HAMDEN, Conn. – Junior Sam Lafferty (Hollidaysburg, Pa.) trimmed the lead to one late in the second period, but fifth-seeded Quinnipiac responded with three unanswered goals to top the Bears, 5-1, in game two of the ECAC First Round series at High Point Solutions Arena.
Quinnipiac (21-13-2) also claimed game one of the series, 6-1, to advance to the ECAC Quarterfinals, while the No. 12 seeded Bears wrap up the season at 4-25-2 overall.
Rookie Gavin Nieto (Yorba Linda, Calif.) registered a career-high 42 saves for the Bears, including 20 in the opening frame, while Andrew Shortridge stopped 24 shots in the win for the Bobcats. Tanner MacMaster paced Quinnipiac with one goal and two assists for three points.
Landon Smith opened the scoring for Quinnipiac at 4:21 in the first period, scoring from the slot for the early lead. MacMaster added a power-play goal at 7:29, as he ripped a shot through traffic to give the home team a two-goal advantage at the first intermission.
Brown broke through late in the second period when Lafferty scored at 15:16 for his 13th goal of the season. After winning a faceoff in the offensive end, Lafferty redirected Ben Tegtmeyer's shot from the point to trim the lead to 2-1.
Nevertheless, Quinnipiac answered right back as Tommy Schutt scored less than two minutes later at 17:05. Brown nearly responded on the power play at the end of the period, but Zach Giuttari's goal with 4.3 seconds remaining was waved off, keeping the Bobcats in front, 3-1.
The Bears outshot the Bobcats by a 9-6 margin in the final frame, but Quinnipiac stretched its lead to three during four-on-four play at 6:21, as Connor Clifton snapped a wrist shot from the left circle.
The Bobcats held off a pair of Brown power plays in the third period and Bo Pieper added an empty-net goal in the final minutes to secure the win.