Men’s ice hockey downs Union in Game 3

Alec Turner

The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team held off a comeback by the Union Dutchmen in a 3-1 victory in Game 3 of the ECAC Quarterfinals on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Bobcats win the series against Union and advance to the ECAC semifinals in Lake Placid.

“It wasn’t pretty at times, but we’d played good enough to win tonight,” Pecknold said. “We controlled the first half, and they controlled the second half. We showed our youth later in the game.”

Michael Garteig tallied a career-high 37 saves in the win, including 28 in the final two periods.

“He was the best player on the ice tonight, he saved us late in the game,” Pecknold said.

The junior goalie stopped several serious scoring opportunities Union had late in the game to hold the lead. The Dutchmen outshot the Quinnipiac 29-14 in the final two periods, but Quinnipiac still came out on top.

“It is fun to be a goalie in those situations,” Garteig said.

Soren Jonzzon led the offensive charge for the Bobcats with two goals. It was Jonzzon’s sixth and seventh goals on the year.

“He’s been generating a lot of chances lately,” Pecknold said.

In this win-or-go-home situation, Quinnipiac showed up to win and keep the season alive.

“We knew that if we lost tonight the season would be over,” Garteig said. “You could see in our faces that we weren’t calling it quits tonight.”

With the loss, Union’s season comes to an end. Head coach Rick Bennett was proud of his team’s performance despite the loss.

“We did all you can ask for, and that is leave it all out there on the ice,” Bennett said.

Dutchmen goalie Colin Stevens recorded 22 saves on the day, allowing only two goals in the loss.

“He made some great out there and gave us some life,” Bennett said.

Sam Anas was injured late in the first period in what appeared to be a lower body injury. The team’s leading scorer didn’t appear for the rest of the game.

“Every guy on the team stepped up a little, as a group we all stepped up playing more minutes and doing plays that go unnoticed,” Jonzzon said.

The scoring started in the final minute of the first period. Dan Federico dumped the puck into the corner where Landon Smith got the pass and dished it out to Jonzzon in the slot. Jonzzon ripped one toward the net and passed Stevens to make it 1-0.

It was a Jonzzon and Smith combo again early in the second. On a two-on-one Smith passed it off to Jonzzon to his right and the junior ripped in his second goal past the goalie.

“[Smith] fought out two pucks to get me to score. We are beginning to know where each other is.”

Matt Wilkins cut the lead in half about midway through the second period off the rebound of a Charlie Vasaturo slap shot from the right side.

For the second half of the game, Union kept the puck in their zone and continued to get scoring chances on Garteig. The Bobcats could not get on the forecheck.

“There are moments of panic, it’s hard to keep our composure when you are trying end a team’s season,” Jonzzon said.

Garteig did not budge between the pipes though. Besides the Wilkins goal, Garteig was perfect in net and kept the Bobcats on top for the duration of the game. Garteig gave himself some motivation from the first two games of this series.

“I thought Colin Stevens was being the better goalie this series and I knew I had to be better,” Garteig said.

The Dutchmen got a six-on four opportunity for the final minute and a half following an Andrew Taverner penalty and pulling their goalie. The Bobcats won a big faceoff in their zone and pushed the puck away. Senior captain Matthew Peca put the game in the books with an empty netter with 37 seconds left.

With the win, the Bobcats head to Lake Placid next week to face Colgate in the conference semifinals.

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