HAMDEN, Conn. — Senior Chris White scored a power-play goal with 2:07 left in overtime to send the Quinnipiac Bobcats to a dramatic 6-5 win over Wilfrid Laurier Saturday at the Northford Ice Pavilion. The Bobcats came back from deficits of 1-0 and 5-2 to take the decision.
Wilfrid Laurier got on the board early at 3:23 of the first period when Matt Grennier put one past Bobcats goalie Josh Siembida on the power play. The goal was assisted by Bryan Kazarian and Richard Colwill. The play was set up by Kazarian swinging it around to Colwill, who passed to Grennier, where he took the shot from the right circle.
“We made a few mistakes early in the game and they capitalized on our mistakes,” said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold.
The Bobcats got on the board at 8:23 of the first with a goal by freshman Steve Eastman, assisted by Rob Hammel and Reid Cashman. The play developed when Cashman passed the puck up ice to Hammel, who went in on a breakaway. Hammel shot it off the goalie’s pads and Eastman was there for the rebound to tie it at 1.
Wilfrid Laurier then scored two more goals within a minute and a half. Matt Schnarr scored the first, with assists credited to David Brown and Evan Weber at 9:21 of the first period. The second goal was by Nick Gibson and assisted by Bryan Sansom and Kazarian at 10:45. Both goals were one-timers right outside of the crease.
“In the first game you don’t know what you are going to get,” said Pecknold. “We didn’t mentally prepare well.”
The second period had no scoring but the Bobcats had many chances to get another tally. Quinnipiac missed on numerous breakaways, goalie rebounds, and on the power play.
The third period was a turning point for the Bobcats. With a cushion of two goals Wilfrid Laurier took out goalie Justin Day and put in Will Crothers.
The Bobcats scored four goals to send the game into overtime, starting at 1:25 when Bobcats defenseman Matt Sorteberg took a one-time pass from Cashman. Jamie Bates also assisted on the goal.
Wilfrid Laurier answered at 8:17 of the third when Kazarian knocked in a rebound off Siembida to make the score 4-2. The initial shot was taken by Eric LaRochelle, who was credited with the assist. Four minutes later Brown took a one-timer from Colwill to make the score 5-2 with less then eight minutes left in the game.
With just over three minutes left in regulation, Bobcats captain Ty Deinema scored a power-play goal off a deflection and a screen by Michael Bordieri. Eastman and Hammel recorded assists on the play. The play was set up when Hammel crossed the puck from the left to right circle to Eastman. He took the shot, where it was deflected into the net with 3:10 remaining.
Thirty seconds later Mark Agnew scored a second goal on the power play. Agnew received the puck from Cashman and put the puck over Crothers’ left shoulder.
With less than a minute to go, the Bobcats pulled Siembida to go a man up. The extra man on the ice was freshman Mark Van Vliet, who scored on a nifty snapshot that went through Crother’s five-hole. Matt Craig and Agnew assisted on the game tying goal.
Going into overtime the Bobcats had momentum and the home crowd on their side. Through the first two minutes, the teams traded shots until Quinnipiac drew a penalty. Again on the power play, the Bobcats’ Chris White scored the game winning goal on a wrist shot, putting the puck just out of reach of Crothers’ stick. Craig again assisted on the goal.
“I hope we can learn from the positive and negatives of the game,” said Pecknold. “We need to keep working hard to get better as individuals and as a team.”
“It’s the same game whether you are up or down,” said Deinema. “We didn’t play well at the beginning, but we came together as a team and pulled out the win.”
The Bobcats finished the night three for 11 on the power play. Both teams played aggressively, with a total of 44 minutes in penalties, 30 of those attributed to Wilfrid Laurier.
Day and Crothers combined to make 36 saves and Crothers took the loss. Siembida made 23 saves in his first start for the Bobcats
Quinnipiac dressed six freshmen and four of them scored goals in the outing.
“It was awesome to be out there,” said Eastman. “I had butterflies before getting on the ice, but then once you’re out there they go away.”
“I hope we can have a good week of practice and prepare well for Friday,” said Pecknold.
The Bobcats open the regular season at home this Friday at 7 p.m. when they host their annual Q-Cup, playing American International.