HAMDEN, Conn. — In a rematch of last year’s Quinnipiac Cup final, tournament MVP Ryan Morton, scoring his first career hat trick, helped the Bobcats defeat AIC, 9-2, and win their fifth Q-Cup in seven years.
Morton’s third goal was shorthanded and came with 10 seconds to play in the game.
“He breaks his stick and goes to the bench and someone gives him the wrong stick,” said QU coach Rand Pecknold. “He’s out there with a left-handed stick and he still scores. It’s pretty incredible. He’s just a goal scorer. He’s a natural.”
Quinnipiac’s special teams contributed for five of the team’s nine goals. The Bobcats power play looked impressive, going three for five. Their two shorthanded goals game late in the third after freshman John Kelly was given a five-minute major for cross-checking.
“We really struggled on special teams. It’s early in the season so I hoping a lot of those things are correctable,” AIC coach Gary Wright said. “We had a lot of power-play opportunities and we just didn’t capitalize. So certainly that was one of our frustrations; the degree in which we were dominated on special teams.”
The Yellow Jackets went 1-for-7 on the power play and had 24 shots on Bobcats goaltender Justin Eddie, who started his first regular-season game this year.
Morton’s hat trick was not the only career high by a Bobcat Saturday. Matt Craig notched one goal and four assists for his first five-point game. The last time a Quinnipiac player had four or more assists was Jan. 26, 2002 when Chris White did it against Bentley.
The Yellow Jackets had a promising performance against Fairfield on Friday, coming back from a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3, but don’t have much to build on after the game against Quinnipiac.
“We would have rather had a better showing,” said Wright. “They’re a very very good team but I’m disappointed we didn’t have a better showing against them.”
Pecknold liked the change he saw from Friday to Saturday.
“We finished our chances tonight, that was the big difference,” said Pecknold. “We got fortunate that we were in the right position. We had a lot of open lanes and we took some shots and they went in the net.”