Men’s ice hockey sweeps weekend with win over Colgate

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Men’s ice hockey sweeps weekend with win over Colgate

Photo: Liz Flynn

Photo: Liz Flynn

Photo: Liz Flynn

Photo: Liz Flynn

Jacob Shiffer

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While the result may have been the same, the path to victory couldn’t have been more different for the Quinnipiac men’s hockey team. After five goals in a win Friday night, the Bobcats finished the weekend sweep with a tough 2-1 victory over the Colgate Raiders.

“We need to play 120-minute weekends and we didn’t quite do that but we’ll move on with two wins,” Bobcats head coach Rand Pecknold said.

The first period was controlled by the Bobcats but the speed and energy of Friday night was nowhere to be found. The Raiders blocked seven shots, limiting the Bobcats to 10 shots on goal even as they had the puck in the attacking zone for most of the period.

In the second period, the Bobcats started pressuring the net and brought the same energy seen Friday night. Just over seven minutes into the period, Quinnipiac scored on a power play when sophomore Peter DiLiberatore poked the puck into the net as a crowd of players scrambled in front of the goaltender. The goal was DiLiberatore’s fifth of the season and his second point of the weekend.

The Raiders managed just nine shots on goal in the period but their last one mattered most. Colgate tied the game with just 12 seconds left when senior forward John Snodgrass found junior forward Tyler Jeanson for his second goal of the season.

“It’s always tough giving up a goal at the start or the end of the period,” Bobcats junior goaltender Keith Petruzzelli said. “We got into the locker room and our leadership group took charge and said ‘alright doesn’t matter, 0-0 game basically, and we gotta go score a goal and win a period to win a game.'”

The Bobcats put the pressure on early in the third period and were rewarded with a goal just 17 seconds in. Sophomore forward Ethan de Jong stole the puck along the boards and passed it to junior forward Odeen Tufto at the blue line who found sophomore forward Wyatt Bongiovanni for his 13th goal of the season.

“Home ice on a Saturday night with one period left and a chance to sweep, I mean, it’s kind of all set up for itself there,” Tufto said. “Just kind of reset and kind of come out strong in the third and fortunately we got one on the first shift there.”

The Raiders found chances near the end as they went on a power play with under five minutes left but the Bobcats penalty kill held firm and finished the weekend without allowing a power-play goal.

“We’ve been pretty resilient,” Pecknold said. “We’ve had a lot of resilient wins. Some games we haven’t played great but we still find a way to win. Tonight I thought we were ok, it wasn’t a bad game.”

The win pushes the Bobcats into a tie for third with the Harvard Crimson as they head into a rivalry game against the Yale Bulldogs on Friday, Feb. 7. With just eight games left in conference play, the importance of this victory wasn’t lost on the team.

“Every game is important,” Pecknold said. “A game in October counts the same as in January and February. If we want to make the NCAA Tournament with how young we are this year we gotta grind out a win any night so this was big for us.”