Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey wins home opener against UConn

Bryan Murphy

[media-credit id=2200 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team skated away with its first home win of the season, defeating in-state rival UConn on Tuesday night by a score of 4-2.

Freshman forward William Fallstrom scored his first two collegiate goals to propel the Bobcats (2-0, 0-0 ECAC Hockey) to the win. Senior defenseman Brandon Fortunato and sophomore forward Odeen Tufto each notched a goal as well. Sophomore goalie Keith Petruzzelli (11 saves) secured his second win of the year.

“I thought it was a good effort on our part today,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “It wasn’t perfect. We got nine freshmen out there, we’ve got a lot of new players were trying to indoctrinate into our system and our identity.”

Coming off a 3-2 comeback win in their season opener against Vermont in which four of those freshmen registered a point, the freshmen continued their play into their first season game at Frank Perrotti, Jr. Arena. Early in the first period, it was freshman Desi Burgart who found Fortunato wide open in front of the net to open the scoring.

Less than two minutes later, Tufto picked up right where we left off after scoring the game-winner against Vermont, and collected his second goal on the season, a rebound goal off of a shot by freshman forward Wyatt Bongiovanni.

However, before the end of the period, UConn was able to get on the board when freshman forward Jonny Evans was able to beat Petruzzelli short side with a shot.

“The first period was our worst period, it was the same as against Vermont,” Pecknold said. “We’re a young team we need to be ready to go when the puck drops and that’s something we’ll work on.”

The second period was all Quinnipiac, as it outshot UConn 10-2 in the frame. And it was able to extend the lead back to two when a two-on-one with junior forward Alex Whelan and Fallstrom resulted in Fallstrom’s first goal on the year.

“It’s a lot of pressure to get that first goal,” Fallstrom said. “You get that monkey off your back, scoring your first goal. It’s unreal.”

In the final frame, it was a scary scene as a crushing hit from Quinnipiac junior defender Brogan Rafferty resulted in freshman forward Ruslan Iskhakov being stretchered off the ice. Rafferty was given a five minute major for charging and a game misconduct.

“I think he was taken to the hospital,” UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh said. “From what I hear he’s okay, he’s moving and what not. But I don’t know anything else besides that.”

UConn failed to score on that five minute power play, but secured a power play goal later when freshman forward Carter Turnball slammed home the rubber after a scramble in front. However, an empty netter by Fallstrom secured Quinnipiac’s victory and it won the game 4-2.

“We had a good game, I thought our [penalty kill] was really good tonight,” Pecknold said. “Sometimes I’m a little too tough on myself, but I look at the stats, we only gave up 13 shots on net. That’s a pretty impressive defensive performance.”

Quinnipiac now heads into a matchup on Friday, Oct. 19, against No. 18 Boston College (0-2, 0-0 Hockey East). That game will be home at Frank Perrotti, Jr. Arena at 7 p.m.