The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Rollercoaster first period-turned-stalemate ends with Quinnipiac loss in overtime

Connor Coar

DURHAM, N.H. –– A seven-goal first period turned final 40 minute stalemate left Quinnipiac men’s hockey searching for answers after a net-front scramble delivered New Hampshire the win in overtime Saturday night. 

It was the third time in five games this season that the Bobcats have gone to the extra frame, and the second time they’ve left the ice on the wrong side of the celebration.

“Last night I talked about (that) I almost felt like three periods was three games,” head coach Rand Pecknold said. “Tonight we probably played like nine games. We were great, we stunk, we were everywhere. It was just a chaotic game.”

Nowhere was that chaos more evident than in the first period, which contained more action than most full games. 

The teams put up a combined seven goals, 25 shots, three penalties and two coaches’ challenges — neither successful — in the frame. 

UNH started the party under two minutes after puck drop. Junior forward Robert Cronin hounded Bobcats junior forward Cristophe Tellier through two zones, forcing a turnover and delivering a perfect pass to freshman forward Marty Lavins for the goal. 

Quinnipiac sophomore forward Victor Czerneckianair answered just over a minute later, but UNH struck twice in quick succession to give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead  — and all with three-quarters of the period left to play. 

Pecknold pulled freshman goaltender Matej Marinov after he allowed three goals on four shots, poor puck management by the Bobcats’ defense not at all aiding his early troubles.

Senior Vinny Duplessis picked up the slack in net, making 25 saves in relief as Quinnipiac roared back to life in the final 10 minutes of the period. 

Freshman forward Andon Cerbone put home a rebound for his first goal as a Bobcat, then sophomore forward Sam Lipkin picked a corner to beat UNH sophomore goaltender Tyler Muszelik from the slot.

In the dying seconds of the period, sophomore forward Anthony Cipollone added his second-career goal to make it three unanswered and give Quinnipiac the lead, 4-3. 

UNH bounced back early in the middle frame, junior defenseman Colton Huard converting on the power play to halt the Bobcats’ momentum. But it was on the center-ice faceoff immediately following the goal that the game really changed for Quinnipiac. 

Junior forward Collin Graf, a Hobey Baker top-10 finalist in 2023, went down after suffering a lower-body injury, hobbling to the bench in pain before leaving the ice with a trainer. 

“It’s not just that we lose such a good player, but I feel like (we lost) our poise on the bench (too),” Pecknold said. “We had a lot of panic, a lot of frustration. We need to be more mature than that.”

The 37 minutes of regulation that followed Graf’s injury saw a number of chances to break the game open, but it was transition miscues, misplayed passes and poor puck management for both sides that shined more clearly as the game slugged toward overtime. 

“We made a lot of mistakes,” Pecknold said. “And give credit to UNH, they capitalized.”

Sophomore forward Cy LeClerc notched his second of the game in overtime to sink Quinnipiac, but the goal did not come without its share of controversy. 

The Bobcats challenged for goaltender interference, citing a UNH player that had just slid across the crease. But for the third time in the game, the officials upheld the original call and gave the Wildcats their second win over a top-five opponent in the last eight days. 

“Proud of our team,” UNH head coach Mike Souza said. “(Quinnipiac is) a really good team over there. They’re experienced, they’ve been in these games a lot and have come out on the winning end a lot more than they’ve come out on the losing end.”

Quinnipiac has a week to regroup before it squares off against the other side of the Border Battle with a two-game set against Maine on Oct. 27 and 28. 

“It was an interesting, unique weekend for us,” Pecknold said. “I thought we were all over the map, but it’s a growth process and we’ll get better.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Cameron Levasseur
Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor

Comments (0)

All The Quinnipiac Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *