Friday, March 4, 2011

Quinnipiac takes Game 1

Quinnipiac is 12-2-4 when scoring the game's first goal, and 1-11-4 when the opponent scores first. So when Jeremy Langlois raced through the neutral zone and fired a shot past Brown goalie Mike Clemente just 15 seconds into the game, the young Bobcats took a collective deep breath and finished with confidence.

"That set the tone for the game. I don't know what our record is when we score first, but I know it's a lot better than when we don't," Quinnipiac captain Scott Zurevinski said. "We needed to score that first goal."

The Bobcats led 2-0 after the first period, and all but put the game away with two more in the second. Dan Clarke, the starting goalie to begin the season, was making his second start since Dec. 3 after losing the job to Eric Hartzell. His positioning was sound, and coach Rand Pecknold pointed to his puck-handling as a key to slowing the Brown forecheck.

Clarke played well in relief against Yale two weeks ago. That, combined with strong work in practice, earned him a start last Friday at Union in a crucial game for the Bobcats home-ice hopes. He came through with rave reviews in a 2-2 tie. Pecknold, confident in both Clarke and Hartzell, made the decision early in the week to go with Clarke.

"Hartzie has been playing well, but Clarkie has been battling in practice," Langlois said. "He got his shot tonight and played well."

Pecknold and the Bobcats are expected Brown to come out swinging Saturday.

"I think it'll be a one-goal game," Pecknold said. "It should be tighter. I assume they'll come back with Clemente, even though Borelli was phenomenal tonight."

Said Zurevinski, "Brown plays with a lot of emotion. I’m sure their coach is ripping them right now, yelling and screaming, so they’ll come out fired up (tonight). We just have to stick with what we did; keep things simple, work them down low and score on our chances.”

Pecknold doesn't announce his starting goalie before game time, but Clarke will likely get the nod again.


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