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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Graf earns hat trick, Quinnipiac pummels RPI 7-2

Tripp Menhall
Senior forward Travis Treloar celebrates after scoring Quinnipiac’s seventh goal against RPI on Saturday.

HAMDEN — RPI struck first, but Quinnipiac struck harder. The Bobcats men’s hockey team cashed in another weekend sweep with a commanding 7-2 victory over the Engineers on Saturday night.

“It was a good win,” head coach Rand Pecknold said. “The building was rocking, the boys played well and we found a way to grind out another win.”

It was a bleak start for the Bobcats, who gave up an early top-shelf goal from sophomore defender Max Smolinski that deflected off of senior goaltender Vinny Duplessis’ right glove. But RPI’s shallow lead was quickly forgotten, as Quinnipiac racked up three goals in the first period.

“It was a little bit of chaos to start the game,” Pecknold said. “But we talk about it all the time. We’re confident, we talked about adversity. There’s no panic, we know we just (have) to play our game.”

That started with the equalizer, an unassisted breakaway goal from junior forward Collin Graf. Three minutes later, junior forward Christophe Fillion followed suit and put the Bobcats in front 2-1. To add to the lead, freshman forward Mason Marcellus scored Quinnipiac’s third goal in six minutes.

“A big focus coming off of that (road) trip was trying to get more pucks in the net and score more goals,” Graf said. “I think we focused on that during the week and it worked out this weekend.”

Halfway through the second frame, Graf notched his 18th goal of the season and second of the game. Down 4-1, RPI yanked junior goaltender Jack Watson and brought out sophomore Carson Cherepak for the remainder of the game. 

But the hits kept coming for RPI. Two minutes later, Marcellus connected on a tic-tac-toe pass from senior defender Jayden Lee and junior forward Jacob Quillan. The Ontario native tallied his second goal of the night and added a fifth to the scoreboard for the Bobcats.

However, the scoring frenzy didn’t keep RPI from infiltrating the Bobcats’ defense on the power play. Penalty minutes have been Quinnipiac’s Achilles heel all season, and it showed even against the bottom-ranked Engineers.

Junior forward Dovar Tinling snuck a one-two pass from freshman defender Jimmy Goffredo by a lunging Duplessis. Nonetheless, Quinnipiac went into the locker room leading 5-2.

“We need to keep working on that, maturing and trying to stay out of the box,” Pecknold said. “It’s just a natural progression.”

But it was hard to harp on mistakes in a seven-goal game. Nearly two minutes into the third period, Graf — who earned his second career hat trick  — handed Quinnipiac a 6-2 advantage on the power play.

“These past two, three weekends we’ve been really dabbling on the power play,” Graf said. “After practice, passing the puck around, getting a feel for where we are on the ice. I think it’s just little stuff like that helped us.”

It wasn’t just Graf who had a moment in the spotlight Saturday. With less than four minutes remaining in regulation, junior goaltender Noah Altman made his second appearance of the weekend and third in his collegiate career to close out the blowout. 

And then there was senior forward Travis Treloar, who couldn’t leave the ice without extending his point streak to eight games. After receiving a pass and finding himself one-on-one with Cherepak, Treloar effortlessly lifted the puck into the net to seal the game in the waning minutes.

As Graf described it, the goal was “straight filth.”

“I’m playing with two really good players every night,” Treloar said. “We have a very strong group here, so pretty much anyone or playing with anyone has been great and I’ve been creating a lot of opportunities for me and my teammates.”

After winning six of its last seven, Quinnipiac aims to continue its hot streak at Brown on Feb. 23. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.


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Amanda Dronzek, Sports Editor
Tripp Menhall, Creative Director

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