NORTHFORD, Conn. — Freshman Matt Sorteberg scored the game winning goal with 6:15 left to give Quinnipiac (1-0-0) a 3-2 win Friday over American International (0-1-0) in the opening round of the Quinnipiac Cup at the Northford Ice Pavilion. The Bobcats came back from a 2-0 deficit for the win.
With the score knotted at 2, Quinnipiac took its first lead of the game at 13:45 of the third when Dan Rossi and Chris White assisted on Sorteberg’s first collegiate goal. Sorteberg took the shot from the blue line and put it high over AIC netminder Frank Novello’s glove side.
“It felt great,” said Sorteberg. “Coach told us that on the power play to put the puck up high on net and when I took the pass from White on the sideboards it just went through.”
The Bobcats were strong on the power play, for which head coach Rand Pecknold credited practice, practice, practice.
“We practiced the power play a lot this week in anticipation for playing them and we ended up three for four,” said Pecknold.
AIC got on the board early in the first period at 6:17, on a power-play goal scored by Andy Walber. Assists were credited to C.J. McConnell and Presto Cicchine. The initial shot was taken by Cicchine, which bounced off Bobcats goaltender Jamie Holden’s pads. McConnell picked up the puck and passed across the crease, where Walbert scored on the one-timer to put AIC ahead 1-0.
We came out flat and tentative tonight, especially the freshmen,” said Pecknold. In the second and third periods we were more aggressive and played better.”
In the second period the Bobcats were more aggressive, physical and energetic, but AIC extended the lead with its second goal of the night at 2:06, by Mark Pavli with assists to Ron Miller and Mark Faqua.
Odds of getting a shutout are slim to none because something will always happen,” said Holden. “I think about what happened, what I did wrong and how I can fix my mistakes. I help out my offense and they help me out.”
The Bobcats’ rally began at 8:43 of the second period on the power play. The play developed behind the AIC net — Mark Agnew dumped the puck in, where Matt Craig received and in turn fed Matt Froehlich, who put the puck in the top corner over Novello’s blocker.
The Bobcats started the third period on the power play and scored at the :35 mark to tie it up. Froehlich notched his second goal of the night and Reid Cashman cashed in on his first point of the night. Froehlich received the puck in the slot from Cashman and put it through Novello’s five-hole. Agnew was credited with his second assist as well.
Holden made 27 saves in net for the win and Novello made 29 saves in the loss for the Yellow Jackets.
Before the game, Holden was honored as Atlantic Hockey Scholar of the Year for 2003-2004. He was presented with a trophy and plaque by Atlantic Hockey Commissioner Bob DeGregorio. Holden, who majors in biology, maintains a 3.98 GPA and was fourth in the country last year in save percentage.
The Bobcats are back in action Saturday at 7 p.m. in the finals of the Quinnipiac Cup against Bentley.