HAMDEN, Conn. — On Thursday night, the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks traveled to Hamden to take on the Quinnipiac Bobcats for the first ever meeting between the two teams.
Junior captain Scott Zurevinski lead the way for the Bobcats scoring two goals to help QU to a 4-3 win. Quinnipiac goaltender Eric Hartzell made a season-high 56 saves in the winning effort.
“He was excellent tonight.” said head coach Rand Pecknold, “We are excited with the win, but we know that he stole one for us tonight.”
Quinnipiac got on the board first 8:38 into the first period on Scott Zurevinski’s seventh goal of the season. Defenseman Loren Barron started the play after he took a wrist shot from the near-point. Zurevinski was able to tip the Barron shot and redirect it through Faulkner’s legs.
“I just got a little piece of it and it wasn’t much. I just was able to get an ugly goal off of the good shot from Baron.” Zurevinski said.
Zurevinski’s goal was the only scoring in the first, but UNO was not without some offensive opportunities. The Mavericks ended the first period with 19 shots on goal.
“They were taking shots from everywhere right from the start of the game.” said Zurevinski.
The Bobcats extended their lead 4:17 into the second period on a power play goal from Jeremy Langlois. Barron got the play started through the neutral zone and fed Kellen Jones on the nearside circle. Jones found himself in an odd man rush with Langlois streaking on the far side. Langlois took the pass and beat Faulkner top shelf.
With 3:53 remaining in the second period Barron put the Bobcats up by three goals with his first of the season. Much like his first goal of the game, Barron took the puck from the point and beat Faulkner just inside the left post with another wrist shot. Russell Goodman started the play after he won the face-off back to Jeremy Langlois, who simply sent it along the blue line to Barron.
After Barron scored his first goal of the season he took his second penalty of the game with just 1:52 left in the second.
UNO was able to cut Quinnipiac’s lead to two goals after Bryce Aneloski took a wrister of his own and went top shelf to beat Hartzell just nineteen seconds into the power play. After taking the pass from Matt Ambroz, Aneloski made two moves around two QU defenders and found his opportunity in the high slot.
With plenty of traffic in front Aneloski made the perfect shot through traffic to go high glove-side to find the back of the net. It was Aneloski’s second goal of the season.
UNO wasted no time into the third period to chip away at the Bobcats lead. Just minutes into the third a turnover in the Quinnipiac zone gave Maverick’s defenseman Mike Young a quick shot from the far corner on net. The rebound came right out in front of Hartzell where Matt Ambroz sent his back-hander just inside the right post for his team leading 10th goal of the season.
The Mavericks tied the game with 8:18 left on the clock when Brent Gwidt got himself into a one on one battle with QU’s Mike Glaicar. Gwidt made a move in the high slot and got around Glaicar with just enough room in front of Hartzell to sneak it between Hartzell’s left skate and the left post.
“After the break it was clear that they were in a better shape than us. They played the week before Christmas and we had a six day layoff so it was clear that tonight they were in better shape.” said Pecknold.
Quinnipiac went back on the power play with 6:16 remaining in the third period after UNO’s Tony Turgeon got booked for charging.
With 4:27 left in the third period QU took the lead for good on their second power play goal of the game. Kellen Jones took the puck into the zone and found Zurevinski in the high slot. After a quick wrist shot was turned away by Faulkner the rebound came to the right of the net.
Zurevinski crashed the net and put enough pressure on the rebound until it was knocked in off a Maverick.
“Neither of my goals were pretty goals tonight” said Zurevinski with a smile. “I don’t think either one will be making the highlight reel.”
Regardless of the 56 saves, Hartzell kept a modest attitude.
“It was a team effort tonight and you can’t do it without those guys on the ice. Our defensemen did a great job controlling the rebounds when I gave them up and I did what I could to control them as well.”
Both teams will have to play on short rest tomorrow with a noon start time back at the TD Bank Sports Center.