Friday, December 2, 2016

Third period outburst leads Quinnipiac to 4-1 win

The No. 5/7 Quinnipiac Bobcats exploded for three third period power play goals on Friday night en route to a 4-1 win over RPI at High Point Solutions Arena. The win upped the Bobcats record to 10-4-2 (6-1-1 in ECAC play). With the win and coupled with a Saint Lawrence 4-2 loss to Harvard, Quinnipiac now moves into first place in the ECAC with 13 points with Saint Lawrence a point behind in second followed by Clarkson and Union in third place. The game was chippy on both sides with RPI being called for 14 minor penalties and Quinnipiac 12. The officials didn't really have control of this game and at times RPI took some cheap shots especially with the knee on knee trip of Quinnipiac's Karlis Cukste.

Landon Smith (photo by Kim Klement/USA Today)
The Bobcats got the scoring started 4:27 into the first period when Brogan Rafferty fed Tanner MacMaster for a backhanded goal on Cam Hackett that came off a two on one opportunity. Landon Smith got a secondary assist on MacMaster's goal who returned to action after missing the previous five games with a lower body injury. MacMaster would depart later in the game due to another lower body injury. Quinnipiac dominated the first period with 13 shots compared to 6 for RPI.

The teams went scoreless in a second period that saw the teams combine for nine penalties. Quinnipiac pounded another 13 shots on Cam Hackett who was really strong for RPI in this game. The Engineers finished the second period with 4 shots on goal. Quinnipiac goaltender Chris Truehl didn't see much action in the first two periods of this game making only ten saves.

Bo Pieper (photo by Zack Whittman/Tampa Bay Times)
In the third, RPI got on the board 4:22 into the period when defenseman Jared Wilson scored his team leading eighth goal of the season when he took a pass off the face off and blasted it past Truehl for the goal. Almost thirty seconds later the Bobcats almost retook the lead but Hackett came up big, robbing Landon Smith of a goal. The Bobcats took the lead for good at the 7:47 mark of the third when Tim Clifton put home a wrister past Hackett on the power play. Chase Priskie and K.J. Tiefenwerth got the assists. Less than three minutes later it was Bo Pieper cleaning up a Kevin Duane shot off the post to score on the power play giving the Bobcats a 3-1 lead. A little more than two minutes later the Bobcats capped the scoring once again on the power play when Luke Shiplo cleaned up a Cam Hackett rebound in front for a wide open goal. Landon Smith picked up his third assist of the game (He also assisted on the Bo Pieper goal) and Bo Pieper also had an assist on the Shiplo goal.

The Bobcats completely dominated the shot total in the third with 25-5. They finished the game out shooting the Engineers 51-15. Chris Truehl had 14 saves for his 8th win of the season and rarely had to break a sweat tonight. Quinnipiac was the dominant team throughout this game and the only reason this was a 4-1 game was Cam Hackett and the Bobcats hitting at least five posts on the night. The Bobcats return to action tomorrow night to face the Union Dutchmen fresh off a 7-3 win against Princeton tonight.

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

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