HAMDEN, Conn. — The Quinnipiac Bobcats, riding a six-game unbeaten streak, hosted Army in their third home game of the season at the Northford Ice Pavilion.
It was a physical game with the Bobcats coming out on top in a 4-2 victory.
The power play for Quinnipiac was a factor once again. The Bobcats were 35% on the man-advantage, scoring 13 goals in 37 chances coming into the contest. Power-play tallies gave Quinnipiac a 2-1 lead after two periods.
“It’s kind of ironic that our power play has been extremely effective but are penalty kill is killing us,” said coach Rand Pecknold. “It’s great that we’re scoring all these power-play goals but we’re giving up a lot of shorthanded goals.”
Both of Army’s goals came while Quinnipiac was shorthanded. The first goal for the Black Knights was scored early in the first as Nic Serre, from the point, took a slapshot that hit a Bobcat in front and got past goaltender Jamie Holden.
The Bobcats answered halfway through the period with a power-play goal of their own as a give-and-go at the point between Wade Winkler and Brian Hebert allowed Winkler to fire a shot into the back of the net.
The second period had more up-and-down action as a combined 25 shots were taken. Army goaltender Brad Roberts made key saves early on to keep the score deadlocked at one. Army coach Rich Riley was pleased with his netminder’s performance.
“He’s a great goalie. I mean he’s a freshman and he’s played for a couple weeks here,” said Riley. “He really looks poised and he plays with a lot of confidence and he’s given us a chance to win every game we’ve been in.
“That’s all you can really ask from him.”
Quinnipiac, on the power play once again, finally got another one past Roberts as a rebound off the crossbar came out right to Matt Craig, who netted his seventh goal of the season to give Quinnipiac its first lead of the game at 16:48 of the second period.
In the final frame, the Bobcats got two goals early as captain Dan Ennis and Rob Hammel scored 31 seconds apart to take a 4-1 lead with only 2:36 gone by.
“We played with a little more energy in the third. We got a couple big goals there,” said Pecknold. “The big one was Danny Ennis’s. We had talked about getting traffic in front of Roberts, who was outstanding. John Kelly screened him and he never saw the shot.”
Army tallied another power-play goal at 10:52 of the third but would get no closer.
“We knew we had to play a perfect game and had to play a little bit better disciplined,” said Riley. “It’s a winnable game in the third period which is what we wanted, but two five-on-five goals [by Quinnipiac], and that was it.”
Quinnipiac improved to 4-0-1 in MAAC play and 6-1-1 overall. The Bobcats travel to play AIC this Friday. Army is now 2-2 in the MAAC and 3-3 overall. The Black Knights are at Sacred Heart Friday night.