STORRS, Conn. — The Quinnipiac Bobcats took a 4-2 decision over Connecticut Huskies to win both the Heroes’ Hat and the Atlantic Hockey regular-season championship at the Freitas Ice Forum in front of 1,018 Thursday night.
UConn came out fired up on senior night, with senior Tim Olsen scoring 32 seconds into the game. Bobcat netminder Jamie Holden was screened on the initial backhand shot by Chris Uber, and Olsen picked up the rebound and put it past Holden’s glove side to make it 1-0.
Just over five minutes later, Quinnipiac answered back when Reid Cashman buried his 13th goal of the season. After a UConn icing, Matt Craig won the faceoff back to Cashman, who came across the crease in front of a sprawling Tomes and put it in the back of the net to tie it at 1.
With the goal, Cashman set a new single-season scoring mark, 38 points, for a Quinnipiac defenseman. The old record was held by Ed Muzyka.
“A lot of credit goes out to my teammates as well as Matt Sorteberg,” said Cashman. “We have been working unbelievably since day one and we’ve become good friends in the process.”
The Bobcats scored their second goal of the night with 28 seconds remaining in the first. John Kelly registered the tally on a Joe Dumais rebound. Dumais went up the right side of the ice where he hit Tomes in the chest with the puck. The puck dropped to the ice, and Kelly chipped it in to make it 2-1 heading in to the second.
“We have just been playing with a lot more confidence recently,” said Bobcats junior captain Ty Deinema.
Quinnipiac extended the lead to two on a Michael Bordieri tally. Tom Watkins took a shot which was stopped by Tomes, but Bordieri came across the slot to poke in the rebound. That goal was the eventual game winner.
“I just do my job and they [teammates] do theirs,” said Bordieri. “We will all be successful in the end.”
The Bobcats appeared to make it 4-1, but the goal was waved off for a player in the crease.
The Huskies cut the deficit in half, when Mark Murphy scored at the 14:48 mark of the third, on a 4-on-4. Murphy beat Holden through the five-hole.
Quinnipiac answered with a Matt Froehlich slapshot goal. Craig fed Froehlich in the slot, where he blasted the puck past Tomes.
Craig showed his play making abilities in the game, shelling out three assists. Kelly has registered seven points in his last four games.
“To be a league champion is very special,” said Cashman.
The Bobcats finish up their season at home against AIC on Saturday. The puck drops at 5 p.m. The Huskies have completed their season and will now await the end of the AHA regular season on Saturday to see where they travel for their playoff game.