Sunday, February 18, 2018

Quinnipiac ends home slate with 4-1 win over RPI

Quinnipiac vs. RPI (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

If this was the final home game of the 2017-2018 season, then the Quinnipiac Bobcats went out in style defeating the RPI Engineers 4-1 on Saturday night at the Frank J. Perrotti, Jr. Arena in Hamden, Conn. Prior to the game, the university honored its five soon to be graduating seniors in Kevin McKernan, Tanner MacMaster, Bo Pieper, Landon Smith and Kevin Duane. With Quinnipiac currently not in the top 8 of the ECAC with two games to play and needing help to get home ice, it's possible these five seniors might have played their final home game on York Hill.

Four different players scored for Quinnipiac who also got multi point games from both Odeen Tufto (2 assists) and Tanner MacMaster (2 assists) which was their 13th and 9th multi point games respectively this season en route it the victory. "I thought it was a good effort, said head coach Rand Pecknold. I thought Keith was great in net. The power play had three goals. We were disciplined, played hard and had a lot of passion." 

Quinnipiac took control of the game just under the five minute mark in the first period when Craig Martin ripped a shot high past Lindell Marshall on a cross ice feed from Tanner MacMaster. The Bobcats headed into the intermission up a goal and having out shot RPI 15-4. Just under the nine minute mark of the second period RPI's Jared Wilson boarded Nick Jermain on a vicious hit. Wilson stayed in the game but was assessed a five minute major penalty. A little under four minutes into the power play Quinnipiac struck when Matt Forchuk's vision set up a cross ice pass to Scott Davidson who sent a one-timer past Marshall. "It feels great when I score, said Scott Davidson. It doesn't happen very often but when it does it's awesome."

Just a minute later Quinnipiac struck again on the power play when Brandon Fortunato cleaned up a rebound off Brogan Rafferty's shot from the point for his 5th goal of the season and 4th in the last six games. "I think Brandon has been great, said Pecknold. He's been eating up a lot of minutes and doing a great job with the breakouts. He's getting better and better as a defender and it was only a matter of time before the points were going to come. He's set up a lot of players and we just haven't finished those goals so his points should be a lot higher than it is."

Quinnipiac getting ready to salute fans after 4-1 win over RPI (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

RPI broke the shutout on goaltender Keith Petruzzelli (21 saves) when Donovan Ott scored on the power play for the Engineers. A little less than five minutes later just past the 16 minute mark of the third period Quinnipiac scored on the power play on Bo Pieper's 11th goal of the season to cap the scoring and seal the win. "We bought in for 60 minutes, Pecknold added. Last night we were good for 42 or 44 minutes, whatever it was. I think we were more focused tonight with the bench real good tonight and positive and showed a lot of passion and energy." 

Quinnipiac now concludes the regular season with a trip to North Country where they will take on St. Lawrence Friday night before facing Clarkson on Saturday night. Currently in 9th place, Quinnipiac will need to win likely both games along with getting some help in the form of both Princeton and Yale both losing to get into the top 8. With only one win and two losses by both Yale or Princeton will get Quinnipiac into a top 8 spot and home ice advantage. 

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