ECAC Hockey Friday night recap: Union, Quinnipiac continue to push away from pack

Princeton senior Andrew Calof had two assists as the Tigers downed Brown, 3-2, on Friday night at Meehan Auditorium. - Beverly Schaefer

The bottom three teams in the league standings entering the night all won on Friday.

New Haven, Conn. -- A regular season game can never completely erase the bad feelings of a tournament loss the year before, but Quinnipiac got a measure of revenge on Friday night at Ingalls Rink with a 4-0 shutout win over Yale, the very team that beat the Bobcats in last year's NCAA National Championship game in Pittsburgh.

Cory Hibbeler, Sam Anas, Connor Clifton and Tommy Schutt scored for Rand Pecknold's team that also was looking to bounce back from an ugly 3-2 loss on home ice last Saturday against St. Lawrence.

Sophomore goaltender Michael Garteig stopped all 33 shots he faced for his fifth shutout of the season. The win and the two points that came with it meant the Bobcats stayed within striking distance of first place Union.

Dutchmen roll past Big Red

In the first game back from his four-game suspension Rick Bennett's team continued its dominance of the ECAC Hockey. Union jumped out to a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes on goals from Kevin Sullivan and Matt Wilkins. Sam Coatta and Daniel Ciampini each added a goal in the second and third period, respectively, to give Union some breathing room at the always hostile Lynah Rink.

The win marked the fifth consecutive season that the Union program has won 20 or more games. It is remarkable the job that Nate Leaman, before leaving for Providence, and Rick Bennett have done in turning a once-dormant program into a perennial contender.

Raiders lose valuable point

Colgate, coming into the weekend in third place, remained there after results Friday night, but lost a valuable point that could come back to haunt them come playoff time.

The Raiders were leading visiting RPI for most of the game, but squandered a late lead when RPI junior Ryan Haggerty scored his 23rd goal of the season with the goalie pulled for an extra attacker.

Fourth line center John Lidgett scored his first goal of the season in the first period with assists going to Kevin Lough and line mate Mike McCann.

The score stayed that way until Haggerty's late goal in large put due to the excellent goaltending of Colgate freshman Charlie Finn who stopped 42 shots on the night, including 17 in the third period alone.

Saints, Golden Knights lose at home

St. Lawrence and Clarkson, both favored over visiting Dartmouth and Harvard, suffered setbacks on Friday night. The losses were results that neither team could afford with the playoff push in full throttle.

Clarkson out shot Harvard, 31-17, but neither team could find the back of the net during regulation. The Crimson's leading goal scorer, Jimmy Vesey, banged home the game-winner with 14 ticks left in the extra period. Ted Donato's team now has a season-high three-game winning streak heading into Saturday's game at St. Lawrence.

The Saints, a team that had been hot of late, including wins over Union and Quinnipiac, suffered an ugly home loss at the hands of Dartmouth.

Jeremy Wick scored a power play goal 4:48 into the second period to give St. Lawrence a 1-0 lead, but the Big Green scored the last three goals of the game.

Brandon McNally scored a power play goal with 5:25 to play in the second period to even the score at one. Grant Opperman broke the tie three minutes later, and Charlie Mosey gave Bob Gaudet's team some insurance with a tally 5:57 into the third period.

Eric Neiley had two assists, and Charles Grant stopped 32 of the 33 shots he faced as Dartmouth won for the second time in three games.

Tigers upend Bears

The three teams that entered Friday's action occupying the bottom three spots in the league standings all won, including Princeton.

Bob Prier's team jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Hayden Anderson and Ben Foster, but the Bears answered back with two consecutive goals.

Mark Naclerio got Brendan Whittet's team on the board, and Matt Lorito scored on a penalty shot to even the score at two.

Ryan Siiro's power play goal with 8:59 to play in the second period stood up as the game-winning goal. Andrew Ammon and Andrew Calof assisted on Siiro's fourth of the season, their third and second assists of the night, respectively.

Colton Phinney made 36 saves to pick up his third victory of the season.

Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.

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