By: Taylor Massey, QBSN Staff Writer
Entering its first weekend of ECAC play, the men’s ice hockey team had slipped into a funk. After recently being dealt a disappointing 2-1 loss by American International College, Quinnipiac held a record of 3-3-1. That all changed when the Bobcats defeated Colgate (4-4-1) in an astonishing 3-2 overtime finish.
It was only a few weeks ago that the Bobcats were on the losing end of a Colgate match-up. They fell to the Raiders 5-1 at the Cape Cod Classic, but that was no where near where they landed tonight.
“I would say we probably had the same game-plan tonight that we did that night,” said head coach Rand Pecknold. “We just played better. We executed better.”
Neither team wasted any time getting started, making the first period an eventful one. Quinnipiac was first on the board midway through the period.
Zach Davies (Smithers, British Columbia) picked up the puck outside the left face-off circle and sent it just wide of the net. Russell Goodman (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) came from behind the net and poked it into the bottom corner for the first goal.
The celebration was short lived as Colgate scored 17 seconds later. Spiro Goulakos took a far shot that whizzed past an unsuspecting Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.) top shelf. The goal was good to even the score at one, but even that didn’t last long.
Only a minute later the Raiders attacked again on a power play. This time it was Thomas Larkin who connected with a pass from Robbie Bourdon and sent a rocket in. The power play goal effectively ended the Bobcats perfect penalty kill percentage and the period ended 2-1.
The Bobcats trailed entering the second frame and it seemed it would stay that way until the final three minutes proved to be the difference.
Loren Barron (Glendora, Calif.) captured the Bobcats first power play goal of the season after they had not been able to capitalize on 33 opportunities so far this year. Captain Zack Currie (Victoria, British Columbia) and Davies were both credited with an assist on the goal that tied the game at two.
“The difference tonight was when we didn’t score on certain situations, our guys didn’t let up,” Pecknold said. “They just kept going and we kept competing and I thought we had the hammer down the whole game.”
Barron’s goal ended the period and ended the Bobcats struggle with power play chances.
With the score level at two, the third period turned into a deadlock between the teams. The Bobcats piled on the shots but to no avail. The Raiders were equally unsuccessful as Hartzell turned away all that came his way.
The final minute of the period brought everyone to the edge of his or her seat. Colgate penalties left the Bobcats with a five-on-three advantage. However, after repeated attempts, the game ended with a tie and moved to overtime.
By this time the crowd was on fire, cheering and providing high energy for the team.
“It was great. The crowd was rocking, and the students were into it,” Pecknold said.
In just one and a half minutes of overtime, the Bobcats ended the game grand fashion. Finishing what he started, Goodman took a swing at a rebound from Clay Harvey (Gull Lake, Saskatchewan) and found the back of the net. The overtime goal and Goodman’s second of the game gave the Bobcats their first conference win.
“It was our hockey game to win and we did it,” said Goodman.
The Bobcats hope momentum from tonight’s win will carry them through tomorrow’s tough match-up against Cornell. On Saturday Nov. 10 at 7 p.m., Quinnipiac plays host to the Big Red. The Bobcats hope to further improve their record, which has now advanced to 4-3-1 overall and 1-0 in conference.