The college ice hockey player’s journey does not begin freshman year. It...
Bobcats, Bulldogs draw, Heroes Hat stays in Hamden
Both Quinnipiac and Yale walked into Saturday’s Heroes Hat action riding undefeated streaks, and a 3-3 tie left their respective stretches in tact. With the draw, the Bulldogs have now gone five straight games without a loss, and the Bobcats have doubled that with 10.
The tie left the Heroes Hat in the Bobcats’ possession for another season, a feat that started with a Sam Anas’ (Potomac, Md.) goal in the first period.
Adding to his breakout first season, Anas picked up the first goal of the game for the Bobcats and his team-leading eighth of the year. He made the initial shot that Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) rebounded, getting one off of Alex Lyon’s kneepad. Anas followed through for the score.
With his assist, Jones now sits on his 99th career point.
The second period brought the Bulldogs back into the game, despite being outshot 18-11. Anchored by Lyon’s 17 saves in the frame, the offense pushed through. Lyon finished the game with 48 saves in 65 minutes of play, including the scoreless overtime period.
After Jordan Samuels-Thomas (West Hartford, Conn.) tacked on a security goal to give Quinnipiac a two-goal lead, Yale put its first on the board. Devon Toews (Abbotsford, British Columbia) picked up a slashing penalty, making way for Ryan Obuchowski’s power-play goal, his first of the season.
The Bulldogs tied and took the lead with only seconds separating the action. Frankie DiChiara wrapped the puck around the net and snuck it by Michael Garteig (Prince George, British Columbia), only for Mike Doherty to make a statement with his hard hit shot from beyond the faceoff circle to take the lead 22 seconds later.
“You can’t play 55 minutes in a game; you have to play a full 60,” Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) said of the period. “They jumped us pretty well in that span where they got rolling, and we kind of snapped back out of it and started playing our game again.”
It was Peca who got his team rolling again in the third period with his second goal of the season. Travis St. Denis (Trail, British Columbia) passed the puck out to Peca from behind the net. With one flick of the wrist, the game was tied.
With Quinnipiac outshooting Yale 50-21 overall, Peca said it was just a matter of time.
“When you get that many shots in the game, you always know that if you keep going you’re going to get yours,” Peca said.
His two goals thus far – particularly in light of last year’s postseason performance – have some noting a slow start for the junior. Even last season, however, Peca did not get his third goal until Nov. 16, and head coach Rand Pecknold is not fearing low numbers any time soon.
“He’s been great on the PK, great defensively, winning draws,” Pecknold said. “Sometimes scoring goes in streaks, at any level. Those points will come.”
The elephant in High Point Solutions Arena – Yale’s victory of Quinnipiac in the national championship – did not try to hide itself. Instead, it wore gold.
“You don’t want to dwell too much on last year,” Peca said. “It happened, but obviously we had a little chip on our shoulder. You know what they did to us, and I think you just use that as extra motivation going into a game like this.”
Both Peca and Pecknold agreed that the electric, sell-out crowd only added to that motivation, although Pecknold has seen crowds standing eight people deep on the concourse.
“Maybe there was a different fire marshal,” Pecknold said, laughing.
The Bobcats continue ECAC play when they host the Harvard Crimson on Nov. 16. The puck drops at 7 p.m.
Click here for more photos of the game.
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