HAMDEN, Conn. — Quinnipiac extended its national-best unbeaten streak to 13 games with a thrilling 3-2 overtime win at home against Dartmouth.
The Bobcats entered Friday not having lost since Nov. 6 against American International and also remain undefeated in the ECAC with a 9-0-0 record.
The unbeaten streak on the line, Jordan Samuels-Thomas proved to be the hero in the extra frame.
With 1:30 left in overtime, Loren Barron took control of the puck at his own blue line and fed Samuels-Thomas, who stepped into the Dartmouth end and sniped a shot just inside the top-left corner of the net for the win.
Samuels-Thomas is a junior this season, but is in his first year with the Bobcats after transferring from Bowling Green.
“This is probably the biggest goal that I can think of,” Samuels-Thomas said. “At Bowling Green, we didn’t play any games with both teams ranked in the top ten like this, or with big conference points on the line.”
The Bobcats entered the contest ranked second in the PairWise rankings with Dartmouth two spots back at fourth. Quinnipiac and Dartmouth also entered the weekend ranked fifth and eighth respectively in the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Poll.
“It wasn’t the way we drew it up on the board,” Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said. “We were up 2-0 and we should have put them away. We just got sloppy late and let them back in late.”
Quinnipiac took the 1-0 lead 11:09 into the first period when Kellen Jones tipped a shot from Barron and Travis St. Denis gathered the rebound and put it five-hole past Charles Grant for the lead.
The Bobcats went up 2-0 8:04 into the third period on a seeing-eye shot from Bryce Van Brabant.
Dartmouth answered back just 44 seconds later on Matt Lindblad’s sixth goal of the season. The Big Green’s Tyler Sikura grabbed the puck in the near corner and threw the puck at the net. The puck went off of QU goalie Eric Hartzell and eventually deflected off Lindblad to cut the lead to 2-1.
Dartmouth tied the game with just over three minutes left in regulation. Hartzell made a pair of brilliant stops at the top of his crease, but the Bobcats couldn’t control the rebound and Tim O’Brien corralled the puck and fired it through Hartzell’s five hole.
“We had to outwork them down low,” said Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet. “We got some pucks to the net and some traffic. We capitalized on some squirrely plays in front of the net.”
Quinnipiac had a number of chances in the final minute to regain the lead, but could not stuff a third past Grant.
“[Grant is] very poised, he’s athletic, he’s very quick, he has very good hands and he is good low,” Gaudet said. “I think we have a tandem that is excellent.”