Friday, December 8, 2017

Third period Quinnipiac collapse leads to 7-4 Maine win

Quinnipiac vs. Maine (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

Two things were accomplished by the Quinnipiac Bobcats men's ice hockey tonight in a 7-4 defeat that had not happened in a long time and they were not something to be proud of. The loss by Quinnipiac ensures the team will head into a first semester break under .500 for the first time since the 2005-2006 season and second they gave up seven goals in a game since February 20, 2010 in a 7-3 loss to Union College.

It was a stunning collapse for a team that raced to a 3-0 lead not even ten minutes into the game. Goals by Scott Davidson, Bo Pieper and Tanner MacMaster capped a four and half minute spurt by the Bobcats. It was Davidson's first goal since the East Regional final against UMass Lowell back on March 27, 2016 when Davidson was a freshman. Senior Bo Pieper scored his 3rd goal of the season three and a half minutes later when he buried a strong wrist shot past Jeremy Swayman. Less than a minute later Tanner MacMaster had a beauty of a toe drag goal past Swayman. Maine cut the Quinnipiac lead less than three minutes later to 3-1. Quinnipiac was really good for the first 13 minutes of the the first period and finished with a 23-4 shot differential.

Two Quinnipiac penalties in the second period led to two Maine power play goals. First a Tanner MacMaster cross checking penalty led to a goal just 2:46 into the second period by Maine's Tim Doherty. Midway through the period a Matt Forchuk hooking penalty led to a Maine goal by Patrick Holway to tie the game at three after two periods.

Quinnipiac took the lead back early in the third period when Karlis Cukste cleaned up a rebound in front off Thomas Aldworth's initial chance giving the Bobcats the lead once again. However Maine would tie the game back up on an unbelievable individual effort by freshman Eduards Tralmaks highlight reel goal as he used great stick work getting around Quinnipiac's Brandon Fortunato and then back handing one past Andrew Shortridge.
Quinnipiac's Bo Pieper and Maine's Canon Pieper battle in action (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

The Black Bears took the lead five minutes later on Cedric Lacroix's first goal of the season and then the Bobcats saw the flood gates open up with two more Maine goals in less than two minutes. Keith Petruzzelli replaced Shortridge for the final three minutes of the game as Quinnipiac dropped to 6-9-2 with the loss and giving Maine its first ever win in Hamden against Quinnipiac.

Despite getting out to an early lead, Quinnipiac could not keep the momentum along with not being able to play a full 60 minute game. There was defensive lapses, poor fore-checking and back-checking along with giving Maine easy access into the offensive zone on the night. After the first 13 minutes Maine took control of the game with strong play at the end of the first period and into the second period leading to this come from behind win so give the Black Bears all the credit for staying in this game not getting down on themselves when Quinnipiac got off to a fast start. Quinnipiac put an astounding 54 shots on Swayman who made 50 saves while Maine scored 7 goals off 30 shots. The two teams close out the first half of the season tomorrow night in Hamden where Quinnipiac looks to end the first half on a winning note.

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