Weekend sweep for men’s hockey

Doug Manners

The Bobcats are finding out that good starts often result in good finishes. For the second straight game, the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team dominated its opponent in the first period and rolled on to a convincing win.

On Friday, playing its first ECAC game in nearly three weeks, the Bobcats scored three first-period goals and went on to defeat Clarkson, 6-1, before a sellout crowd of 1,750 at the Northford Ice Pavilion.

The first period resembled the Bobcats’ 5-2 win over Niagara on Jan. 28, when they outshot the Purple Eagles, 20-2, in the opening 20 minutes.

In Friday’s game, by the time Clarkson got its first shot of the game at 18:30 of the first period, Quinnipiac had scored three goals on eight shots.

“It was a great first period. We did everything well,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “Getting that third goal was big, as opposed to just being up 2-0.”

The Bobcats scored their three first-period goals in just under three minutes. At 8:33, Ben Nelson took a pass out of the right corner and fired a one-timer from the low slot past Clarkson goalie David Leggio.

Chris Meyers added another goal for Quinnipiac 25 seconds later when he scored on a rebound. Then, on the power play, Brian Leitch snapped a wrist shot from the right circle over Leggio’s shoulder.

The Golden Knights scored the only goal of the second period to cut the Bobcats’ lead to 3-1. But Quinnipiac, which has struggled to finish off teams in the ECAC this season, scored three more goals in the third period.

“We’ve been giving up those leads, and (Friday) we sealed the deal and put them away like we should,” Nelson said.

Meyers scored his second goal of the night 1:56 into the third. He skated into the Clarkson zone down the right wing and drilled a slap shot from the upper right circle past Leggio.

Chris Walsh put the Bobcats in front 5-0 at 8:41 and Nelson picked up his second goal of the game two minutes later. Nelson’s shot from between the circles beat Leggio top shelf.

The win improved Quinnipiac’s record at Northford this season to 7-1, including a perfect 3-0 in ECAC games.

“Northford has been good to us,” Pecknold said. “We definitely have a home-ice advantage here.”