Freshman Thomas Aldworth leads men’s ice hockey past Holy Cross

Max Molski

Freshman Thomas Aldworth recorded three points including his first collegiate goal as Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey beat the Holy Cross Crusaders 4-2 in Saturday’s home opener at High Point Solutions Arena.

Aldworth provided a goal and two assists as the Bobcats completed their weekend sweep over the Crusaders. The freshman said he is meshing with the team in the early going.

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“Things are great here,” Aldworth said. “The guys are all really accepting. The team is really good. The coaching staff is amazing, so I like it here. I’m fitting in well.”

It only took the Bobcats five minutes to take the lead over the Crusaders. Senior captain Soren Jonzzon scored his first goal of the season from the right side. The play was made possible after Aldworth ripped the puck away from a Holy Cross defender behind the Crusaders’ net. Aldworth gave Jonzzon the assist later in the play and earned his first collegiate point.

“I was talking to Rand [Pecknold] before the game and he told me to move my feet, move my legs. That’s how I’m effective, so I tried to use my speed as much as I can,” Aldworth said.

Holy Cross’ T.J. Moore tied the game early in the second period. Moore rocketed the puck past Quinnipiac’s Michael Garteig just after a Holy Cross power play had ended. The goal was just Holy Cross’ third shot of the game.

“We had a forward on the guy in the slot,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said, “he did his job, but just wasn’t tight enough. That’s one thing we had problems with. We’d be on our guy, but we’d be 15 feet away from him. That’s not how we play.”

Quinnipiac regained the lead midway through the second period. K.J. Tiefenwerth attempted to get the Bobcats up with a wraparound shot, but it was Aldworth who scored his first collegiate goal by putting in the rebound.

“He’s fast. The kid can move his feet,” junior Tim Clifton said. “He’s a great player and I look forward to the next two years.”

Clifton gave the Bobcats a cushion with the team’s third power play goal of the season. Clifton scored his second goal in as many games after slapping the puck past Holy Cross goaltender Tommy Nixon in the crease.

“I think (the power play) is good,” Clifton said. I think both units are moving the puck and getting shots, getting pucks, to the net.”

Holy Cross cut the lead to 3-2 within the final five minutes of period. Garteig lost his stick behind the net after trying to get rid of the puck. Moore took the puck for the Crusaders, dumped the puck to Mike Barrett on the left side, and Barrett fired the puck through the open left side of the net.

“Garteig was handling the puck. He knew that,” Pecknold said. “Things happen.”

The Bobcats solidified their victory with a power play goal in the final period. Aldworth and Anas earned assists on the play as Travis St. Denis tipped in a shot.

Pecknold had praise for Aldworth following his three-point performance.

“He had some good jump. He won battles. We have to keep developing him. He has the potential to be a big time player for us,” Pecknold said.

The Bobcats take a 2-0-0 record into their next game against Arizona State on Thursday. Pecknold said there is room for improvement looking ahead following the opening weekend sweep.

“I’d say the main thing I learned is we need to get better. We have some things we need to clean up,” Pecknold said.

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