Though the rest of the University was rewarded with a week off for Thanksgiving, the Quinnipiac men’s hockey certainly did not receive a break. Perennial powerhouses Clarkson and St. Lawrence were on their holiday menu, along with 9-2 Princeton. Despite the challenge, the Bobcats finished the week with a 2-1 record.
The Bobcats (6-5-1, 4-3-1 ECAC) now sport a 4-1 record over the last five games and outscored their opponents 21-10 during that time. They have remained dominant in the net as well, with the consistency of goalies freshman Nick Pisellini and the resurgence of senior Bud Fisher. Their balanced play has earned the Bobcats fifth place in the current ECAC standings.
Senior forward David Marshall led the offensive attack with two goals against Clarkson Nov. 21. He padded the Bobcats’ lead early in the third period, making the game 3-0. After Clarkson cut the lead to 3-1, Marshall sealed the game away at the 9:17 mark. Sophomore Golden Knight forward Brandon DeFazio scored for the Golden Knights with 8:35 remaining to bring the final score to 4-2.
Bobcats captain Dan Henningson also got in on the scoring, netting his first goal of the season. Quinnipiac started the scoring 12:17 into the first period. Senior Chris Myer scored off a breakaway, shooting the puck over Clarkson goalie Paul Karpowich for the 1-0 lead. Less than two minutes later, Henningson took a pass from junior Brandon Wong and fired it past Karpowich.
On the defensive side, Fisher returned to the net against a team he beat in his freshman and sophomore years. Fisher recorded 22 saves on the night and earned another victory against the Golden Knights.
With Clarkson defeated, the Bobcats travelled to Appleton Arena in Canton, N.Y., to take on the St. Lawrence Saints. The Saints were coming off a 2-1 home loss to the Princeton Tigers and a three-game losing streak overall.
Henningson was the hero of the night, as he notched two goals in a lopsided 5-2 victory. Myers, junior Jean-Marc Beaudoin and freshman Scott Zurevinski each contributed a goal.
Unlike Clarkson, St. Lawrence drew first blood when junior forward Travis Vermuelen snuck a shot past Pisellini with 9:40 remaining in the first period. After taking a pass from Derek Keller, Vermuelen came from behind the net and scored. The goal was his third of the season.
With 7:44 left in the first period, Henningson tied the score. Zurevinski delivered the puck to Henningson after the face-off, who beat St. Lawrence goalie Alex Petizian with a shot to the left. Henningson tied the game again in the second period with 5:49 remaining. This time he took a pass from senior Bryan Leitch and made it 2-2 all.
Quinnipiac took its first lead of the night later on in the second period. Myers took a shot from the right face-off circle, giving Quinnipiac a 3-2 edge with only 3:41 left in the period. The Bobcats finally broke away in the third period, burying the Saints with two additional goals.
Pisellini was back in goal for this contest, turning away 28 shots and earning the fifth win of his young career.
The Bobcats traveled to Princeton, N.J., on Nov. 26 to take on the Princeton Tigers and close out the week of Thanksgiving break.
Currently ranked seventh in the country, the Tigers proved to be too much for the high-octane Bobcats, defeating the Bobcats by a score of 2-1.
Continuing the rotating goalie trend, Fisher played his standout game of the season, racking up 39 saves on the night. Unfortunately for Fisher, Princeton goalie Zane Kalemba met much less resistance, allowing a single goal and turning away only 24 shots.
Wong provided the only offense for Quinnipiac, and it did not arrive until the third period. Facing a 2-0 deficit, Wong took a backhanded pass from Leitch and beat Kalemba to the net. The Bobcats never threatened again and the game remained 2-1.
The play was a milestone for both Quinnipiac players, as it was Wong’s 45th goal of his career and Leitch’s 15th assist of the season. Leitch currently leads all ECAC players with 18 points. Clarkson’s Scott Freeman comes in a distant second with 12 points.
Overall, the Bobcats have three players in the ECAC top 10 in terms of production. Marshall is tied for third with 11 points, and Wong’s 10 points throw him in a tie for seventh place.
Quinnipiac hopes to reignite this offense that sputtered against Princeton in a re-match at Princeton today. Face-off will be at 7 p.m. in a non-conference match with two of the highest-scoring teams in the conference.