Saturday, December 31, 2016

Quinnipiac falls 5-2 to Robert Morris in Three Rivers Classic Championship

The No. 13/14 Quinnipiac Bobcats once again out shot their opponent only to come up short again as they fell 5-2 to the Robert Morris Colonials in the championship game of the Three Rivers Classic. It is the second time that Quinnipiac has fell in a championship game at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, the last being a 4-0 loss to rival Yale in the 2013 NCAA National Championship game. The story of the game was Quinnipiac's lack of finishing despite once again out shooting its opponent 45-28. The lack of high end finishers up front is becoming a concern as this season moves toward the second half.

Quinnipiac got out to a fast start scoring at the 2:27 mark of the first period on an unbelievable no look backhanded pass from Thomas Aldworth feeding Chase Priskie in the low slot where he bombed a shot past Robert Morris goaltender Francis Marotte. After that first goal Quinnipiac dominated play for most of the first period but Marotte stood tall in net keeping the game within one goal. The Colonials almost tied the score late in the period when Luke Lynch had a breakaway opportunity that
was saved by Chris Truehl.
Thomas Aldworth (photo by Shelley M. Szwast)

In the second the Colonials got on the board on a power play goal by Alex Tonge. The goal which was Tonge's 11th of the season came off of assists from Daniel Leaven and Brady Ferguson. Robert Morris's top line of Tonge, Leaven and Ferguson got the Colonials going and they never looked back. Late in the second period senior defenseman Robb Mann ripped a shot past Truehl to give the Colonials their first lead of the game. Alex Bontje and Daniel Mantenuto got credit for the assists on Mann's goal. Quinnipiac out shot the Colonials 17-12 in the middle frame but the Robert Morris looked to be the more dominant team from early in the second period to the end of the period.

In the third period, Robert Morris continued to put continued pressure on the Bobcats. A little more than five minutes in the period Spencer Dorowicz scored what proved to be the game winning goal on assists from Brandon Watt and Luke Lynch. Three minutes later off a face off Timmy Moore blasted one past Truehl for the Colonials fourth goal of the game. Rob Mann and Robert Powers had the assists on Moore's goal. Robert Morris scored their fifth unanswered goal by way of the shorthanded variety and with it also being an empty net. Timmy Moore sent a rebound off Marotte down into the empty Quinnipiac net with under six minutes to play in the game. The Bobcats finally got on the board again late in the game on a power play goal by Thomas Aldworth with assists from Luke Shiplo and Tommy Schutt. It was Aldworth's first multi-point game of the season and they are going to need more of these types of games down the stretch as he has shown he has very good finishing ability but his play has not been consistent this season.

Chris Truehl finished with 21 saves and was replaced by freshman Andrew Shortridge after the Colonials scored the empty net goal. Robert Morris's Francis Marotte took home the most valuable player of the tournament honors while Quinnipiac's Chase Priskie was named to the all tournament team. Quinnipiac falls to 11-8-2 with the loss and is now 18th in the pairwise rankings. The Bobcats return to ECAC play next weekend when they travel to face off against Harvard and Dartmouth.

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

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