HAMDEN, CT — The Quinnipiac University Bobcats treated the largest home crowd in the schools history to a 5-1 defeat of the Yale Bulldogs at the TD Banknorth Sports Center Friday night on ‘Hero’s Hat Night.’
Having been tabbed the ‘Whitney War,’ from the 10 mile distance between the two schools, the Bulldogs and Bobcats squared off for the sixth time in history in front of 4,213 fans.
“There no question [it's a rivalry],” said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold. “We’re five miles apart. It’s a rivalry. My kids were ready to play.”
The Bobcats got the first goal of the game with 2:28 remaining in the first period. On the power play, Dan Travis deflected a shot by Dan Henningson from the point. Henningson received the pass from Brandon Wong and blasted the one timer shot. Travis standing in front of the net deflected the shot off his shaft and into the back of the net.
“I thought we played a little bit sluggish in the first,” said Pecknold. “We played like we were a little nervous. We settled down and played much better hockey in the second.”
Quinnipiac extended their lead to two goals with Dan Lefort’s blast from the blue line. The Bobcats were making a line change and Lefort hopped over the boards and received the pass from Bryan Leitch. Lefort corralled the puck and rifled the puck high and off the shoulder of Blas at 3:26.
Yale cut the lead in half with just under two minutes remaining in the second, with Sean Backman’s 13th goal of the year. The puck bounced up into the air on a deflection from a Quinnipiac defender stick from Broc Little’s shot from the right circle. Bobcat goaltender Bud Fisher was unable to locate the puck as it fell in the crease and Backman banked the puck in.
Quinnipiac fired out of the third with a goal 46 seconds into the period.
“I think our team was ready to play and stuck to our game plan,” said Wong. “We just kept getting pucks to the net and putting them home.”
Wong registered his eighth goal of the season when he banked home a shot a rebound left in the crease. Wong came across the crease from the right of Blas and found the puck lying there and put it through the five hole of Blas.
“I thought that Wong goal was huge right out of the gate,” said Pecknold. “We attacked the net and that’s what we wanted to do.”
Leitch gave the Bobcats a three goal lead when he picked off a pass at center ice and skated down to the goal line, fired a shot and saved by Blas. As Blas fell down to secure the puck it trickled through his legs and across the red line as the Quinnipiac student section erupted.
After the goal Blas was pulled in favor of Alec Richards.
Having been labeled the ‘Bulldog Killer’ David Marshall added his tenth goal of the season. Andrew Meyer blasted a shot from the blue line at Richards. Marshall in front of the net deflected the shot between the legs of Richards as he fell to the ice at 6:53 of the third.
Marshall earlier in the year scored the game winner against Yale, in a 3-0 defeat on Jan. 12, 2008. He now has eight goals in six career games against Yale.
The Bobcats record against the Eli’s now moves to 5-1-0 in the three years of the series.
The “Heroes Hat” award commemorates and remembers Joseph Mascali (FDNY/Staten Island 5), father of Quinnipiac alumni Chris and Jenn Mascali.
Yale will travel to Princeton tomorrow, while the Bobcats will play again on Sunday against the Brown Bears at 12:30.