A hat trick of first career goals

A nine-goal performance led to a Quinnipiac blowout

Peter Piekarski, Associate Sports Editor

After nearly 300 days between games, Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey routed Sacred Heart 9-2 on opening night.

Not only did Quinnipiac’s top line produce, but they received contributions from all four lines, including nine different goal scorers and three first career NCAA goals.

Sophomore forward Matthew Fawcett began the night of career firsts when junior forward Desi Burgart corralled a loose puck and fed it back to Fawcett who ripped it right underneath the crossbar for a 4-1 lead.

“It was nice to see (Fawcett) get his first goal,” Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey head coach Rand Pecknold said. “He’s been working hard, he had a good summer and thought (Fawcett) was a big part of the game.”

Junior forward Michael Lombardi netted one goal in the team’s 9-2 outburst against Sacred Heart. (Contributed by QU Athletics)

Midway through the third period, freshman defenseman Nick Bochen fired a one-time missile off the pipe in the first period. This time, his shot found twine on the power play, tallying his first NCAA goal and extended Quinnipiac’s lead to 7-1.

With just under four minutes remaining, junior defenseman Marcus Chorney joined in on the career firsts with a one-timer of his own on the power play, making it a 9-2 lead for Quinnipiac.

“I think a lot of guys were pretty pumped up for me,” Chorney said. “It was a nine-goal game so it was a little bit different. There was definitely a lot of emotion. It’s been a long time so it felt good for sure.”

Outside of the career firsts, the Bobcats’ offense shined. During the second period, while on the rare 4-on-3 power play, senior defenseman Peter DeLiberatore walked untouched from the right faceoff circle to the left faceoff dot and slid the puck to the weak side to wide-open junior forward Wyatt Bongiovanni.

Bongiovanni settled the pass and whistled a shot off of Sacred Heart’s sophomore goaltender Luke Lush’s head and into the net for the first Quinnipiac goal of the season.

A drop pass from Tufto to sophomore forward Gus Van Nes gave enough room for him to make an outside-in move toward the slot, not allowing a defender to touch him or the puck and snapped the puck into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.

Halfway through the game, Quinnipiac junior forward Michael Lombardi gathered a loose puck near the net, made a sharp turn in the left corner and raced around the net for a wraparound goal.

“It was one of those games where pucks go in for you,” Pecknold said. “There’s plenty of nights where it just won’t go in. I’ve had those too so we’ll take it and we’ll move on.”

Just before the second period ended, junior defenseman Zach Metsa tallied a goal with a wrist shot from the point.

Senior forward and captain Odeen Tufto, who dominated in the offensive end all night, galloped his way around the net, cutting up toward the slot and wristing another shot into the net.

Replicating Quinnipiac’s theme of the night, sophomore forward Ethan Leyh lasered a one-timer past the goaltender. It was utter dominance all night for the Bobcats, but they highly anticipate a much closer game tomorrow night as they host Sacred Heart again at 7 p.m.

“You know they’re going to bring it,” Metsa said. “It’s not easy losing like that. It’s embarrassing. They’re going to be upset, so we’re going to expect their best tomorrow.”