A whiteout and a winning streak: No. 2 Quinnipiac beats St. Lawrence 2-1, improves unbeaten streak to 10

Jennifer Moglia, Staff Writer

HAMDEN, Conn – The Quinnipiac men’s hockey team beat the St. Lawrence Skating Saints 2-1 Friday night with goals from senior forward Skyler Brind’Amour and freshman forward Sam Lipkin. The game was filled with power plays for the Bobcats, with six penalties getting called against the Saints, yet Quinnipiac could only convert on two of them.

Quinnipiac Athletics advertised the game as “Bobcat Blizzard” night, and it was obvious that the student section understood the assignment. White shirts, hoodies, pom poms and even face paint filled the stands in accordance with the whiteout theme.

This was one of the most energetic crowds that a Quinnipiac team has had this semester, with the student section erupting in cheers after every goal. The players definitely felt it. 

“Tonight, the crowd was awesome,” Brind’Amour said. “The student section was pretty good, and that helps a lot. It gets the boys fired up.”

Going into this game, the Bobcats were on a nine-game unbeaten streak and 6-0-0 in ECAC Hockey play. The Saints were on their own streak, losing their last three games. The play was fast-paced from the start with lots of scoring chances for both teams.

Neither team scored in the opening frame, but with under one minute left in the period, St. Lawrence captain and senior forward Jordan Steinmetz headed off the ice with a combined 15 minutes in penalties. A five-minute major for direct contact to the head and an accompanying 10-minute misconduct put the Bobcats on their third power play of the game going into the second period.

41 seconds into the middle frame, St. Lawrence junior defenseman Luc Salem got a minor penalty for tripping. This was when the momentum began to shift.

Lipkin buried a rebound to score his third goal of the season and break the scoreless tie, electrifying the student section Scored on the power play and assisted by sophomore forward Collin Graf, this goal was what the fans and the team needed to really get the energy levels up.

When asked about how the team’s offense finally broke through to beat the Saints’ graduate student goaltender Emil Zetterquist, Lipkin’s answer was simple.

“It’s just getting people and pucks to the net,” Lipkin said. “Good things tend to happen.”

Both of the Bobcats’ goals were power-play tallies, but they only capitalized on two of the six penalties that were called in their favor despite some solid offensive pressure. Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold was unhappy with this aspect of his team’s performance.

“Even though we generate a lot of shots, they’re shots with no traffic,” Pecknold said. “We need to do better.

Lipkin’s power-play goal was met with another tally, this time by St. Lawrence sophomore forward Greg Lapointe with assists from senior forward Cameron Buhl and freshman forward Tyler Cristall. Lapointe’s first of the season was his fifth career goal, as well as his fourth career goal against Quinnipiac.

The Bobcats’ second goal on the man-advantage came after an interference call on junior forward Max Dorrington. Brind’Amour scored his fifth of the season, assisted by Graf and Lipkin, making both Quinnipiac goals scored by the same trio of players.

The remainder of the game was scoreless and relatively uneventful until sophomore forward Jacob Quillan was called for tripping. This barely even felt like a St. Lawrence power-play, as the most memorable part of it was an Ethan de Jong breakaway while shorthanded.

Although they pulled their goaltender with two minutes to go in regulation, the Saints could not tie the game, and the Bobcats snuck away with the 2-1 victory. Despite keeping its unbeaten streak alive, Pecknold definitely didn’t think that this was his team’s best game and emphasized the importance of continuing to battle against Clarkson on Saturday.

“They’re very well-coached, they’ve got some big-time players, they’ve got a goalie and special teams that are really good,” Pecknold said. “We’ve had a lot of matches with them where it’s tight, and it’s going to be physical and we’ve kind of got to reload right now.”

The Bobcats will face Clarkson on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. back at M&T Bank Arena. They’ll look to remain undefeated in ECAC Hockey play while Clarkson will look to bounce back from a 6-2 loss to Princeton.