Friday, November 25, 2016

Quinnipiac ties Saint Lawrence 0-0 but wins in shoot-out in Belfast

The No. 3/4 Quinnipiac Bobcats and the No. 18 Saint Lawrence Saints played 65 minutes of scoreless hockey today in Belfast, Northern Ireland in the Friendship Four tournament. The Bobcats won the game in a shoot-out after freshman Nick Jermain scored the only goal for both teams in the shootout. The game will go down as a tie in the ECAC standings so the Saints remain in first place in the ECAC and now hold the all important tiebreaker over the Bobcats thanks in part to a 1-0-1 record against Quinnipiac.

Chris Truehl (photo by Matt Dewkett)
Play in the first period was fast and physical between Quinnipiac and Saint Lawrence. Both teams had numerous scoring opportunities but could not capitalize. Saint Lawrence out shot the Bobcats 14-9 but junior goaltender Chris Truehl was on his game in the first period, turning away all of the Saints chances and limiting rebounds. Quinnipiac had two power play opportunities in the first and failed to convert.

Quinnipiac dominated play in the second as they put 17 shots on Saint Lawrence goaltender Kyle Hayton who came up big, time and time again. The Bobcats had three power play chances in the second and failed to convert on any as the Saint Lawrence penalty kill gave them little time and space.

In the third period Saint Lawrence found its game once it again as they out shot the Bobcats 13 to 8. Both goaltenders once again were strong in this period and the defenses did not much space to work with. Quinnipiac was forced to kill off three Saint Lawrence power plays but the Bobcats squandered a major chance in the third period when the Saints Joe Sullivan took a five minute boarding call and was given a game misconduct. The Saints penalty kill was outstanding not giving the Bobcats many good looks on Hayton. The power play ended prematurely when Quinnipiac's Scott Davidson took a hooking penalty at 15:23 bringing play for four on four for a brief time before the Bobcats had to kill off a short Saint Lawrence power play.

In overtime both teams had opportunities but failed to capitalize. Quinnipiac finished the game with 37 shots on goal while Saint Lawrence had 32 shots on Chris Truehl who recorded his first shutout of the season and his fourth of his career dating back to his time at Air Force. Junior forward Kevin Duane returned to game action today while senior captain Derek Smith was out of the lineup shifting Luke Shiplo back to defense.

While its early in the ECAC season Quinnipiac now has to hope for some sort of slip up by Saint Lawrence so the tiebreaker will not come into a factor. After watching 65 great minutes of hockey its hard not to see a another meeting of these two teams later in the season in Lake Placid if these two programs continue at this pace. Both teams played outstanding hockey on defense while Chris Truel and Kyle Hayton both played strong in between the pipes.

The win in today's shootout by Quinnipiac could prove to be highly beneficial if they can beat Vermont tomorrow as they are the 10th rated team in the pairwise as opposed to UMass who is 46th in the pairwise.

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

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