No. 10 men’s hockey (4-2-1, 2-2-1 ECAC), despite its best comeback efforts, was unable to overcome multiple multi-goal deficits and fell to No. 7 Quinnipiac, 8-4.
Quinnipiac (8-3-1, 4-0-1 ECAC) got the game’s first chances, forcing pucks deep and testing junior goaltender Ian Shane early and often.
Play was relatively even for the opening few minutes, with both goalies making some quality saves. Quinnipiac was pesky on their forecheck, forcing multiple Cornell turnovers in the neutral zone leading to odd-man rushes for the Bobcats.
Seger nearly put the Red on the board first, when he deked through three Quinnipiac skaters, effortlessly toe-dragging into the slot but ultimately missing the net on his attempt.
It was the Bobcats who struck first however, when a long shot from the point was fired on net, rebounding off Shane and bouncing right to freshman Matthew McGroarty who buried it into the open net just over six minutes into the period.
From there, it was all Quinnipiac, outworking the Red in both zones and outchancing Cornell. The Bobcats also had a massive edge in the faceoff circle, partially attributable to former Cornellian Zach Tupker ’23.
The Bobcats were rewarded for their edge in play three minutes after their first tally, when junior forward Christophe Tellier doubled Quinnipiac’s lead.
The Red were rattled and it wasn’t long until it got out of hand — just over a minute later, freshman forward Luke Devlin was nabbed for holding. Colin Graf, less than 20 seconds into their first power play of the game, snuck one past Shane to extend the lead to 3-0.
That would be the last we saw of Shane, who was replaced by Remington Keopple at about the halfway point of the first. It would be Keopple’s first regular season action since Feb. 11 against Colgate, which was also Shane’s last time being pulled.
The Red were finally able to get on the board two minutes later, not letting the Bobcats run away with the game just yet. It was senior forward Gabriel Seger finding himself all alone in front with the puck, backhanding it over the shoulder of Quinnipiac goaltender Vinny Duplessis. The score would hold for the remainder of the period, both teams headed to the locker room with the Bobcats up 3-1.
While the opening minutes of the second period were imperative for the Red to cut into Quinnipiac’s lead, the Bobcats came out flying. Jacob Quillian, who scored the Bobcats’ golden goal in the National Championship game against Minnesota back in April, stole the momentum for Quinnipiac when he found the back of the net just four minutes into the second period.
Now at a 4-1 deficit, the Red had to dig deep to stay in the game. While the Bobcats continued to get chances, Cornell played a gritty game and shuffled their lines to drum up some offense.
However, the Red was able to respond quickly. Freshman forward Jonathan Castagna made a fast break for the net with the puck, drawing a penalty but still able to shovel the puck past the Bobcat goaltender. Cornell was able to make it a 4-2 game just 28 seconds after the Quillan goal.
Cornell nearly got on the board once more when junior forward Jack O’Leary picked the puck at Cornell’s own blue-line, outraced the recovering Quinnipiac defenseman and managed a nifty move against Duplessis but was denied by a right pad.
O’Leary was able to harness the momentum for a few minutes, sustaining substantial offensive zone time for the first time since the opening moments of the first period.
Around the halfway point of the second period, Cornell got another chance on the power play. They appeared to have scored, when a scrum in the crease formed and multiple Cornell players threw their hands up in celebration, but no call was made. Cornell proceeded to challenge the play to see if the puck crossed the line. It was close, as the puck appeared to be under the glove of a Quinnipiac defenseman, but there wasn’t conclusive evidence to prove a goal on the play and the no-goal call was confirmed.
Still, the Red was relentless on the power play, nearly cutting into the lead once more when freshman forward Ryan Walsh had an open net but was broken up at the last second by a Bobcat penalty killer.
However, despite not being able to convert on the power play, momentum stayed in favor with the Red, and they finally got rewarded. This time, it was sophomore forward Dalton Bancroft, cleaning up a rebound from a shot by freshman defenseman Ben Robertson. The primary assist marked Robertson’s eighth point in his first seven games of his career.
While the Red got another brief power play opportunity after a stretch of four-on-four play, they were unable to convert. The Red’s power play woes continued, going 0-4 on the night. Quinnipiac went a stellar 2-3.
Looking to enter the third period with the momentum and down just a goal, a highlight reel move was made by fifth year Quinnipiac captain, Jayden Lee. He dangled through two Cornell skaters, moved Keopple off balance and roofed it on the backhand with just 28.6 seconds remaining in the frame, extending the lead to 5-3.
Looking to come from behind yet again, Cornell flew out of the gates in the third. The Red immediately established zone time, testing Duplessis immediately, including a play that saw multiple attempts close to the crease. The puck then popped out to freshman defenseman Marian Mosko, but he couldn’t get control of the puck and whiffed the shot, leading to an easy save by the Quinnipiac goalie.
However, the Red clawed itself back into the game on a goal by Bancroft — his second of the night, and one for the highlight reel. Bancroft picked the puck off a Quinnipiac skater, staying patient and toe dragging the puck to his backhand, roofing it over Duplessis to make it 5-4.
Keopple proceeded to make a couple of big saves to keep it a one-goal game, including a flashy glove save on a Bobcat odd-man rush.
Cornell received another power play opportunity not long after their fourth goal when sophomore forward Nick DeSantis drew a slash at the 15:01 mark of the third. Despite significant zone time and quality chances, Cornell wasn’t able to convert.
While Cornell had the better chances in the first half of the third, it was Quinnipiac who got the next tally. A bad turnover by the Red led to a two-on-one rush for the Bobcats, where Mason Marcellus slid the puck through Keopple’s five-hole. It was 6-4 Quinnipiac just over halfway through the period.
It would go all downhill for the Red after that, unable to shake the relentless pressure from Quinnipiac. It was nothing short of chaos in the Cornell defensive zone, fending off a flurry of Bobcat chances and struggling to clear the puck.
Keopple was forced to make countless desperation saves, including multiple without a stick after a scrum in front of his crease knocked it away. Keopple finished the game with 22 saves and five goals allowed, earning the loss as the goalie of record.
Quinnipiac would go on to add two more goals — Christophe Fillion and Graf both cashing in — to make it 8-4.
The regulation loss marks the second in a row for the Red, who will look to get back on track against Princeton Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. at Hobey Baker Arena.