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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Penalties blemish Quinnipiac’s 6-2 win over Union

Tyler Rinko
Quinnipiac sophomore forward Alex Power chases a puck to the corner in the Bobcats’ 6-2 win over Union on Feb. 16. With two assists, Power recorded his first collegiate multi-point game in the contest.

HAMDEN — “It’s just a maturity thing.”

That was Quinnipiac men’s hockey head coach Rand Pecknold following the Bobcats 6-2 win over Union Friday, once again talking penalties after his team — the most disciplined in the nation a season ago — made six trips to the sin bin on the night. 

“It’s (about) selflessness,” Pecknold said. “You have to realize that part of winning hockey games is not taking penalties.”

The game was the 13th this season in which the Bobcats have taken five or more penalties, a number they only reached in eight games a year ago, and only twice after November. 

“That was obviously really frustrating, especially in the second (period), very slow second with all the penalties,” sophomore forward Alex Power said. “I think we’ve got to maybe stop talking to (the officials) as much.”

That last reference was on account of senior defenseman Cooper Moore, who received a 10-minute major for unsportsmanlike — on his 23rd birthday no less — for doing just that. 

Regardless, the full period worth of time Quinnipiac spent in the box allowed its penalty kill to shine. 

Aside from a fluke shot that bounced off the back glass and then the back of senior goaltender Vinny Duplessis before settling in the back of the net, the Bobcats were perfect down a man. They blocked shots and broke up passing lanes, making it difficult for Union’s power play units to create any rhythm. 

“I think our neutral zone is really good, our end zone is good, our guys are detailed and willing to block shots,” Pecknold said. “Obviously we’ve got really good goaltending. Just a lot of good things that have been working for us over the last 12 to 15 years.”

When it wasn’t killing a penalty, Quinnipiac dominated on offense. 

Union is a significantly bigger team than Quinnipiac. As a result, the Garnet Chargers are much slower, a disadvantage they tried to counter with a mix of heavy physicality and aggressive stick checks. 

None of that worked. It actually hurt the visitors more than it helped, drawing players out of position and opening lanes that Quinnipiac converted on. That’s why after 20 minutes, the Bobcats led 3-0. 

Senior defenseman Iivari Räsänen opened the scoring midway through the first, one-timing home a pass from Moore on the power play. 

The Garnet Chargers were able to keep the Bobcats off the scoreboard for much of the next 10 minutes, but they failed to limit the chances, making it just a question of who would score the next goal. The answer was senior forward Travis Treloar, who cashed in on his own rebound after a backdoor pass from sophomore forward Sam Lipkin left him alone with Union sophomore netminder Kyle Chauvette. 

Less than a minute later, freshman forward Andon Cerbone ripped a shot past Chauvette from below the right dot to extend Quinnipiac’s lead to three. 

The second period was less stellar for the Bobcats, thanks to a pair of penalties.

After Union got its lucky bounce on the power play, a goal from Quinnipiac junior forward Christophe Fillion extended the hosts’ lead back to three. But a huge lapse in coverage late in the period brought the Garnet Chargers back into the game. 

All five Bobcats collapsed on the puck in the corner, leaving Union sophomore Nate Hanley alone in the slot to beat Duplessis. 

“(It was a) really bad play by a number of players,” Pecknold said. “We’ve got to stop at the net, we took a big rig turn. It was a lack of detail, a lack of honesty. We’ve got to stay honest. That was a big focus in the third period.”

In that third period, the Bobcats tacked on another two goals — one from sophomore defenseman Charles-Alexis Legault, the second, an empty-netter from junior forward Jacob Quillan — to comfortably skate by Union, and learn a few lessons in the process.

“I think it’s good preparation,” Power said. “I know we’re expected to beat those guys, but I think, especially in playoffs, you can’t take any nights off. These games are really good sort of build up games for playoffs because they are very physical and they try a lot of unique plays.”

And as a final touch, Pecknold tapped junior third-string goaltender Noah Altman for the final three-and-a-half minutes of the game and his second collegiate appearance. The first was also in a win against Union at home last year. 

“We score the empty net and (Pecknold) kind of looks at me and goes ‘you got your stuff?’ Altman said. “And I was like ‘well no, but I can get it. It’s not that hard,’ and he’s like ‘O.K. Go. Go.’”

Altman, who made his first two career saves in the relief appearance, skated to the net with rousing cheers from around the arena.  

“It’s a lot of fun,” Altman said. “It’s a bit funny when you get the reaction like that from the crowd. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a little funny.”

Quinnipiac is back in action at home on Saturday against RPI. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.

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Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor
Tyler Rinko, Associate Photography Editor

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