TROY, N.Y. — Behind Sophomore Eric Lampe’s first career hat trick, the Quinnipiac University Bobcats edged the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers 3-2, at the Houston Field House Friday night.
Quinnipiac (15-7-3, 7-3-3 ECAC) came off being swept by Niagara last weekend, following a 10 game unbeaten streak. RPI, on the other hand, came into the game off their first victory in eight contests.
“We put those games behind us and try to move forward,” said Lampe. “These are league games and are more important.”
The Engineers (9-16-3, 4-8-2 ECAC) opened the scoring 10:48 into the first with Andrew Lord’s power-play goal. Off to the face-off to the left of Quinnipiac’s Bud Fisher, Lord won the puck back to Chase Polacek who sent a pass over Jonathan Ornelas. Ornelas gave the puck back to Polacek for the one timer shot and Lord deflected the puck on the shot past Fisher.
RPI is a D-I worst 7.5 percent conversion rate on the power play.
Quinnipiac responded with Lampe’s first goal of the game. In a similar play, Lampe won the face-off to Henningson. He passed back to Lampe who rifled a shot on Mathias Lange. Lange made the kick save, but the puck bounced right back to Lampe, where he buried the puck home to tie the score.
“I thought we were very average in the first period,” said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold. “We played a real good, competitive second and third period. We did a nice job tonight of competing and it was a good hockey game. It’s fortunate that we came out on top.”
The Bobcats took their first lead at 6:09 of the second period. Mike Atkinson rapped the puck around the boards and Lampe gloved the puck down to the ice and at his stick. Lange was anticipating the puck going around the boards and Lampe came from behind the net and beat Lange five-hole for the goal.
Quinnipiac took a 3-1 lead with Lampe’s tenth of the season. Standing in front of the net, Lampe received a pass from Henningson in the slot. Lampe backhanded the puck into the chest of Lange, but unable to control the rebound, Lampe put the puck in on the far post past Lange.
“It feels good,” said Lampe. “I mean we got the win and everything.” Obviously it’s an honor to get it [hat trick], but it’s more about the team.”
It was the first hat trick since Brandon Wong and Ben Nelson each recorded a hat trick for the Bobcats on Feb. 13, 2007, vs. American International College.
RPI cut the deficit in half with 59 seconds remaining in the third with an extra attacker goal. Bryan Brutlag put home a rebound shot in a scrum in front of the net from the initial shot by Polacek. Peter Merth also added an assist on the goal.
The Bobcats are now 4-1-3 against the Engineers, in the three years Quinnipiac has been in ECAC Hockey, including playoffs.
Fisher made 21 saves in the win while his counterpart Lange made 26 in the loss.
Former Engineer Frank Chairelli ’55 was added to RPI’s Ring of Honor during the second intermission. Chairelli is the owner of three NCAA scoring records, and a four time National All-American. He joins former RPI coach Ned Harkness, Adam Oates ’85 and Joe Juneau ’91 in the Ring of Honor.
Quinnipiac heads to Union tomorrow night, while RPI hosts the 31st annual “Big Red Freakout!” versus Princeton. RPI is unbeaten in its last 17 Freakout’s with a record of 12-0-5 and 18-7-5 all-time in its history.