NORTHFORD, Conn. — Three players each scored one goal and freshman goaltender Justin Eddy made 30 saves to lead Quinnipiac to a 3-2 victory over Air Force in the championship game of the fifth annual Quinnipiac Cup tournament before 955 at the Northford Ice Pavilion.
The victory was Quinnipiac’s third Cup title in five years. Senior forward Chris Cerrella earned Most Valuable Player honors after scoring four points (two goals, two assists) in the two games.
There was no scoring in the first period. Air Force had five power-play chances in the first 20 minutes of play, including a 5-on-3 advantage, but could not find the net. Neil Breen got the Braves on the board at 7:08 of the second period when he snuck one past Air Force goaltender Marc Kielkucki.
Just 48 seconds into the third period, the Braves took a 2-0 lead as Ryan Olson scored off assists from Cerrella and Erhart. However, Air Force responded quickly at 2:37 when Phil Cohen tallied his first collegiate goal.
After nearly 13 minutes of back-and-forth action, Quinnipiac’s Dan Ennis was whistled for a hooking penalty at 15:23. On the ensuing power play, though, Air Force was unable to get anything going; instead, Quinnipiac’s Dennis Palaia stole an errant Falcon pass and converted a shorthanded tally at 16:11.
Air Force pulled goaltender Marc Kielkucki with 1:23 left and promptly made it 3-2 with an unassisted goal by Derek Olson six seconds later. Kielkucki (34 saves) returned to the ice, and was lifted for an extra skater again with 1:10 left to go. However, the Falcons could not control the puck in the offensive zone, and Eddy and the Braves’ defense held on for the victory.