Sunday, November 13, 2016

Power play key in Quinnipiac's 5-2 win over Harvard

No. 7/8 Quinnipiac swept the ECAC home weekend slate capped by a 4-2 win over No. 10/10 Harvard University on Saturday night at High Point Solutions Arena. I made it down to Hamden for the game tonight.

The Bobcats got on the board early in the first period at the 1:14 mark on a power play goal from freshman Brogan Rafferty whose hard wrist shot beat Harvard goaltender Merrick Madsen. Chase Priskie and Tim Clifton both assisted on the goal. The Crimson tied the game seven minutes later when a Viktor Dombrovskiy wrist shot beat Chris Truehl who looked to be a bit out of position. Harvard's Luke Esposito and Alexander Kerfoot got the assists. The score remain tied heading into the first intermission.

Craig Martin (photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald)
Harvard took the lead just 24 seconds into the second period when Sean Malone back handed a shot that Truehl initially denied but left a rebound for Malone to clean up on another backhand. It seemed at times tonight that Truehl had some puck handling issues and had some rebound struggles. This is something that will need to be cleaned up by him going forward. The Bobcats tied the game at the 12:38 mark in the second on a Craig Martin wrist shot that went in between Madsen's pad and blocker for a very weak goal. Scott Davidson and Karlis Cukste both had assists on the goal. Four and half minutes later the Bobcats took the lead on a power play goal from Luke Shiplo on a shot in the slot which proved to be the game winning goal.

In the third period the Bobcats defense tightened up against the talented Crimson offense. They killed off two penalties with one being late in the third period when Derek Smith was sent off for cross checking at the 17:16 mark. Tommy Schutt's unassisted hustle play empty net goal sealed the win for the Bobcats.

A night after having 54 shots on net the Bobcats could only muster 21 shots but it proved to be enough. Harvard had 32 shots and dominated 5 on 5 for much of the game and showed they might be one of the most talented teams in this year in the ECAC but Chris Truehl was solid in making 30 saves for the win. The weekend sweep saw the Bobcats move to 7-3-1 and into a 3rd place tie with Clarkson in the ECAC along with the power play scoring five goals and the penalty kill unit killing off a five Harvard power play chances. They also beat the final two unbeaten teams in the country in Dartmouth and Harvard so once again the 1969-1970 Cornell Big Red can celebrate being the last team to go undefeated in college hockey.

Quinnipiac returns to action next weekend when they head on a upstate New York road trip to Cornell on Friday and Colgate on Saturday before heading over to Belfast, Northern Ireland over Thanksgiving for a the Friendship Four tournament.

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

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