HAMDEN, Conn. — New jerseys, a new attitude, and home-ice advantage helped the Quinnipiac Bobcats to a 5-0 victory over the Bentley Falcons in an Atlantic Hockey matchup at the Northford Ice Pavilion on Saturday Night.
Josh Siembida made 37 saves in the shutout in his first career start as a Bobcat. Matt Craig led the team with a goal and an assist to their first victory in four games. Quinnipiac took three of four points in the home-and-home series.
Quinnipiac got on the board at 11:45 of the first when Ty Deinema won a draw in the left circle deep in the Bentley zone, where Matt Sorteberg picked up the puck, then passed it across the blue line to Reid Cashman, who fired the puck in the top right shelf over Falcon goaltender Simon St. Pierre’s glove to make it 1-0.
The second period was a physical one. 12 penalties, 56 minutes and four 10-minute misconducts were handed out.
“We tweaked a few parts of the game plan, but very minor,” said Quinnipiac assistant coach Ben Syer. “We just wanted to make sure we played well and finished our checks.”
Quinnipiac got on the board again in the second period with: 24 seconds remaining, when Mark Van Vliet intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and fed the puck to a streaking Matt Craig, who used his speed up the left side of the ice, came across the crease, around St. Pierre’s stick, and put the puck in off the post to make it 2-0.
In the third period, Quinnipiac kept the momentum going, scoring in the first 25 seconds with a tally by Matt Froehlich assisted by Craig to make it 3-0. Craig put the puck into the slot where Froehlich ripped the puck into the lower left hand corner of the net.
The Bobcats got on the board again at 9:26 when Joe Testa sent a tape-to-tape, blue line to blue line pass to Van Vliet, who snapped a shot off of St. Pierre’s glove to make it 4-0.
“I’m getting more comfortable with the pace of the game and working well with my linemates,” said Van Vliet. “You just have to work hard and good things will happen.”
Quinnipiac scored again less than 40 seconds later to make it 5-0 when Michael Bordieri intercepted a pass at center ice and went in all alone and rifled the puck into the top corner above St. Pierre’s glove.
“We have our confidence level back and our offense is clicking,” said Syer. “If we shoot the puck on the net, it will eventually go in.”
After St. Pierre gave up his fifth goal, Bentley brought in back up goaltender Geordan Murphy to take over for the final 10 minutes.
The Bobcats played solid defense throughout the game, not giving Bentley clean looks at the net.
“Bounces were tough for me tonight, but I got lucky on a few,” said Siembida. “Credit goes out to the team especially the defensemen for helping make my job easier.”
For the first time in over a month, a span of six games, the Bobcats played on home ice. Last time the Bobcats were at home, on October 16, they beat the same Falcons 3-0 to capture the Quinnipiac Cup title.
Quinnipiac amassed 33 shots on goal while Bentley held the advantage with 37.
Before the game, senior forward Matt Craig was honored for scoring his 100th point in a Bobcats uniform, on October 16th. He is the 22nd player to do so in Quinnipiac history.