NORTHFORD, Conn. — It was only an exhibition, but the Quinnipiac Bobcats showed explosiveness against the University of Ottawa after falling behind to win 5-1.
Two early penalties against the Bobcats to Craig Falite and Joe Testa gave the Gee Gee’s a man-advantage and they capitalized. Ottawa’s Dylan Bliss picked up the puck deep in the Bobcats zone, and fed it into the slot to Samuel Seguin at the left hash mark who wristed the puck past Justin Eddy to put the Gee Gee’s up 1-0 just five minutes into the game.
The six penalties in the first period by the Bobcats prohibited them from being able to tie the game before the first intermission.
“I think it is typical early season game, early on in the year there is always a ton of penalties, it’s the same way every year, and it was tonight,” said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold.
In the second period the Bobcat offense started to emerge. Newcomer and senior transfer from Iona, Mark Hallam, fed Matt Froelich the puck who dished it on a bang-bang play to a cutting Michael Bordieri. Bordieri took little time to bury the puck on a one-timer in front at the 4:05 mark.
After a high-sticking penalty to Ottawa’s Sean Edwards, the Bobcats capitalized on the power play. Freshman Dustin Hughes skated out from behind the cage with a backhand shot on goal which was deflected away by the Ottawa goaltender Mathew Blanchard. The deflection came back to the blueline where Chris White wound up to rifle a shot past Blanchard’s blocker to give the Bobcats a 2-1 lead.
Quinnipiac goalie Justin Eddy, who made 27 saves, was strong between the pipes, especially in the second period. Eddy saved all nine shots in the second session including two opportunities from the slot.
“Justin had a solid game, he didn’t get tested as much later on in the game, he played well,” said Pecknold.
Eddy would get more insurance with 5:32 left in the second period on the power play, as Chris White stickhandled at the blue line long enough to spot a cutting Dustin Hughes to the left of the crease. White whizzed a pass through the slot that hit Hughes right on the tape as he deflected it to the top shelf giving the Bobcats the 3-1 lead.
“Dustin, in his first game he was pretty dominant out there, and Chris White did a nice job. He is having to play a bit of a different role this year and I thought he did a nice job quarterbacking the power play,” said Pecknold.
The Bobcats penalty kill would be tested late in the second when penalties to Ty Dienema and Joe Testa allowed Ottawa to have a two-man advantage. The Gee Gee’s best opportunity came when Samuel Seguin sliced through the crease trying to stuff the puck underneath Eddy. Eddy went down on his back and formed a snow angel to stop the puck.
“They [Quinnipiac] got stronger as the game went on in term of their energy level, and I think they showed a little bit more commitment to get to loose pucks, a little more commitment to battle around the net area,” said Ottawa head coach Dave Leger.
It took just 6:16 into the third period for the Bobcats to strike again. Sophomore Joe Testa found a breaking Michael Bordieri at the red line. The pass created a three-on-one, as Bordieri kept the puck and slapped a shot off the inside of the far post and lit the lamp.
The Bobcats would add another goal at the 9:32 mark as Dustin Hughes and Chris White would team up again for another perfectly executed two-on-one. White fed the puck to Hughes on the far side who once again deflected it to the top shelf for his second goal of the game and the exclamation point on the Bobcats 5-1 win.
Quinnipiac will open the season at home versus American International on Friday, October 10th, at 7:00pm.