Quinnipiac drops first ranked matchup

No. 12 Bowling Green dominates No. 11 Quinnipiac in a 4-1 game

Peter Piekarski, Associate Sports Editor

In the first-ever matchup between the Bowling Green Falcons (7-1, 0-0 WCHA) and the Quinnipiac Bobcats men’s ice hockey team (2-1, 0-0 ECAC Hockey), the Falcons trampled the Bobcats 4-1.

Through two periods of play, Bowling Green led by only two goals despite outshooting Quinnipiac 26-7.

Quinnipiac senior goaltender Keith Petruzzelli stood tall and single-handedly kept the Bobcats alive after 40 minutes. Not only were the numerous shots relentless, but a large portion of them came from high-danger areas and screened situations.

Petruzzelli ultimately stopped 35 of 37 shots raising his save percentage up 13 points to .932%.

Senior goaltender Keith Petruzelli saved 35 of 37 shots faced against Bowling Green on Saturday. (Chronicle Archives (2019))

“We hung him (Petruzzelli) out to dry,” said Odeen Tufto, Quinnipiac senior forward and captain. “We weren’t smart defensively, and we didn’t pay attention on some of those goals. He’s going to be great tomorrow, and he’s going to be our backbone all season. He’ll be the best goalie on the ice tomorrow night.”

Even though the scoreline looks staggered, the only two goals to find the back of the net with Petruzzelli in the crease were both deflected into the net. The first one came on a power-play goal where a point shot got tipped in front with three skaters blocking Petruzzelli’s view.

The other was a cross-ice pass that found Quinnipiac freshman defender Iivari Räsänen’s skate and popped into the net. Even though they were being outplayed, the Bobcats still had time for a comeback.

Quinnipiac began clawing its way back into the game. During the final frame, the Bobcats fired 17 shots on goal and were able to eliminate the shutout. However, two empty-net goals for Bowling Green ended any further efforts at tying the game up.

One factor, outside of Petruzzelli’s outstanding night in net, that could have affected the outcome of the game, was Quinnipiac’s power play. Despite potting three goals on the man advantage in their first game of the season, the Bobcats are now 0-15 through the last two games on the power play.

“Execution was poor,” said Rand Pecknold, Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey head coach. “A couple of guys struggled the whole game. When you’re a high-end player and you’re struggling, you’ve got to simplify. They tried to do too much, and it was a struggle.”

The Bobcats will look to even up the series at home against the Falcons Saturday night at 7 p.m. back in the People’s United Center.