Anas’ big night lifts men’s ice hockey past Colgate

Anas’ big night lifts men’s ice hockey past Colgate

Max Molski

Quinnipiac named Sam Anas January Male Athlete of the Month after he compiled six goals and four assists in six games. And if this weekend is any indication, Anas might run away with February’s award and set himself up for even more hardware.

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Anas scored two goals and added an assist in Quinnipiac’s (21-1-6, 12-0-4 ECAC) 6-3 win over Colgate at High Point Solutions Arena on Saturday night. He extended his goal streak to six games and his point streak to 11. Yet, Anas says the only points he cares about are the ones in the standings.

“I’m more just focusing on team play,” Anas said. “I thought tonight was a big, big win for us, getting back to playing our game and getting two points. I think that was really important.”

The two goals put him at 20 for the third straight season and the assist gave him a career season-high 17 on the year. Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold says he has recognized Anas’ success as a natural progression.

“He just keeps getting better,” Pecknold said. “There’s no question he’s on a little bit of a roll right now. He’s very confident. He’s making plays.”

Anas put Quinnipiac on the board just five minutes into the game. Devon Toews delivered him a light pass from the red line before he ripped a one-timer past Colgate goaltender Charlie Finn.

Ken Citron evened the game for the Raiders after blasting a slap shot past Quinnipiac goalie Michael Garteig early in the second period. Just 1:45 later, Connor Clifton gave the Bobcats the 2-1 lead. Travis St. Denis brought the puck up the right side of the ice before dumping the puck the Clifton, who went five-hole for his fifth goal of the season.

Colgate kept Quinnipiac on the leash by tying the game 2-2 with 13:03 left in the second. Jake Kulevich powered a shot that went wide of the net, but Tim Harrison took the carom from the boards and slid it into the open right side.

Following penalties on Harrison and Kulevich, Quinnipiac had a five-on-three power play. Just as the power play was dwindling and Colgate’s fourth skater was rushing down the ice, freshman Luke Shiplo got the puck past Finn to put Quinnipiac up 3-2 with 5:39 left in the second.

“It’s just take your opportunities when you get them,” Shiplo said. “I tried to play as hard as I could this weekend and came out with the win tonight.”

Anas earned his assist on the following Quinnipiac goal. He put a shot on net and Landon Smith tapped in a rebound for the power-play goal with 6:33 left in the third

Anas went on to put Quinnipiac up 5-2 after a breakaway goal. Anas took a pass from Kevin McKernan moments after leaving the penalty box before deking Finn for the backhand breakaway finish.

“I just came right out of the box and McKernan had his head up, so I just took off,” Anas said. “He made a great pass. I almost skated into the ref but avoided him. Finn showed poke check pretty early, so I just slid it on the ice and it went in.”

After Colgate’s Darcy Murphy put in a breakaway goal of his own, Toews capped off his two-assist night with a long empty-net goal to secure the 6-3 final for Quinnipiac.

“I thought it was a good win tonight,” Pecknold said. “Colgate gave us a lot of fits and was really good in a lot of situations. We struggled at times. We found a way there in the third to finish it off and get a nice win, so I’m happy.”

The Bobcats now sit seven points above both Harvard and Yale in the ECAC standings. The team returns to the ice on Feb. 12 as it travels to Canton, New York to take on St. Lawrence.

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