HAMDEN, Conn. — Jamie Holden made 41 saves for Quinnipiac to lead the Bobcats past Sacred Heart 4-2 in Atlantic Hockey action Saturday night at the Northford Ice Pavilion.
The Bobcats got on the board first when Chris White scored with 1:34 left in the first period. Tim Morrison kept the puck in at the right point, and fed the puck to the slot to White, who skated right into the slot. White picked up the pass, stickhandled in close and quickly wristed the puck over Sacred Heart’s Kevin LaPointe’s right pad.
Both players ended up in the net, as did the puck, giving the Bobcats the 1-0 lead.
In the second period at the 4:49 mark the Bobcats padded their lead on a goal by Craig Falite. Falite swooped in to the Sacred Heart zone, stole the puck and gained possession just in time to slide it under LaPointe.
The Pioneers responded 25 seconds later when Quinnipiac had trouble in its own end. Defenseman Dan Rossi lost possession of the puck and Eric Roos came in and took it away. Continuing to the Bobcat net, Roos beat Holden glove-side to cut the lead to 2-1.
At the 9:03 mark of the second the Bobcats struck again. Matt Froehlich and Ryan Morton got the puck to Matt Craig, who came out from the left-hand corner and zig-zagged in front, found a way to make space and got an opening in LaPointe’s pads.
Craig’s fifth goal of the season and second goal in as many nights put the Bobcats up 3-1.
Quinnipiac tacked on another insurance goal at 13:30 when Craig and Ryan Morton combined for the Bobcats’ fourth score. Froehlich picked up the loose puck at center ice and dished it to Morton, cutting across the blue line. Morton found Craig on the far side of the ice, and Craig gave its back to Morton in the slot. He tipped it past LaPointe.
“You want to try to put a team away when you have them back on their heels, and we didn’t, and we kind of let them back in the game a little later on,” said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold.
In the third period the Pioneers managed to score at 14:52 on a deflection in front. On the power play, Konn Hawkes shot on goal and Rocco Molinaro redirected the puck over Holden’s blocker to cut the Quinnipiac lead to 4-2.
The Bobcats held on for the 4-2 win, but not before emotions boiled over. In the third period many melees took place after the whistle, with 128 total penalty minutes in the game.
The biggest altercation took place at 13:30 of the third, when Sacred Heart’s Garrett Larson and Quinnipiac’s Troy Maleyko were called for five-minute majors for fighting and game disqualifications. During the incident four other Bobcats were called for roughing, and three Pioneers as well.
Holden improved his record to 3-2 on the season.
“Jamie Holden played phenomenal tonight. I thought he was just awesome. I thought as a whole we played pretty well — the third period was a little sloppy, but I thought the first two periods we really played well,” said Pecknold.
Sacred Heart remains winless on the season with a record of 0-6 overall and 0-3 in conference.
“They’re going to battle their way through this; it’s a difficult time but we’re going to keep fighting, kicking and scratching till they get through it,” said Sacred Heart head coach Shaun Hannah.
The Pioneers have a home-and-home series with Army November 14 and 15. Quinnipiac, which remains undefeated in Atlantic Hockey with a record of 3-0 and 5-4 overall, returns to action on November 21 at Army.