NCAA hockey: Quinnipiac survives Cornell

The number-one ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats advanced to the semifinal round of the NCAA Div. 1 ECAC playoff on the weekend.

The number-one ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats advanced to the semifinal round of the NCAA Div. 1 ECAC playoff on the weekend, but were pushed to the limit by a surprising Cornell club.

Number-nine seeded Cornell University defeated the Bobcats 3-2 in the first game of a best-of- three series Friday, but Quinnipiac bounced back Saturday with a 10-0 rout of the Red Men in Game 2.

Montrose’s Connor and Kellen Jones each netted a goal in the first game, and exploded in Saturday’s second game. The twins, along with Trail’s Travis St. Denis, combined for 10 points with St. Denis and Kellen scoring twice and getting an assist, while Connor added a goal and three assists for a four-point night.

“It was obviously a tough night and he’s been a good goalie (Cornell’s Andy Iles) every time we’ve played against him,” Kellen Jones told a USCHO reporter. “I’ve played against him for three years and he’ll be good tomorrow night, so we will expect his best.”

And indeed Iles was brilliant in the rubber match Sunday stopping 60 shots in a 3-2 double overtime loss to the Bobcats.

Quinnipiac was down 2-1 until the final minute of the third period when Clay Harvey banged in his own rebound at 1:04 to force OT.

After numerous scoring chances in the first OT, the Q-cats would end it in the fifth period on a dramatic game-winning goal by Kevin Bui, a former Drumheller Dragon of the AJHL.

Bobcat d-man Loren Barron connected with Bui as he crossed over the blue line, raced behind the Cornell defense and streaked toward the net. Bui put the puck on his backhanded and tossed it under Iles for the game-winner.

“I was just trying to get up ice and had a lot of speed going wide and Loren hit me with a nice pass and I had their defensemen beat,” Bui said. “The next thing I know, everyone was on top of me.”

The goal was Bui’s second of the season and just his fifth career goal in 63 games.

“That’s the fastest I’ve ever seen him skate,” Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold told the USCHO .

“He was motoring and that is credit to him and our strength coach. He was flying; I’m real happy for Kevin. He is such a good kid and he’s been such a big part of our success this year.”

Quinnipiac takes on Brown in the semifinal of the ECAC playoffs this weekend, a team they’ve yet to beat this year, having met and tied them twice.