HAMDEN, Conn. — The Quinnipiac University Bobcats (7-2-0, 1-0-0 ECACHL) won a decisive 5-2 victory over the #15 ranked Harvard Crimson (1-1-0, 1-1-0 ECACHL) in front of 5,049 at the Hartford Civic Center Friday night.
This was Quinnipiac’s inaugural game in the ECAC and first game against Harvard. It proved to be everything and more.
“This was the biggest win in Quinnipiac University history,” said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold.
Quinnipiac rode the momentum of the fan support and a pep talk from Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe himself by capitalizing with a goal, just a minute in.
Chris Myers took the initial shot saved by Crimson goaltender Justin Tobe. David Marshall picked up the rebound and netted it home to make it 1-0 Quinnipiac. Dan Henningson also assisted on the tally.
Harvard answered a little over two minutes later with a goal by Mike Taylor. Peter Hafner won the face off back to Jimmy Fraser who took the shot and Taylor nailed home the rebound.
The Bobcats started the second period on the power play, 5 on 3, and as the first expired, Brian Leitch took a shot on the glove side on Tobe and Ben Nelson, playing on his birthday, slammed home the rebound for a 2-1 lead at 2:19.
Marshall scored his second goal of the night, unassisted, when he won the face off to the left of Tobe, and put it home five hole to take a two goal lead.
“They made some plays, defended well and killed off penalties,” said Harvard head coach Ted Donato.
Heading into the third period the Crimson needed to cut the lead in half and did so on a Dan Murphy power play goal. Murphy went glove side high on Bobcats net minder Bud Fisher at 2:12.
After the goal, the Quinnipiac students, all dressed in yellow and known as the “Crazy Bobcats,” rallied behind their school along with other fans and supporters.
Quinnipiac got its second power play goal of the night, this time by Mark Van Vliet, when he snipped a shot in the slot stick side of Tobe. Reid Cashman and Myers assisted on the goal.
Mike Bordieri sealed the victory with an empty net goal to finish the score at 5-2.
“It’s a great feeling, but we still have twenty-one games to go,” said Cashman. “There is still a lot of work to do.”
Tobe made 18 saves in the loss and Bud Fisher made 35 for the Bobcats improving his record to 5-1. He has won his last five decisions.
“Everyone was working hard and blocking shots, making my job easier,” he commented after the game.
Marshall, Cashman, and Myers each finished the night with two points.
Quinnipiac returns to action tomorrow against Dartmouth at the Northford Ice Pavilion, while Harvard travels to play Princeton. Both games are slated for a 7 P.M. start time.