Bongiovanni leads Bobcats to seventh consecutive win, beating Dartmouth 3-1


Photos: Kaylyn Terry

Shawn D'Aversa

In Sunday night ECAC action, Wyatt Bongiovanni and the Quinnipiac Bobcats defeated the Dartmouth Big Green, 3-1, and extended their winning streak to seven games. With Sunday’s win, the Bobcats are 7-0-1 in the ECAC, and 16-1-3 overall. Additionally, the Bobcats’ effort extended their unbeaten streak to 15 games. 

Dartmouth head coach Reid Cashman, a Quinnipiac alum and former assistant coach of the Washington Capitals National Hockey League club, made his return to the People’s United Center on Sunday night. Cashman played for the Bobcats from 2003-2007, was nominated for the Hobey Baker Award in 2005, and even coached alongside Bobcats coach Rand Pecknold before landing a head coaching job at Dartmouth. 

“He’s an outstanding coach… that’s a really good hire by Dartmouth,” Pecknold said, referring to Cashman.  

Goaltender Clay Stevenson was a major part of the Big Green effort on Sunday, as he turned aside 47 of Quinnipiac’s 49 shots. He was only beaten by Brendan Less on the high glove side in the first period, and Bongiovanni off of a blunder which ended up in the back of the cage. Bongiovanni added an empty net goal for his second of the night on Quinnipiac’s 50th shot, and cemented the Bobcat victory. 

“We knew [Stevenson] would put up a tough performance,” Bongiovanni said. “Maybe there was some frustration underlying, but at the end of the day, you just have to keep peppering him with shots and eventually some will fall.” 

In the other net, Yaniv Perets got the night off, paving the way for Dylan St. Cyr’s first start of 2022. St. Cyr was nearly perfect, stopping 18 of 19 Dartmouth shots faced. 

“We have great staff… they’ve formulated a plan when things don’t go our way… when games get postponed, we can work in game-like situations to stay ready and stay sharp,” St. Cyr said.

Heading into the week, the Bobcats were ranked the No. 2 team in college hockey, trailing only behind No. 1 Minnesota State. With Minnesota State losing to Northern Michigan University last weekend, this win allows the Bobcats to potentially gain some leverage from a rankings perspective. 

“We don’t look at rankings much,” Bongiovanni said. “All the guys know we can control what we can control… we know we’ll be successful… I think a lot of us know we have even better hockey ahead of us.” 

Quinnipiac surrendered just their third goal against in ECAC play through eight games so far this season, for a conference-leading 0.375 goals against average in conference play. Defense and goaltending have helped propel the Bobcats to their massive unbeaten streak, which they will try to continue on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. against Princeton at the People’s United Center.