Ice Breaker tournament opener ends in a tie for Quinnipiac men’s hockey

No. 9 Quinnipiac and No. 6/8 Boston College duels to a shootout

Peter Piekarski, Associate Sports Editor

In a highly anticipated matchup between No. 6/8 Boston College (BC) and No. 9 Quinnipiac, penalty killing stole the show during a high-flying, relentlessly paced 2-2 tie.

Sophomore forward Ty Smilanic slotted the Bobcats’ first goal on route to a 2-2 come-from-behind tie. (Connor Lawless/Chronicle)

The Eagles and Bobcats combined for zero conversions on seven power-play opportunities. Quinnipiac couldn’t find the net in the waning minutes of the third period, and BC struggled to muster a shot on net during its overtime man-advantage.

First-game jitters were evident on both sides throughout the game as too many chances resulted in a shot missing the net or getting blocked. It took a shootout to decide the winner, where BC ultimately prevailed. Regardless, the game results in a tie on both teams’ records.

“I was really happy with our team tonight,” Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey head coach Rand Pecknold said. “We struggled a little bit right out of the gate. I thought BC was better that first 10 minutes. I thought we were awesome in the second and awesome in the third. In the end, we’re down two-nothing, and we battled back against the No. 6 team in the country so pretty happy to get out of there with a tie.”

BC opened the scoring immediately, with sophomore forward Colby Ambrosio capitalizing on a juicy rebound in the low slot. Neither side generated much offense during the first period outside of the opening goal, which occurred 55 seconds into the game. BC held onto its lead heading the first intermission.

During a two-on-one rush in the second period, BC senior forward Patrick Giles fired a shot at sophomore goaltender Yaniv Perets. His rebound shot careened off Quinnipiac junior forward Ethan Leyh and into the net, extending BC’s lead to two.

Quinnipiac initiated several high-danger scoring chances but failed to capitalize on a multitude of them, including a five-minute power play. The Bobcats even allowed a short-handed breakaway as Perets bailed them out.

That would not be the only time a short-handed breakaway would occur.

A late second-period goal by sophomore forward Ty Smilanic helped catapult the team offensively. Leading up to the goal many chances were near-miss shots and or rang off the crossbar. Momentum swung to the Bobcats going into the second intermission, still trailing 2-1. 

Just 74 seconds into the final frame, junior forward Skyler Brind’Amour finished on a wrap-around to tie the game up. The assist by Leyh originated with a shot wide of the net.

“I just thought we were resilient,” Pecknold said. “There’s no panic, we’re down 2-0 to a team that’s that good. The confidence was there. I loved our culture, I thought it came through tonight.”

Once Quinnipiac tied the game, the third period fell into mayhem. There were breakdowns left and right, resulting in an unbelievable number of odd-man rushes for both teams. 

Sophomore goaltender Yaniv Perets played well against No. 6/8 Boston College despite a multitude of breakaways against. (Photo by Connor Lawless/Chronicle)

Perets played exceptionally well in his first career collegiate start despite being left out to dry on several occasions. 

The most significant chance to win the game fell on the stick of BC junior defenseman Marshall Warren who stole the puck short-handed with seconds left in regulation and proceeded to ring one off the post. 

Once overtime rolled around, not many shots ended up on the goal. Many attempts were blocked, most notably on the final power play of the game. Senior and junior defensemen Marcus Chorney and Jayden Lee made crucial shot blocks to send the game to a shootout.

Both Quinnipiac and BC battled brilliantly for 65 minutes before the Eagles skated away with the shootout winner in the fourth round

Quinnipiac returns to the DCU Center tomorrow, Oct. 9, at 4 p.m. for its second leg of the Ice Breaker tournament against No. 18 Northeastern.