Coming into last weekend, the Quinnipiac Bobcats men’s ice hockey team had never beaten the Niagara Purple Eagles on their home ice. In fact, they hadn’t beaten the team from Lewiston, N.Y., at all since Jan. 28, 2006.
Things changed, however, when the Bobcats defeated Niagara 6-4 last Friday to break that losing streak. The next day, the Purple Eagles (10-9-1) were able to earn a split of the weekend series, beating Quinnipiac (12-8-2) 5-1.
Sophomore defenseman Zach Hansen scored the game-winning power play goal with 1:38 remaining in the third period Friday night, giving Quinnipiac a 5-4 lead. Senior forward David Marshall added an empty net insurance goal with 24 seconds left to secure the victory.
The Bobcats jumped out to a 3-1 lead by the end of the second period behind two goals scored by freshman forward Scott Zurevinski and junior forward Eric Lampe.
The Purple Eagles were able to battle back, however, scoring a goal a little over five minutes into the third period. Marshall provided an answer for the Bobcats when he scored on the power play less than two minutes later to give his team a two-goal lead.
Niagara was unaffected. Eight minutes after Marshall’s goal, the score was tied at 4-4 behind goals from Bryan Haczyk and Travis Anderson. Three minutes after Anderson’s goal, Hansen scored his fifth goal of the season to give the Bobcats a lead they would not relinquish.
When all was said and done, senior forward and Hobey Baker Award finalist (awarded to the best player in college hockey) Bryan Leitch recorded four assists, giving him 27 on the year. Marshall and Zurevinski scored twice each and junior forward Brandon Wong had three assists. Senior goaltender Bud Fisher made 24 saves in the victory.
Saturday night’s game was a different story. Yet, it was similar to Quinnipiac’s past games at Dwyer Arena.
The Bobcats fell behind almost three minutes in when Jim Burichin scored his second goal of the season. Quinnipiac was able to tie the game at 14:09 of the period, when junior forward Jean-Marc Beaudoin scored his eighth goal of the season behind assists from Marshall and Leitch. Marshall’s assist increases his scoring streak to 15 straight games, passing former Bobcat Reid Cashman for longest scoring streak in Quinnipiac Division I history.
That would be the last time Quinnipiac hit the net on this night. Niagara added two more goals in the second period and another in the third on their way to a 5-1 victory.
Freshman goaltender Dan Clarke made 13 saves on 17 shots through two periods before being replaced by Fisher before the third period.
The Bobcats return to action this weekend when they face Robert Morris at home on Friday and Saturday in a non-conference two-game series. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m. both nights.