It was a double dip of major proportions for the men’s hockey team, defeating the No. 17 Ohio State Buckeyes twice in as many days last Thursday and Friday in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State, who received an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament last year, only mustered three goals against the Bobcats in the two games.
Downright surprising in the first game was freshman goalie Eric Hartzell, who turned aside 30 shots and shut out Ohio State in the second and third periods. Quinnipiac went on to win the game 4-2. But more surprising was head coach Rand Pecknold’s move to sit the hot Hartzell in the second game, putting sophomore Dan Clarke between the pipes. But there were no questions following that game’s conclusion, as Clarke was equally masterful. The Belleville, Ontario native saved a career high 44 shots, and like Hartzell, shut down the Buckeyes in the final two periods. The offensive push, led by senior forward Eric Lampe, gave Quinnipiac a 3-1 win in the finale. Lampe notched three goals in the two games.
The Bobcats trailed early in the second game after Ohio State’s Alex Carlson scored in the first period, but that was the last time Clarke would give the Buckeyes a chance to cheer. The game shifted in the Bobcats’ favor when junior defenseman Zach Hansen tied the game early in the second period. Brandon Wong and Lampe were credited with assists.
A short-handed goal from Lampe nearly eight minutes into the third period gave the Bobcats a 2-1 lead, which they would not relinquish. The goal came only five seconds after the Bobcats began their power play kill when Wong won the initial face off and passed it up ice to Lampe. The Bobcats put the game away with an empty-netter late in the third period from senior forward Mike Atkinson, assisted by freshman forward Yuri Bouharevich.
Absent from the games was captain Jean-Marc Beaudoin, who stayed home for the birth of his first child. But despite missing Beaudoin and opening the season against a nationally ranked team, the Bobcats snagged two gritty wins.
“We played 10 freshmen and beat a nationally-ranked team,” head coach Rand Pecknold told Quinnipiacbobcats.com. “It felt like a team, like a family in that locker room. Everyone stepped up–it was just great.”
Two goals in the first minute of the third period highlighted Thursday’s 4-2 win. Trailing 2-1, Lampe tied up the contest with a wrap-around goal, and just 17 seconds later, veteran forward Brandon Wong pushed the Bobcats ahead for good.
Sophomore Scott Zurevinski tacked on an insurance goal with just under seven minutes to go in the third period on a power play. The goal broke a stretch of six straight failed power plays for Quinnipiac.
Despite losing the faceoff battle 42-29, the Bobcats were able to tally 31 shots on goal.
Shane Sims and John Albert scored the two Buckeye goals, and goalie Dustin Carlson faced 35 shots on the night, turning away 31.
Quinnipiac hopes to stay undefeated in its home opener against host Bentley this Saturday at 4 p.m., while Ohio State will host the No. 1 team in the nation, Denver, for a two-game set starting this Thursday.