Déjà Q: Bobcats Top Polls at No. 1 And Earn Their Stripes in 9-0 Domination of Princeton Tigers


Matt Mugno

On Monday, the Bobcats were ranked the No.1 team in the nation in the USCHO National Ranking Poll. Tuesday, the Quinnipiac Bobcats defeated the Princeton Tigers 9-0 at the People’s United Center in a dominant offensive showing.

The Bobcats have now outscored conference opponents 35-3. A quarter of those goals were from their victory against the Tigers. This victory rocketed the Bobcats to a 16-game unbeaten streak pushing the Bobcats to a 17-1-3 record.

Quinnipiac recorded a season-high in goals scored with nine, the previous high coming from the eight-goal win against St. Lawrence in November.

The Bobcats deployed 16 different point scorers. Six players had two-point games while Skylar Brind’Amour had a three-point outing.  Nine different goal scorers found the net leaving Iivari Räsänen and Jayden Lee as the only players off the scoresheet from the lineup.

Brind’Amour hasn’t found the back of the net since the first game of the season against Boston College in October.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Brind’Amour said. “It’s always nice to bury one. Hopefully I can add a few more in the coming games.”

Brind’Amour credited tonight’s performance to his chemistry with Gus Van Nes.

“(Van Nes) is big (for the team). He makes a lot of big plays,” Brind’Amour raved. “He controls the puck so my job is to try to get to the net because he does a good job of getting pucks there.”

The goal scoring occurred in bunches. A 4:48 stretch in the first period, 3:39 interval in the second period, and 2:12 burst in the third provided three goals in each of those time frames.

Head coach Rand Pecknold explained how roster balance has helped the team succeed.

“I think that’s one of our strengths this season,” Pecknold said. “It’s been a good recipe of success for us.”

The Bobcats were not contested by the Tigers offense much tonight, turning aside all 17 shots. Goaltender Yaniv Perets tied Michael Garteig’s program record of eight shutouts in the 2015-2016 season with his 17 save shutout performance. With plenty of games left, Perets has the opportunity to take the record.

Perets had a three-game shutout stretch versus AIC, Yale, and Brown. The young goaltender has only allowed 10 goals on the season and has only made more than 20 saves once in his career against St. Lawrence in an 8-0 shutout route. Perets now has eight shutouts in 14 appearances. No. 1 team in the nation and a shutout for the Bobcat donning No. 1.

Even when you’re the top of the heap, there are still improvements to be made. The Bobcats went 1-5 on their powerplay opportunities.

Pecknold saw improvement with the extra man since their 34-day hiatus.

“A big focal point since Christmas has been to get our powerplay rolling,” Pecknold said. “I think it’s been a lot better. I’m happy with all three games so far. I thought both units have been good. That’s been a priority and I think we are climbing the ladder right now.”

“We’ve been doing a good job of getting entry to the zone and just finishing on chances and moving the puck around more,” graduate student Brendan Less said. “The more shots on net the more you’ll score so we’re trying to work on that.”

With this win they improve to 8-0-1 in conference and 17-1-3 overall and stay on top of the USA Today and USCHO polls at the infamous No. 1 spot.

“It feels good, but we try not to think about it too much,” Less said. “At the end of the day we’re trying to win the ECAC title and National Championship. As long as we are No. 1 (in the ECAC) by the end of the season, that’s all that matters.”

The Bobcats press on in the bundle of games coming up as they head to New York to take on Colgate on Friday, Jan. 21.