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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Strong third period propels Quinnipiac over New Hampshire

Connor Coar
Quinnipiac freshman forward Mason Marcellus celebrates after scoring the go-ahead goal against New Hampshire on Oct. 20.

DURHAM, N.H. — Three hundred and sixty four days ago, Quinnipiac men’s hockey suffered an abysmal 4-0 loss at Maine. 

At New Hampshire on the other side of the border Friday, the Bobcats found themselves nearing a similar situation, down 2-1 late in the second period — and the momentum was mounting. 

Wildcats sophomore forward Stiven Sardarian tipped home the game-tying goal under three minutes into the period. Then a missed defensive assignment left freshman forward Ryan Conmy with an open net to give UNH the lead. 

Neutral zone turnovers and poor breakout attempts kept Quinnipiac trapped in its own zone for minutes at a time as the Wildcats repeatedly threatened to extend their lead. 

“I thought we just tried to be too cute at times,” head coach Rand Pecknold said. “We had a lot of turnovers. A lot. And UNH didn’t. That was probably the biggest part of the first two periods, UNH managed the puck a lot better than us.”

But UNH never found the back of the net again. As the third period went on, the Bobcats’ turnovers lessened and their passes got crisper. Senior forward Travis Treloar scored early to equalize, then freshman forward Mason Marcellus knocked home the game winner — while facing backwards — with two minutes to play.

“The shot missed wide and took a friendly bounce out to me in front, so I just kind of flipped my stick around and knocked it in,” Marcellus said. “Pretty nice goal, but it was all the boys getting the puck to the net.”

In the next minute, junior forward Jacob Quillan forced a turnover and found the empty net, then junior defenseman Davis Pennington rifled the puck bar down for his first goal as a Bobcat. 

So, after 60 minutes, the final score was 5-2 Quinnipiac, but it wasn’t indicative of the game played. 

“I think (UNH) was the better team tonight,” Pecknold said. “We have to get better at playing to our identity, we didn’t do that.”

Last year’s loss to Maine served as a catalyst, a wake up call for a Bobcats team that wouldn’t lose again for three months. In Friday’s game, they never let things get so out of hand. The third period was controlled by Quinnipiac, who found a way to eke out the win and learned a lesson in consistency in the process. 

“Every game (we’ve played) so far is almost like three games,” Pecknold said. “We played three games tonight, and you can’t do that. We’ve got to get more consistent, get better on our backchecking, get better on our hunting and our details, just the little things we need to clean up a little bit.”

This weekend marks the first meetings between Quinnipiac and UNH all time, the only Hockey East school the Bobcats had never faced. 

“I can’t believe we’ve never played UNH,” Pecknold said. “It just never worked out. We’ve tried and tried and tried. But we’re excited to get this rivalry going, get this relationship going and hopefully it’s not just a two year thing, hopefully we continue on.”

The Wildcats were ready for the occasion, looking for their second-straight upset of a top five opponent after downing No. 1 BU a week ago. 

“Their student section was kind of unreal tonight and I expect the same thing (tomorrow),” Marcellus said. “You could tell that (UNH was) playing up for it, they were definitely hitting a lot out there, had to keep my head on a swivel but I think we can handle it.”

The series will continue with game two Saturday. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.

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Cameron Levasseur
Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor

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