Friday, February 16, 2018

Quinnipiac falls to Union 5-2

Quinnipiac vs Union (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

The Quinnipiac Bobcats came back from a 2-0 deficit only to see the Union Dutchmen score three unanswered goals in the third period to win 5-2 on Friday night at Frank J. Perrotti Jr., Arena in Hamden, Conn. In what could be the penultimate home game of the season should Quinnipiac not secure home ice in the first round of the ECAC playoffs it was too many mistakes and breakdowns that caused the Bobcats to be swept by Union for the second season in a row. 

After looking strong at times in the first period Quinnipiac gave up a power play goal in the later stages of the period by Union's Greg Campbell. "That game for us was kind of a microcosm of our season, said head coach Rand Pecknold. Late in the first we have a half empty net that we miss, don't score and then we take a bad penalty and we are down 1-0. We dominated the first period and we made two to three mistakes to get us down 1-0."

Union extended its lead to 2-0 just over three minutes into the third period on Ryan Scarfo's 18th goal of the season. Quinnipiac was again pounding shots on Union goaltender Jake Kupsky (37 saves) to no avail until freshman Matt Forchuk ripped a one timer off a feed from Craig Martin five hole past Kupsky cutting the Dutchmen lead in half. It was the second goal of the season for Forchuk who had 97 points in the Alberta Junior Hockey League a season ago. "His skill set is excellent, said Pecknold. His vision and his ability to make plays. He does it all the time in practice he led the AJHL in scoring last year. We project him eventually to be a big time scorer for us. He's coming along but he's had some struggles this year."

Alex Whelan celebrating his 14th goal (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

Quinnipiac tied the score just 56 seconds into the third period when Alex Whelan deked Kupsky out for his team leading 14th goal of the season. Odeen Tufto picked up the assist and now has points in 8 of his 10 games. Just a minute later Anthony Rinaldi scored ending the night for Andrew Shortridge (12 saves) in favor of Keith Petruzzelli (6 saves). Not even two minutes later Union scored on a breakaway by Sean Harrison which was the first chance that Petruzzelli saw since coming into the game.

A shorthanded goal by Brett Supinski was icing on the cake for Union who improved to 19-13-1 (14-5 ECAC) with the win and now have sole possession of second place. Quinnipiac fell to 12-15-4 (7-10-2 ECAC) and currently sits in 9th place in the conference standings. The loss ensures that the best Quinnipiac can finish the regular season is at .500. Quinnipiac will wrap up its regular season home slate Saturday night when they welcome RPI to Hamden for senior night as Quinnipiac will honor Kevin McKernan, Kevin Duane, Tanner MacMaster, Bo Pieper and Landon Smith who could be playing in front of the home crowd for the final time in their careers. 

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