HAMDEN, Conn. — The Quinnipiac Bobcats (1-2-0, 0-0-0 ECACHL) took a 6-2 victory in the second semifinal of the Quinnipiac Cup, defeating the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers (0-1-0) at the Northford Ice Pavilion.
The contest was RIT’s first hockey game at the Division I level. “We were excited, nervous, and cautious tonight,” said RIT head coach Wayne Wilson.
Quinnipiac opened the scoring at 6:47 of the first, on Reid Cashman’s first goal of the year. The play developed when the Bobcats had a five-on-three advantage. Brian Leitch was behind the net and fed Jamie Bates on the side boards. Cashman received the pass at the top of the slot and wristed it past RIT goaltender George Eliopoulos’ shoulder.
The Bobcats scored less then two minutes later, this time by John Kelly. Mike Bordieri was in the neutral zone and fed a streaking Joe Dumais. Dumais fed Kelly, who went in on the left side of Eliopoulos to make it 2-0.
The Bobcats took a 3-0 lead on a power-play goal by Bates in the second period, when Matt Sorteberg was on the right circle and fed Cashman, who shot the puck. Bates deflected the shot in the air down below Eliopoulos’ stick side at 8:23 of the second.
RIT finally got on the board less then one minute later when Brennan Sarazin scored an even-strength tally. Sarazin received a pass in the slot from Bobby Raymond and got past Bobcats goaltender Bud Fisher. Tristan Fairbarn also assisted on the goal.
Quinnipiac scored its third power-play goal on the night, the second by Bates, at 14:09 of the second. Cashman received the pass from Sorteberg and ripped a shot which Bates again deflected past Elipoulos to make it 4-1.
“The power play was awesome tonight, said Bobcats coach Rand Pecknold.
Two minutes later the Tigers cut the led in half to make it 4-2 on a Brent Patry power-play goal. Brad Harris was behind the net and fed Darren Doherty at the top of the right circle. He went cross-ice to Patry, who hit the post, but got a lucky bounce into the back of the net at 16:51.
The Bobcats added two more goals in the third period. A power-play marker by Ben Nelson with assists to Mark Van Vliet and Chris Myers, and then a breakaway goal, shorthanded, by David Marshall.
The Bobcats finished 4-for-11 on the power play while the Tigers were only 1-for-11. The Bobcats outshot RIT 34-13. Fisher earned his first collegiate win in net, making 11 saves for the Bobcats. Of the eight goals, only two were at even strength.
“We just didn’t win the one-on-one battles,” said Wilson.
The Bobcats will take on Bentley Saturday at 7 p.m. in the championship game of the Q-Cup, while RIT will take on Air Force in the consolation at 4 p.m.