By Marty Joseph, QBSN Staff Writer
The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team (19-3-4, 12-0-2 ECAC) defeated the No. 7 Yale Bulldogs (13-6-3, 9-5-1 ECAC), 6-2 on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd at Ingalls Rink in New Haven. The No. 2 Bobcats’ nation-best unbeaten streak is now at 19 games with the victory.
The Bobcats scored six unanswered goals from six different players after falling behind 2-0 early in the game. Goaltender Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.) stopped 30 of 32 shots in the win.
The Bulldogs came out flying in the first period and forced Mike Dalhuisen (Nymegen, Holland) to take a tripping penalty just under two minutes in to go on the powerplay. Halfway through the powerplay Trent Ruffolo got his stick on a loose puck and backhanded a shot passed Hartzell’s pad. Yale sustained pressure and went back to the powerplay under four minutes later. Twenty-five seconds into the powerplay, Stu Wilson found space at the right side of the net and chipped a rebound over the blocker of Hartzell to stretch Yale’s lead by two.
After the goal, head coach Rand Pecknold called a timeout to settle down his team.
“We said a few things,” Pecknold said when asked about the timeout. “I don’t remember exactly what I said but it was more about just that we need to be better. There is plenty of hockey left, and we’re a great team so lets go to work.”
Dalhuisen got the Bobcats on the board first with a powerplay goal. The Bobcats kept the puck to the outside perimeter of the offensive zone. Jeremy Langlois (Tempe, Arizona) passed the puck to Danny Federico (Acton, Mass.) who dished it to Dalhuisen. Dalhuisen one-timed a shot from the left point and beat Nick Maricic to the glove side.
The Bobcats tied the game at two late in the first period when Cory Hibbeler (St. Charles, Missouri) scored with less than two minutes remaining in the opening frame. Federico broke up an attempted Yale break-in, and Hibbeler picked up the loose puck in the neutral zone. He skated down the left side of the ice and pulled up at the faceoff circle before wristing a shot passed the glove of Maricic for the goal.
Picking up where they left off in the first period, the Bobcats came out throwing everything at the net in the second. Just passed the midway point of the period, Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) broke the tie on the powerplay with his eighth goal of the season. Peca received a drop pass from Langlois and skated down the right side of the offensive zone before firing a shot off the crossbar and in passed the glove of Maricic to give the Bobcats the lead for good.
With less than five minutes to play in the period and the Bobcats back on the powerplay Ben Arnt (Oakdale, Minn.) picked up a rebound in front off a shot from Jordan Samuels-Thomas (Windsor, Conn.) and beat Maricic to give the Bobcats the two-goal lead.
Connor Wilson relieved Maricic to start the third period. Maricic stopped 21 of 25 shots through two periods, while Wilson stopped 12 of 14 in the third.
Kellen Jones (Montrose, B.C.) and Zach Davies (Smithers, B.C.) both added goals in the third period to cushion the lead. Jones’s goal came when the Bobcats were shorthanded as he stole the puck in the slot and fired a shot passed Wilson. Davies skated down the left side of the offensive zone backhanded his own rebound off of Wilson and in to cap off the scoring in the game.
“We were a little more disciplined as the game went on,” said Peca following the win. “We know we have a lot of character in the room and we don’t get down from deficits. We’re confident if we just stick to our system, things are going to go well for us.”
The Bobcats are back in action next weekend when they travel to Ithaca, N.Y. on Friday to take on the Cornell Big Red at 7 p.m.