anas extended his point streak to 16 games. He currently leads the ECAC in points with 21 goals and 22 assists for 43 points.

St. Denis said playing with Anas makes his time on the ice a lot smoother.

“He’s (Anas) one of the top players in the nation obviously and to be playing with him makes it a lot easier out there, making plays offensively.” St. Denis said. “He’s become a better defensive player so it’s definitely helped out our line a lot.”

With seven minutes down in the second period, Tim Clifton crashed the net and received a pass from Scott Davidson from behind the net and guided the puck in with his stick to double the Bobcats lead 2-0.

 Brown’s highest chance to score came in the second period on the man-advantage. The Bears took four shots during powerplay but Michael Garteig kept composure in net. Brown was unable to register a shot in either of its other two powerplays during the game.

Kevin McKernan knocked in Quinnipiac’s third goal of the night, but the goal was all Thomas Alworth, deking a defenseman nearside and sending a perfect pass to McKernan on the weak side.

Just more a minute later seconds later, Brown responded with a goal from Davey Middleton knocking in a rebound to get the Bears their first goal of the game.

With just under four minutes remaining in the third period, Quinnipiac’s Luke Shiplo sent a snipe past Brown goaltender Tim Ernst to extend the Bobcats lead to four goals.

Quinnipiac will take on cross-town rival Yale on Saturday at High Point Solutions Arena for its final game of the season.