Bobcats Prevail in Shootout Over Sharks


Photo: Alex Bayer

Seth Fromowitz

Coming off of a shutout victory on the road, the Bobcats finished the 2022-23 regular season home opener against Long Island in a shootout as regulation and overtime gameplay ended in a 2-2 tie.

“You gotta give them credit,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said, “They were hungrier than us… [Vinnie] Purpura was excellent in net.”

Starting in net for the Long Island Sharks was senior Vinnie Purpura, who faced 39 shots on net throughout the game and was able to save 37.

The first shot that got by the Sharks netminder was a power-play goal scored by Union transfer Collin Graf  8:34 into the first period.

Despite only scoring once on six power-play opportunities between both regular season games and two exhibition games, the Bobcats were able to score at least once in each match.

“Our power play had a lot of good looks tonight,” said Pecknold. “[LIU] kinda packed it in there… problem with the power play was that it was kinda warm in the building, a lot of snow building up and puck bouncing around. In the end we can’t make excuses.”

Prior to transferring to Quinnipiac, Graf led Union forwards with 22 points, finding the back of the net 11 times and assisting on another 11 during his first year. His power-play goal marked his first Bobcat goal of his career.

“It felt good. Wish we could have gotten the win,” said Graf.

The Bobcats extended their lead to 2-0 after sophomore forward Cristophe Tellier was able to find the top-shelf over Papura’s right shoulder in the second period after a center-ice pass from first-year Timothy Heinke.

Before the second period ended, the Sharks were able to cut the score in half as sophomore Chris Pappas scored on a breakaway chance with under a minute remaining in the second period.

As Quinnipiac looked to extend its lead even further, it was faced with a tough Long Island defense. On top of Purpura’s 37 saves, the Sharks were able to block 27 more of the Bobcats’ shots.

“Their willingness to block shots changed the whole game,” said Pecknold, “It’s a positive to block a shot and then they block so many and were so committed to it, our guys kinda held back a little bit and didn’t want to shoot the puck as much.”

With under five minutes remaining in regulation, Long Island was able to tie the net as Vincent Anthony was able to score his third goal of the season before the game went into overtime and later into a shootout.

Overtime was rather uneventful as only the Bobcats were able to put two shots on net to the Sharks zero.

The shootout started with a right blocker save by Yaniv Perets on Chris Pappas before first-year Sam Lipkin scored for the Bobcats after leading off their shootout lineup.

“He’s a goal scorer,” said Pecknold. “He’s going to be a really good player for us.”

Lipkin’s shootout goal was the only one of the nail-biting finishes as Perets and Purpura were able to stop the rest of what was thrown at them.

The Bobcats will continue their regular season as they travel to Grand Forks, North Dakota to face No. 3 North Dakota on Oct. 14 and 15 followed by a series in Orono, Maine against Maine on Oct. 22 and 23 before returning to Hamden to face Colgate on Nov. 4.