No. 1 Quinnipiac tallies season high-nine goals, Perets ties university record in shutout win over Princeton


Alex Bayer

Senior forward Desi Burgart scored his third goal of the season, and his first since Dec. 4.

Benjamin Upson, Staff Writer

The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team took to the ice in Hamden on Tuesday night in a 9-0 victory against the Princeton Tigers. The last time Quinnipiac scored nine goals was 28 games ago on Feb. 13, 2021 against Colgate.

Heading into the game, the Bobcats jumped into the top spot in the USCHO poll for the first time since 2016. From the opening faceoff, the Bobcats matched their ranking on the offensive attack and had ample opportunities to open up the scoring. The first 10 minutes consisted of back-and-forth action before the goals came on in a hurry.

The first period provided three goals from junior forward Skyler Brind’Amour, senior forward Michael Lombardi and sophomore forward Ty Smilanic that came in a span under five minutes to vault Quinnipiac to a 3-0 lead. It was just the second goal of the season for Brind’Amour, whose last goal came against Boston College back in October during the 2021-22 season opener. He posted a three-point night with a goal and two assists, ending a lengthy scoring drought.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Brind’Amour said. “It’s always nice to bury one, and it feels good. Hopefully, I can add a few more in the next couple of games.”

Another trio of goals rained down in the second period from senior forwards Desi Burgart and Ethan De Jong off a breakaway, and junior defenseman Guus Van Nes following up with one of his own, this time all within 3:39. Graduate defenseman Tony Stillwell, a former Brown University product, recorded his first career point as a Bobcat on the Burgart goal. Quinnipiac had pushed its lead to six after two periods.

In the final period, Quinnipiac did not back down, finding open ice to fire home three more goals in just over two minutes from senior defenseman Zach Metsa, senior forward TJ Friedmann and senior defenseman Marcus Chorney. Stillwell added another assist on the Friedmann goal in what was Stillwell’s best performance of the season.

The Bobcats had no trouble with puck distribution throughout the night. In total, nine different goal scorers found the back of the net off an impressive 46 shots on goal. They heavily attacked the Tigers defense and found an abundance of success in doing so. There were 16 different point scorers marking the stat sheet, seven of those players also put up two or more in the process.

Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold was pleased with the offensive balance present as he is on the way to his fourth consecutive winning season.

“I think that’s one of our strengths this year, we’ve had … I wouldn’t even say four good lines, I’d say 14 forwards, we’ve had guys pop in and out that have evolved and contributed,” Pecknold said. “We have two goalies that can start and win so it’s been a good recipe for success.”

The success of freshman goaltender Yaniv Perets has garnered the most attention this season. In 14 games, he has allowed 10 goals, which rounds out to a stellar 0.74 GAA and .954 save percentage.

The shutout marks his eighth of the season, which ties a Quinnipiac program record set by goaltender Michael Garteig during the Bobcats 2015-16 run to the Frozen Four. With 13 games still remaining on the schedule, the odds lay in Perets’ favor to rewrite the record books.

The Bobcats gave everyone a glimpse of what they are capable of from their No. 1 ranking from this week. They hold an 8-0-1 conference record, 17-1-3 overall, have outscored their ECAC Hockey opponents by a margin of 35-3 to this point while also achieving a season high on Tuesday for most goals scored in a game this year with nine. With the top penalty kill and defense in the nation that is currently stifling offenses across the ECAC Hockey, Quinnipiac is a team that continues to get better with each game.

With COVID-19 postponements continuing to affect college hockey, Quinnipiac will roll on with a condensed schedule. The Bobcats are in the midst of a six-game stretch in 12 days. Next up, they head on the road this weekend to face two more conference opponents, at Colgate on Friday and a crucial battle with No. 8 Cornell on Saturday. Both games are set to begin at 7 p.m.