Quinnipiac goalies work together

Doug Manners

Too much of a good thing can be bad, but not when you are talking about goaltending, which is why the men’s ice hockey team is more than glad to have two solid starting goaltenders. With senior Justin Eddy and junior Jamie Holden playing between the pipes, the Bobcats have one of the best goaltending tandems in Atlantic Hockey.

The Bobcats have taken Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the Week honors in the past four weeks, with Holden winning in the last two weeks. The native of Telkwa, British Columbia, stopped 41 of 43 shots in Quinnipiac’s last game, a 4-2 victory over Sacred Heart on November 8. Holden has posted a record of 3-2 with a 3.17 goals against average and .923 save percentage. In league play he is 2-0 with a 2.00 goals against average and .950 save percentage.

Eddy, from Apple Valley, Minn., earned the honor after strong games against national power house University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin, both non-conference opponents. He stopped 51 shots in a 3-2 loss at Michigan on Oct. 9 and six days later made 46 saves in a 2-1 overtime defeat at Wisconsin.

“It was very nice to be recognized by the league for my play in the two non-conference games,” Eddy said. “I wish we could have come away with a few wins, but it was a solid start to the season.”

Eddy and Holden have split the goaltending duties this season, with Holden appearing in one more game. Both goalies have the talent be a starter in Atlantic Hockey, but they appreciate the competition that they provide for one another.

“Jamie and I have a good competitive relationship. We push each other everyday in practice, and in the process really learn a lot from each other,” Eddy said. “The battle for playing time is intense, and to earn that playing time I have to work hard and improve everyday.”

With a one-two punch in goal like the Bobcats have, the opposition knows that they’re guaranteed to face a tough goalie every time they meet Quinnipiac.

“I think having two solid goaltenders is an advantage for any team. It really gives the other guys a lot of confidence knowing that they have two guys that can deliver,” Eddy said.

Both Eddy and Holden have been busy manning the net for the Bobcats, who have been out shot in all but two games. With the opposition firing an average of 39.6 shots-on-goal per game, as opposed to Quinnipiac’s 27.3, the goalies have had to be sharp.

“I would prefer to have more shots,” Eddy said. “It’s a lot easier to get into the flow of the game if you’re facing a lot of shots, especially in the early stages.”

The Bobcats’ two-headed goaltending monster has been a major reason that Quinnipiac is one of just two unbeaten teams, the College of the Holy Cross being the other, in Atlantic Hockey, with a conference record of 3-0. Overall, the Bobcats have posted a record of 5-4 on the young season.

The Bobcats will hit the road this weekend for their first two conference games away from the friendly confines of the Northford Ice Pavilion, where all of their victories have come. On Friday, Quinnipiac plays at Army, who the Bobcats defeated in the championship game of the Quinnipiac Cup earlier in the season. The following night the Bobcats head to Storrs to face the University of Connecticut for the second time this season. The Bobcats won the first meeting, 4-2 in Northford.

While the Bobcats as a team will be looking to extend their three-game winning streak, Eddy and Holden will be working in tandem to keep Quinnipiac’s Goalie of the Week streak going as well.