Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Quinnipiac edges UMass Amherst 3-2

Despite 46 shots on goal and going 0 for 10 on the power play, the Quinnipiac University Bobcats won 3-2 on Tuesday night over the a pesky Massachusetts Minutemen squad. With the win the Bobcats improve to 4-2-1 on the season while UMass fell to 2-2.

As they have in the five of the last six games, Quinnipiac got off to a hot start again. For the fourth time this season that lead was blown. The Bobcats jumped in front 10:36 into the first period when Tommy Schutt cleaned up a rebound from UMass sophomore goaltender Nic Renyard for the 1-0 lead. Freshman forward Alex Whelan recorded his first collegiate point with an assist while Bo Pieper was also credited with an assist. A little more than three and half minutes later, Bo Pieper made it 2-0 when he roofed one bar down past Renyard. Four minutes later, UMass responded on a wrap around goal by Ryan Badger who slipped it past the Bobcats Chris Truehl. The junior net minder made several quality saves in the first period.

The Minutemen even the score 12:09 into the second period when senior captain Steven Iacobellis scored a power play goal. Quinnipiac had two 5 on 3 power play opportunities that could not capitalize. In his post game press conference Rand Pecknold acknowledged that the lack of practice time so far has contributed to the ineffective power play early on this season.

Tanner MacMaster (photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire)
In the first half of the third period, Quinnipiac was forced to kill off a 30 second, 5 on 3 penalty when Thomas Aldworth and Tim Clifton took cross checking and tripping penalties respectively. Tanner MacMaster scored the game winning goal almost five minutes later when he his wrist shot from the right half wall beat Renyard far side. The Bobcats closed the game out with solid defense as the Minutemen couldn't pull the goaltender until there was less than 25 seconds left. The win might prove to be costly for senior captain, Connor Clifton as he took a five minute major penalty for spearing and was given a game misconduct at the 20:00 mark of the third period. The ECAC will likely review this for possible additional discipline.

UMass goaltender Nic Renyard saved 43 shots in the loss while Chris Truehl made 17 saves for the win. Brogan Rafferty also picked up team leading fifth assist and also leads the Bobcats with six points on the season.

Quinnipiac now has nine days off before they head to north country to face off against Clarkson on November 4th and Saint Lawrence on November 5th. This should give Rand Pecknold ample opportunity to work on the power play unit that is a dismal 6 for 55 on the year.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @jonathan_singer.

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