HAMDEN, CT — The No. 14 St. Cloud State Huskies finished the sweep of the No. 17 Quinnipiac Bobcats in non-conference action with a 3-2 win Saturday evening at the TD Bank Sports Center.
Three second-period goals by the Huskies proved to be enough to take the two-game set on the road.
The Bobcats (13-9-1) controlled play early in the game, outshooting St. Cloud 11-4 in the first period, with four odd man rushes to their credit, and outshot St. Cloud 37-21 in the game.
“I thought the first period was physical and both teams were battling,” said St. Cloud coach Bob Motzko. “The second we got going and we had chances. The third period we needed our goalie to keep us in the game. It was a great college hockey game to watch. We gutted it out and it’s a good road win.”
The second period was a different story for both teams, as St. Cloud gained momentum with three goals.
“We played well and we had a bit of a lull in the second and let them jump out to a three-goal lead,” said Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold. “We had our chances; we didn’t finish and St. Cloud got good goaltending again tonight. It is what it is, and we need to find a way to start scoring some goals.”
The Huskies (14-7-3) opened up the scoring at 1:39 of the second with David Eddy’s goal. Tony Mosey sent a pass from behind the goal line cross-ice to Eddy, where he sat at the right circle. He collected the puck and ripped a shot through the five-hole of Quinnipiac’s Dan Clarke to record the game’s first goal.
St. Cloud carried the momentum from the first goal and scored just 2:17 later. Brett Barta blasted a shot through traffic to beat Clarke on his glove side. Ben Hanowski sent a pass off the half wall over to Barta for the one-timer rip at 4:22 of the second.
Eddy added his second goal of the period, this time on the power play. Again, Eddy beat Clarke through the five-hole. Clarke got his pads on it, but the puck trickled in and over the goal line for the 3-0 lead. Jared Festler and Sam Zabkowicz assisted on the goal.
Mathieu Cadieux replaced Clarke to start the third period and Quinnipiac responded with a quick goal. Scott Zurevinski cut the deficit to two goals when he was able to put one past Mike Lee through the five-hole. In a scrum in front of the net, Zurevinski whacked at the puck and it found its way into the back of the net just 1:34 into the third.
With 5:59 remaining in the third the Bobcats were granted a power play on a tripping call. Quinnipiac called timeout and pulled Cadieux for the two-man advantage. The call paid off, as Jean-Marc Beaudoin put home a shot past the glove side of Lee. Zurevinski sent a pass through the slot to Beaudoin, who got just enough on it to get past the glove of a sprawling Lee to cut the lead to one.
After the goal, the Bobcats looked to continue the momentum swing, but Lee stopped any chances of the Bobcats tying the game. He made a save when Sean Coughlin was on the doorstep and stuck his arm out to prevent the puck from going on. Eric Lampe rang one off the crossbar with less than fifteen seconds to play and Quinnipiac ran a play off the faceoff and couldn’t convert on the opportunity.
“We needed our goalie to keep us in the game, making that unbelievable save, and they put one off the crossbar,” said Motzko. “They had some chances and Lee made big saves and we played good defense. I thought he won the game in the third period. He made some big saves and kept the lead for us.”
The Bobcats are winless in their last six attempts, while St. Cloud has won their last six. Lee finished with 35 saves in the win, while Clarke made 12 in the loss and Cadieux six in the non-decision.
Quinnipiac continues non-conference action next weekend at home versus Niagara, while St. Cloud hosts Minnesota.