No. 2 Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey chomps LIU 5-0 en route to 14th victory

Benjamin Yeargin, Staff Writer

With one minute remaining in regulation, the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team and LIU engaged in an unusually tense brouhaha for a blowout 5-0 win for the Bobcats.

Redshirt junior forward Guus Van Nes and junior forward Ethan Leyh were bodying LIU freshman defenseman Spencer Cox. He responded with a few shoves of his own and his fellow Sharks started forming around the pile of fighting players. This play resulted in 10 minute misconduct penalties given to Van Nes, Leyh and Cox to close the game out.

This fight represents the intensity and tenacity that the Bobcats bring to any given game, no matter the opponent or the time left. The mantra of “keeping your foot on the pedal,” is something that they consistently demonstrate every single game and is a key reason why Quinnipiac is No. 2 in the country in the latest USCHO poll.

“We wanted to keep rolling going into Christmas break, we have the Connecticut tournament coming up,” assistant coach Mike Corbett said.“We wanted to finish how we started, that’s all it was.”

Graduate student goaltender Dylan St. Cyr got his first start in nearly a month as November’s ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Month, freshman Yaniv Perets, got the night off. St. Cyr was impeccable tonight, saving all nine of LIU’s shots.

The scoring began early for Quinnipiac as one minute and 37 seconds in, senior forward TJ Friedmann converted on a beautiful pass from Van Nes in front of the net, putting the puck past LIU junior goaltender Brandon Perrone.

Graduate student forward Oliver Chau assisted on the play as well, earning point No. 101 of his career. Last night, Chau reached 100 total points, adding a significant milestone to an already illustrious NCAA hockey career.

Not even two minutes later, senior forward Ethan De Jong tallied goal No. seven on the year, off a graduate student defenseman Brendan Less shot and senior defenseman Zach Metsa pass. A common theme throughout the year for Quinnipiac is its immense depth.

“We’ve got four lines that definitely know what they’re doing out there, both offensively and defensively … we just got to keep the momentum up,” Friedmann said.

The Bobcats weren’t done in the first period either. Senior forward Michael Lombardi deflected a Less wrist shot into the back of the net after receiving a pass from junior forward Joey Cipollone. Afterwards, Lombardi skated toward the glass and celebrated with the fans, pumped to put the Bobcats up 3-0 only 12 minutes into the first period.

The offensive bombardment continued into the second period. Sophomore forward Ty Smilanic dumped the puck off to graduate student defenseman Griffin Mendel and slapped a wrist shot from the point of the Bobcats offensive zone. Senior forward Wyatt Bongiovanni also added an assist to his point total on this play, which extended the Quinnipiac lead to four.

Quinnipiac’s final goal was a result of Chau and Van Nes passes that landed perfectly on the stick of Friedmann who buried the puck into a wide open LIU net. He earned his second goal of the day, and gave Quinnipiac a convincing 5-0 lead. The assist gave Chau his second point of the night and a tie with Metsa for the team lead in points with 18.

From there, the LIU defense stepped up for the rest of the game, which can be credited to the physicality of Cox and sophomore forward Daine DuBois. The pair blocked four and two shots respectively. Also, both were checking the Quinnipiac forwards and were physical throughout the night.

Quinnipiac will have nearly a month off before they begin a stretch of eight ECAC conference matchups against the likes of Princeton, Yale, Harvard and Cornell to name a few of the teams.

“We just wanted to win these games shift by shift, and I think we did,” Corbett said.

The Bobcats will play the aforementioned Princeton Tigers on Jan. 2, at 7 p.m.