No. 4 Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey wins 5-2 in Belfast, advances to Friendship Four final


Jack Muscatello

The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team won the opener of the 2022 Friendship Four in Ireland.

Ryan Raggio, Staff Writer

In a lopsided affair, the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team followed up Thanksgiving by stuffing the net with five goals and 67 shots in a 5-2 victory over Dartmouth on Friday in the opening game of the Friendship Four tournament in Belfast, Ireland. 

The Bobcats started the game quickly with a strong forecheck, containing Dartmouth in its own zone for the first five minutes of the opening period. They peppered Dartmouth freshman goaltender Cooper Black with eight shots in six minutes. 

Much like many fans watching in the United States, barely awake at nine in the morning, the Big Green looked as if they were still asleep. This allowed the Bobcats to pounce on the flat start. 

Continuing the pressure in Dartmouth’s defensive zone, Quinnipiac senior defenseman Jayden Lee sent a pass back to the center blueline where sophomore forward Christophe Tellier set up for the one timer. He ripped a rocket cleanly through traffic in front, giving the Bobcats an early 1-0 lead. 

Although no iron was stuck, the goal rang loud in the Big Green’s ear as they began to play with more energy. With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, Christmas came early for the Big Green as Quinnipiac gifted them the man-advantage following a slashing penalty by senior forward Joey Cippollone. 

Under 10 seconds into the Dartmouth powerplay, the puck found the back of the net. Sophomore forward Sean Chisholm found the trickling puck off a point shot and put it past Quinnipiac sophomore goaltender Yaniv Perets. 

The entirety of the second period looked like a Quinnipiac man-advantage. The Bobcats offense continued their onslaught against Black and a crumbling Big Green defense, while Quinnipiac’s defense remained stout, not allowing Dartmouth forwards past center ice. 

Much like the first period, Quinnipiac struck early. 43 seconds into the frame, the offense entered Dartmouth’s zone following a takeaway at center ice. Sophomore forward Jacob Quillan centered a pass to sophomore forward Sam Lipkin in the slot. Lipkin switched to his backhand as Black bit on the deke move, giving the Bobcats a 2-1 lead. 

The next 13 minutes provided fans with stalemate hockey, however Quinnipiac continued holding possession in the Dartmouth zone. The chances each team had weren’t tough ones for either goaltender to stop. What helped Quinnipiac control the game was its success in the faceoff circle, as they were 40 for 61 on faceoffs and won most of them in the offensive zone. 

The Bobcats broke through at the 15 minute mark. With an offensive zone faceoff win, junior defenseman Iivari Räsänen fired a wrist shot from the blueline. Black made the initial save with the rebound popping up over his six-foot-eight frame and freshman forward Victor Czerneckianair swatted the puck into the net.

Quinnipiac kept Dartmouth locked in its own end for the remainder of the period. The Bobcats showed unwavering confidence and poise heading into the locker room. 

Dartmouth recorded six penalties while Quinnipiac had three, but Dartmouth’s special teams proved to be a problem. The Big Green capitalized on the power play going 2-for-4 and shut down the Bobcats power play by going 6-for-6 on the kill. 

Three minutes into the third period, Quinnipiac went on the penalty kill. Dartmouth scored a scrappy goal of their own after a shot from the point and deflected off of Perets. Sophomore forward Matt Hubbarde found the puck behind Perets and nudged it into the net bringing the Big Green within one. 

Following the tally, the momentum shifted away from Quinnipiac. Dartmouth maintained control of the puck and found ways to weave through Quinnipiac’s almost impenetrable defense.  However, all good things must come to an end, and the Big Green soon became their own worst enemy. Dartmouth took back-to-back penalties, making Black’s job to keep the game close even more difficult. 

Black made countless tough saves throughout the game which kept Dartmouth within range to tie the game and proved to be a problem for Quinnipiac while on the power play as it couldn’t put one past him. 

After the halfway point of the third period, the Bobcats sent a flurry of shots at the Dartmouth net. A rebound found its way onto graduate student forward TJ Friedmann’s stick in the slot and he fired it into the net for the Bobcats’ fourth goal. 

Dartmouth head coach Reid Cashman pulled Black with just under four minutes to play and having the extra man this early didn’t go exactly as he had planned. Graduate student forward Michael Lombardi stole the puck in the Bobcats’ zone and shot just above the left circle. As it went in the net dead-center, a Dartmouth defender collided with his legs, sending him in the air in a fashion that would make legendary Bruins’ defenseman Bobby Orr proud. 

With a 5-2 win over the Big Green, the Bobcats move on to tomorrow’s tournament finale and prepare for UMass at 10 a.m. EST.