For Quinnipiac, the celebration of its seniors started before the puck dropped...
Late Jordan Samuels-Thomas goal gives Quinnipiac 2-1 win over Maine
For the second year in a row, Jordan Samuels-Thomas scored the game-winning goal against the Maine Black Bears to give the Bobcats a 2-1 victory. Samuels-Thomas poked his ninth goal of the season past Maine goalie Martin Ouellette on the far post with 1:03 remaining in the third period.
The Bobcats improve to 15-3-4 (6-2-2 ECAC) while the Black Bears fall to 10-7-2 (4-2-1 HE).
“It’s definitely something that doesn’t come along like that too often,” Samuels-Thomas said. “I was able to get a good bounce off the boards and a good bounce off the goalie as well.”
Both teams struggled offensively, but still managed to get a fair amount of shots on target. Quinnipiac goaltender Michael Garteig held the Maine offense in check, stopping 29 of the 30 shots sent his way.
“[Garteig] was really sharp,” head coach Rand Pecknold said. “I would put that up there as one of his better games. That’s what you need from your goalie sometimes. You need your goalie to step up and win a game for you.”
Kellen Jones picked up his 11th goal of the season to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead about two minutes into the second period. Jones picked up the puck in front of the net, after Cory Hibbeler caused a turnover behind the net, and buried his own rebound for the first goal of the game.
Maine answered back later in the second when a shorthanded goal from Devin Shore beat Garteig from the right circle after Conner Leen skated the puck behind the net and fed him for the shot.
Quinnipiac sent 28 shots toward Ouellette, but Maine’s defense, which averages two goals against a game, blocked 26 shots to help their goalie.
The win over Maine was Quinnipiac’s fourth win over a Hockey East team this season, but only its second win since the beginning of December.
“We’re definitely not playing our best hockey right now,” Pecknold said. “You can’t fake passion, you can’t fake emotion and we don’t have enough of that right now.”
The Bobcats return to action on Tuesday when they take on Harvard in Cambridge, Mass.
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Former teammates behind opposing benches at the Frozen Four