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College Hockey:
Bobcats Retain Heroes’ Hat With Draw

— Quinnipiac’s Mark Hallam scored the tying goal with 10:00 left as Quinnipiac drew with Connecticut, 2-2, to keep the Heroes’ Hat in Hamden.

The winner of the season series between the two teams is awarded the “Heroes Hat,” a fireman’s hat worn by Joseph Mascali, a firefighter who passed away in the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Mascali was the father of Quinnipiac students Chris and Jenn Mascali, and at Connecticut the award honors Amy Jarret, a flight attendant and sister of former UConn players Matt Jarret.

The Bobcats have won the first two series, and this year was the third in a row that Quinnipiac has won the Hat. Quinnipiac won the season series by taking the first meeting of the season on October 31, 4-2, and then two ties, including Saturday night.

In the first period, Quinnipiac jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a play that developed out of the right wing corner in the offensive end. Quinnipiac forward Matt Craig emerged from the corner, and took a quick shot on goal. The puck sprang off the pads of Connecticut goalie Scott Tomes and out to the top of the crease. Quinnipiac’s Matt Froehlich saw the loose rebound in front, and used his reach put the puck inside the left post.

Quinnipiac outshot UConn 17-8 in the first stanza, which included two Quinnipiac power plays.

“You have to give a lot of credit to UConn; they played well tonight and Tomes made some great saves, especially in the first period, to keep them in the hockey game,” said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold.

Period two belonged to the Huskies. Connecticut struck just 1:38 in on a scramble in front of the Quinnipiac net. The puck was tied up among skates to the left of the cage, but Trevor Stewart pushed it toward the net, where it was redirected to the right side for Matthew Scherer, standing all alone in front.

Scherer fired the puck into the back of the net to even the score at 1-1.

The Huskies continued to force turnovers and create traffic in front of Quinnipiac’s Jamie Holden. UConn broke the tie at the 8:31 mark of the second period on a miscommunication in front of the Quinnipiac net.

Quinnipiac defensemen Ty Deinema and Troy Maleyko both went to pursue the puck behind the net. Then, when UConn regained control Brian Burns found Scott McDougall crashing toward the net. McDougall took the pass and rifled a shot past Holden to give the Huskies a 2-1 advantage.

“It is like the same thing that happened last night against AIC, where we have a great first period but we still struggled in the second period,” said Pecknold.

In the third the Bobcats battled back to tie the game with just 10 minutes left in regulation. Reid Cashman seized an opportunity to skate in and put the puck toward the net. Just as the puck came through the two faceoff circles, Quinnipiac’s Mark Hallam deflected the puck into the top left corner to tie the game at 2.

Quinnipiac had the best chance to win in regulation immediately following a UConn power play. Matt Craig had been called for slashing, but he picked up a length-of-the-ice pass as he flew out of the box for a breakaway. Craig lost possession of the puck as he crossed the UConn blue line and only managed to control the puck enough to put a pass through the UConn crease.

Holden made 27 saves for Quinnipiac, while UConn’s Tomes stopped 37 shots.

“Scott has being playing better and better he seems to be more confident and instead of allowing the first goal, and thinking that’s the ballgame; he has kept his head in there and played well,” said Marshall.

Connecticut will travel to Sacred Heart on Tuesday at 7 p.m., while Quinnipiac will wait till next Friday to host Bentley.

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