Eric Hartzell broke Quinnipiac’s single-season record with his 22nd victory of the season to lead the nationally-ranked No. 1 Bobcats to a 2-1 ECAC Hockey win against Clarkson Saturday.
The Bobcats, who clinched the ECAC Hockey Regular-Season Championship on Friday, were presented with the Cleary Cup following its win against the Golden Knights. Quinnipiac improves to 22-4-4 overall and 15-1-2 in ECAC Hockey while Clarkson drops to 8-15-7 overall and 7-8-3 in league play.
Hartzell’s record-breaking 22 wins this season puts him ahead of J.C. Wells’ ’01 21 win in 1998-99. With his 50th career win, he joins Wells (59), Jamie Holden ’04 (59) and Bud Fisher ’08 (58) as the only goalies in Quinnipiac’s history to do so. Aside from Hartzell’s heroics in nets against Clarkson, Bryce Van Brabant and Connor Jones both scored first-period goals to lead the Bobcats’ offense.
With less than three minutes to play in the first period, Van Brabant put the Bobcats’ on the board with his fourth goal of the season just 2:20 into the game.
Van Brabant started the play when he handled the puck along the boards closest to the Bobcats’ bench in the Clarkson’s defensize zone. The sophomore wing then wrapped the puck around the boards, trailing it as it moved to the other side of the ice. After Jordan Samuels-Thomas stopped the puck just outside the face-off circle to Clarkson goalie Greg Lewis’ left, he became tangled up with a Clarkson defender and poked the puck between his legs to a streaking Van Brabant. Van Brabant skated to the slot and fired the puck over Lewis’ left shoulder to give Quinnipiac a one-goal lead.
Midway through the period, Matthew Peca stopped the puck at center ice and passed it back to Loren Barron on the Bobcats’ blue line. Barron spied Connor Jones skating through the neutral zone and wired a pass through traffic to Jones’ tape. Jones split two defenseman and skated in, all alone, on Lewis. Jones deked to his right and then fired a back-hand shot between Lewis’ pads to give the Bobcats a 2-0 lead.
With 14 seconds remaining in the third period, Clarkson scored an extra-attacker goal when Allan McPherson’s one-timer found its way through Hartzell’s pads for his ninth marker of the year. Paul Geiger took a pass from Will Frederick and snapped a pass to McPherson’s stick for the shot and goal.
Quinnipiac is back in action when it faces No. 9 Yale in the 11th Annual Heroes Hat Game on Friday, Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sprots Center. That game can also be seen live on NBC Sports. On Saturday, Feb. 23, Quinnipiac will host Senior Night when the Bobcats host Brown at 7 p.m.