HAMDEN, Conn. — The Quinnipiac Bobcats (5-5-1, 2-1-1 Atlantic Hockey) continued their domination at home with a 5-1 win over the Army Black Knights (2-7-2, 1-5-2) at the Northford Ice Pavilion on Saturday night.
Already on the power play, Quinnipiac got on the board at 12:58 of the first when Army defenseman Casey Bickley broke his stick at center ice on a check, and went to pick up a new one. In that time the Bobcats cycled the puck from behind the net to the top of the right circle, where Dan Lefort had a clean look at the net and ripped the puck into the top right corner to make it 1-0. Mark Van Vliet and Matt Sorteberg assisted on the goal.
Quinnipiac got on the board again early on the power play, in the second period when a Black Knight defenseman turned the puck over in the defensive zone. Chris White picked off the puck and passed it to Lefort who spun around and saw a wide open Jamie Bates in front of the net. Bates took the pass and put it in the vacant right side of the goal to capitalize on the 3-on-1 at 2:01.
“We always emphasize shooting the puck,” said Quinnipiac assistant coach Scott Robson. “Army gave our defensemen time to shoot the puck and didn’t force us to make mistakes and shoot unnecessary shots.”
The Black Knights finally got on the board at 12:12 of the second when Chris Migliaro got the puck past Bobcats netminder Jamie Holden. Seth Beamer and Justin Fagan assisted on the goal.
The Bobcats answered less then two minutes later at 14:44 of the second when Mark Agnew and Bates assisted on Reid Cashman’s third goal of the season. Army goaltender Treye Kettwick had no chance thanks to a screen from the Quinnipiac and Army players battling in front of the net. Cashman finally got control of the puck and buried it.
Quinnipiac, on the penalty kill, drew a penalty when Cashman was taken down. Holden came to the bench for the extra skater on the delayed penalty. Joe Dumais went streaking down the right side of the ice and shot the puck on net, where it bounced off of Kettwick’s pads into the slot. Sorteberg picked up the puck and roofed it over Kettwick’s glove hand at 6:34 of the third, the third goal for the Quinnipiac defense.
The defense is getting more comfortable in the system and we are finding our niche,” said Cashman. “They are all offensively skilled.”
After the goal the Black Knights brought in backup goaltender Cliff Rodgers to finish up.
To close out the scoring on the night, Matt Froehlich controlled behind Army’s net and saw an open Lefort at blue line. He one-timed the puck through traffic and saw his shot deflected by Matt Craig at 12:05 of the third. The goal was Craig’s team-leading sixth of the season.
“The line of Froehlich, Van Vliet, and Craig has been working extremely hard and are consistently forechecking,” said Robson. “They have the ability to shoot the puck and score, and also help to open up the points for the defensemen.
Quinnipiac brought in backup goaltender Brian Papcun for the final five-plus minutes for his first collegiate action.
“Holden played great tonight to give me the opportunity to play,” said Papcun. “I was a little nervous when I came in and had to help kill a penalty, but it all worked out.”
The two teams combined for 26 penalties and 60 minutes, and were 3 for 22 on the power play. Quinnipiac outshot Army 9-3 in the third period and 29-21 for the game.
Quinnipiac is now 4-0 on the season at the friendly confines of the Northford Ice Pavilion. They also move to 2-1-1 in Atlantic Hockey and to .500 on the season at 5-5-1. At home the Bobcats have outscored their opponents 16-3 this season.
Lefort and Bates both scored their first collegiate goal in the game.