Saturday, October 7, 2017

Bobcats open season with hard fought tie

Quinnipiac vs. Boston College (copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)
In what was a defensive struggle for most of the hockey game, the #14 ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats men's ice hockey team earned a hard fought 1-1 draw in its season opener against perennial Hockey East power #13 Boston College on Friday night in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. It was a game that featured both goaltenders as the best players on the ice with Quinnipiac's Andrew Shortridge (25 saves) and Boston College's Joe Woll (28 saves) with both making big time saves at critical times throughout the game.

As predicted this was a low scoring game with both offenses struggling at times leading to the tie. "For a game on October 6th I thought it was great game. Both teams battled hard and the two goalies were the best players on the ice. We made some mistakes and some bad changes at the end which cost us a win in the end, said Rand Pecknold."

The first period saw six penalties combined from the two teams with each having three. Neither team capitalized on any of their power play chances but Boston College was awarded a penalty shot after a delay of game penalty when Brandon Fortunato covered up a loose puck in the crease. Andrew Shortridge made the save on David Cotton preserving the game scoreless in the first period which saw each team get nine shots a piece on goal.

Quinnipiac vs. Boston College (copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)
Quinnipiac took it to the Eagles in the second with 11 shots to the Eagles 5 and numerous good looks that Woll made saves upon. At the three quarter mark of the second period is when Alex Whelan broke the scoreless tie with a rocket over the shoulder of Woll from the top right circle. Freshman Odeen Tufto and junior transfer John Furgele were credited with the assists on Whelan's goal who led the Bobcats with five shots on goal for the game.

In the third the Bobcats struggled a bit with some mistakes especially on a late line change which led to an Eagle power play which they capitalized on when Jacob Tortora finished one home on the doorstep after a face-off win and a puck kicking off a player's skate right to Tortora. Both Alex Whelan and Nick Jermain rang iron late in the period with a chance to win it. Quinnipiac went 0 for 4 on the power play for the night. "I thought we struggled on the power play as we did in the exhibition. We had no chemistry and we lost a lot of battles. In order to have a good power play you need to win battles, said Rand Pecknold."

In the end the Bobcats came out with a tie against a quality opponent. They are now 2-0-1 all time against Boston College. The team returns to action on Sunday at 2:00 pm when they welcome the #2 ranked Boston University Terriers to Hamden for the team's home opener.

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

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