HAMDEN, CT. — On Saturday night, the Union Dutchmen extended their season-high win streak to five games with an overtime come-from-behind win against the Quinnipiac Bobcats, 3-2. Senior Justin Pallos picked up his eighth goal of the season on the game-winner.
“It was playoff hockey tonight; I thought they played like it was the playoffs and I thought we did the same,” said Union coach Nate Leaman.
“If you are going to beat a top team like Union, you are going to have to play better defense; we just gave them too many opportunities,” Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said.
Quinnipiac was first on the board, thanks to Kellen Jones’ sixth of the season. Seven minutes into the period, it was Connor Jones who got the play started when his initial shot was saved by Kinkaid. The rebound came right to the stick of Kellen, who skated through the low slot and sent his backhander into the open net.
The Dutchmen were kept scoreless after the opening frame, thanks to the quick leather of Hartzell. With four minutes to go in the period, Mat Bodie ripped a shot from the high slot. Hartzell saw it the whole way, as he flashed his glove in acrobatic fashion to hold the Bobcats lead.
“Our starts have to be better; both nights, it took us awhile to get up to speed to match the intensity of our opponent,” Leaman said.
A physical second period led to a number of power-play opportunities for both teams.
Midway through the second period, the Dutchmen tied things up at 1-1 off of Wayne Simpson’s 10th goal of the season. Following a boarding penalty on QU’s Connor Jones, the Dutchmen took their top-rated power play to the ice.
With more than a minute gone from the power play, Union broke through the zone, where Wayne moved into the low slot. Wayne then took the pass from his older brother John and beat Hartzell low blocker side. It is Wayne’s seventh power-play goal of the season.
Quinnipiac regained the lead three minutes later thanks to a power play and a bit of luck. With seconds left on a boarding penalty to Union’s Andrew Buote, QU’s Zach Tolkinen broke his stick on a one-timer from the point. As Tolkinen rushed off the ice, Mike Dalhuisen rushed on. The Bobcats were able to feed Dalhuisen at the same spot where Tolkinen broke his stick. Dalhuisen powered a slap shot through traffic, where John Dunbar tipped it between Kinkaid’s leg pads for his fourth goal of the year.
Just 1:39 into the third, the Dutchmen tied things up again. This time it was a couple of defenseman lighting up the board. On a breakout started by Jeremy Welsh, Ryan Forgaard broke through on the right wing looking for the right pass. In a beautiful setup, Forgaard sent a clean wing-to-wing pass to Brock Matheson, who wristed it in the gaping net.
Thanks to a number of highlight-reel saves from both goaltenders, the score remained 2-2 through regulation.
“With a 2-1 lead heading into the third, we knew that it would be a tough lead to hang on to,” said Pecknold.
At 7:10 into the third, Kinkaid bailed out his defense after Union coughed up the puck just outside its zone. Jeremy Langlois took control of the puck and was in all alone on Kinkaid, who denied Langlois at the goal mouth.
Just less than halfway through the period, it was Kinkaid again keeping the score tied. This time, a good offensive cycle led to a quality scoring opportunity for Dunbar. With all day to shoot, Dunbar from the left circle, waited to control the puck and tried to go high glove side. Kinkaid flashed the leather again, leaving Dunbar to just shake his head.
As the teams headed into the extra frame, Union held the momentum. At 2:44 into the overtime, the Bobcats turned the puck over in their own zone, where Pallos took control of the puck and walked in on Hartzell. Pallos took his time and made a number of stick moves and finally roofed the puck in the top right corner for the win.
“I was surprised to get the puck in the slot and I just tried to take it to the net; to be honest I wanted to pass it to Bootsy, but he kind of backed off,” Pallos said with a smile.
“It was great to see our fourth line center come up with the game-winner and our numbe six ‘D’ making a poised play,” Leaman said. “For us to keep improving, our role players have to keep stepping up.”
With a pair of Yale victories this weekend, the Dutchmen still trail first place by just one point.