Men’s hockey ices Huskies in Northford

Doug Manners

There was not anything spooky about the mens ice hockey team’s performance on Halloween night. Back on home ice after two consecutive weekends on the road, the Bobcats treated a crowd of 847 people at the Northford Ice Pavilion, to a 4-2 victory over the University of Connecticut. The win continues Quinnipiac’s winning streak at home, as they are now 3-0 at the Northford Ice Pavilion this season.

The game marked the Atlantic Hockey opener for both clubs, who are the only two Connecticut schools in the conference after Fairfield University dropped its hockey program over the summer. It was the first of three meetings between the two intrastate rivals. The next meeting will be played at Storrs on Nov. 22.

The Huskies started the scoring at 7:19 of the first period when Eric Helstedt’s bad angle shot from the left corner snuck past Quinnipiac junior goaltender Jamie Holden of Telwka, British Columbia.

The Bobcats responded1:12 later with a power play goal from junior Matt Craig of London, Ontario. His shot from the high slot traveled through a maze of traffic in front of the net and snuck through the pads of UConn goaltender Scott Tomes. Junior Matt Froelich of Apple Valley, Minnesota and freshman Reid Cashman of Red Wing, Minnesota, each collected an assist on the goal.

Quinnipiac added a shorthanded goal only 1:29 after Craig’s tally to pull ahead 2-1. Sophomore Aaron Ludwig of Lampman, Saskatchewan, intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, skated down the left wing into the UConn zone, and fed a centering pass to junior Chris White of Santa Ana, California, who beat Tomes on a breakaway.

An early second-period power play goal from UConn’s Cole Koidahl knotted the score at 2-2. Koidahl blasted a shot from inside the left face-off circle just under the crossbar at 3:30.

Craig added his second goal of the game late in the third period to give the Bobcats a 3-2 lead. The goal turned out to be the game winner. Cashman set-up the breakaway for Craig, with a pass from inside the Quinnipiac zone. Craig then slid a backhander past an outstretched Tomes, with 2:48 remaining in the middle stanza. Holden picked up an assist on the goal, marking the first Quinnipiac goalie assist since Dan DiLeo did it against Bentley on March 3, 2000.

In the third period, the Bobcats killed off a pair of penalties in the final eleven minutes and sealed the deal when sophomore defenseman Joe Testa of Wallingford, Pennsylvania scored into an empty net with 6.3 seconds remaining.

Holden finished the night with 35 saves for the Bobcats, who were outshot by the Huskies, 37-25. The junior goaltender has posted a record of 2-2 on the season.

Quinnipiac’s record on the season improves to 3-4 and 1-0 in Atlantic Hockey play. The Bobcats defeated American International and Air Force earlier in the season. They were defeated by national power Michigan twice and the Univeristy of Wisconsin twice.

The Bobcats return to action this weekend with games Friday and Saturday against Sacred Heart. Both games start at 7 p.m.