Five different Bobcats score as No. 1 Quinnipiac defeats LIU 5-2


Cameron Levasseur

The Quinnipiac men’s hockey team scored five times in its first game since being ranked No. 1 in the country.

Zack Hochberg, Staff Writer

No. 1 Quinnipiac men’s hockey extended its unbeaten streak to 17, taking a break from ECAC Hockey play to dominate LIU 5-2 Saturday night.

As the number one team in the country, it’s common to draw a large crowd, which is exactly what happened tonight in New York. The top-ranked Bobcats helped the Sharks set a program attendance record at 1,100, short of the 3,000 that usually fills M&T Bank Arena on a normal Saturday night in Hamden. 

The Bobcats and Sharks met earlier in the season in Hamden, where the two teams tied 2-2 after Quinnipiac allowed LIU to tie the game late after taking a 2-0 lead, but tonight was nothing like their first meeting on Oct. 9.

Tonight, it was LIU who jumped ahead first when freshman forward Josh Zary fired a shot from the point that awkwardly squeaked past Quinnipiac sophomore goaltender Yaniv Perets. The early Sharks goal was the first time the Bobcats were forced to play from behind since Dec. 30, against Holy Cross

Less than two minutes later, the Bobcats responded. A one-timer from sophomore forward Jacob Quillan off a feed from freshman forward Sam Lipkin got past senior goaltender Vinnie Purpura to knot the game at one.

Shortly after, Perets made a phenomenal diving effort when an unlucky bounce ended up in front of the Bobcats’ net, keeping the game squared at one. 

Quinnipiac was clearly not satisfied with another tie game, as four minutes later graduate student forward Michael Lombardi took advantage of a loose puck in front that was thrown in by graduate student defenseman Zach Metsa to give the Bobcats their first lead of the contest.

The Bobcats’ fast tempo and physicality forced the Sharks to play undisciplined, sending Quinnipiac to the power play six times throughout the night.

Quinnipiac’s first power play opportunity came in the second period, when LIU freshman defenseman AJ Casperson was called for holding. 

The No. 1 ranked team entered the evening with the tenth-ranked power play in the NCAA, and they converted on their first opportunity. 

That goal came when sophomore forward Collin Graf and graduate student forward Ethan de Jong played tic-tac-toe to get Graf a wide open shot, which he buried to give the Bobcats a two-goal lead. 

The power play opportunities kept on coming for Quinnipiac as Sharks’ sophomore forward Isaiah Fox was called for a cross-check.

Just like the first power play, the Bobcats converted again, pushing their lead to 4-1. Similar to their second goal of the game, Metsa threw a shot on goal. This time, senior forward Skyler Brind’Amour was there to screen Purpura, allowing the puck to slide home for a three-goal lead. 

After Quinnipiac had its fun on the power play, it was time for the hosts to have their turn. Graduate student defenseman Jake Johnson took a penalty for cross checking with just under eight minutes to play in the second, sending the Sharks to the power play.

Long Island didn’t waste much time, junior forward Noah Kane tapped in a loose puck in front, cutting the Bobcat lead to two. Perets, who made 18 saves in the game, didn’t get a good look at the shot with the amount of bodies jumbled into the crease. 

Unlike the first two periods, the third lacked fireworks in terms of pucks hitting the back of the net. However, it didn’t lack fireworks in terms of the physicality between teams. 

The Bobcats were able to put the final nail in the coffin when Zach Metsa scored on Quinnipiac’s sixth power play of the night, tallying his second goal of the game and 100th point. 

The Sharks’ frustration was visible as Quinnipiac continued to beat them to loose pucks, dominate the board and fire shots on goal. Eventually, LIU’s frustration turned into shoving matches. 

Graduate student forward Anthony Vincent was called for slashing with 40 seconds left, which eventually led to Vincent getting into a heated scuffle with a couple of Bobcats, earning him a ten-minute penalty and an early trip to the locker room.

As the final horn sounded, the Bobcats had conquered their first test as the No. 1 team in the country, improving to 18-1-3 on the season. 

The Bobcats will have almost a week off before heading to New York to resume ECAC Hockey play against No. 14/15 Cornell on Jan 20. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.