Collin Graf’s Hat Trick Leads the Bobcats to the 4-0 Victory

Gage Kilborne

The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team traveled to New Haven, CT, to take on the Yale Bulldogs in Ingalls Rink on Saturday night. Rand Pecknold’s squad kept the streak going as they shutout the Bulldogs 4-0. 

Early on in the first period, it seemed pretty clear that Quinnipiac’s offense was too much to handle as the Bobcats kept the attack in Yale’s defensive zone. It took until the halfway point of the first period for the Bobcats to score first. It was the Union transfer Collin Graf who slapped one by the blue line to get the offense started for the Bobcats.

Seven minutes later Quinnipiac found themselves on the power play when it was Graf again who slapped one from the left faceoff circle to make it a two-goal advantage over the rivals entering the first intermission.

As the teams got back onto the ice for the second period in front of a roaring crowd, it was the Bobcats who fueled off-the-road energy when graduate student Zack Metsa lit the lamp to extend the lead to three. The Yale offense then started their own attack with a couple of odd-man rushes, however, the defense for Quinnipiac held strong to back up Yaniv Perets in the crease.

After the second period came to a close, it was clear to tell which fans were the most vocal when the Bobcats went to the locker room up by three and outshot the Bulldogs 30-10. 

As the two foes entered the ice for the final period of regulation, one game story started to loom large, Collin Graf attempting his first career NCAA hat trick. However, it seemed to many fans that the Bobcats were just going to try to skate out the remainder of the period to leave with the win. Following a Ryan Conroy slashing penalty with under two minutes left in the game, this gave the special teams one more attempt at Graf’s dream. 

As time wound down in the game the Quinnipiac offense still attacked the net until an initial shot from Skylar Brind ‘Amour was saved by Nathan Reid but offered the rebound to Graf who put away the hat trick and he did not miss.

The Bobcats went on to win 4-0 to improve their record to 7-1-2 on the season and 4-0 in ECAC play. The big reason for this current hot streak had to be because of the power play unit, which went 4-10 this past weekend and included two goals against Yale. Sophomore forward Collin Graf believes that the special team’s lines are starting to get into a rhythm.

“The power play has been good this year,” Graf stated. “I think that it is just a matter of getting more comfortable with a lot of new faces in the season.”

Not only was this Graf’s first career hat trick, but this was also the first time he participated in a Quinnipiac-Yale rivalry game.

“It was fun, a great rivalry,” Graf said. “I thought that a lot of support from the Quinnipiac fans and it almost felt like a home game today with the amount of cheers I was hearing. So it was great, a great atmosphere to be in today.”

The Bobcats look to keep the hot streak going as they now have a home-and-home stand against the Princeton Tigers next Friday at 7:00 in the Hobey Baker Rink.