HAMDEN, Conn. – Matthew Peca scored the game-tying goal for Quinnipiac with just under five minutes remaining in the third period as the Bobcats picked up 3-3 tie with the Yale Bulldogs in a rematch of the 2013 national championship game at the High Point Solutions Arena Saturday night.
Travis St. Denis took the puck behind the goal then passed it back to Peca on the left faceoff dot, where he had a wide-open net to shoot on with Yale goaltender Alex Lyon out of position.
“I’m real happy with how our guys competed, I thought our guys battled,” Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said. “Definitely being down 3-2 in the third I thought we were really good; we just brought it. Unfortunately we didn’t get the win.”
Yale (3-1-2, 2-0-2 ECAC) scored three unanswered goals in a span of 3:18 during the second period to silence the crowd and take a 3-2 lead over Quinnipiac (9-1-1, 3-0-1 ECAC).
“We talk a lot about having a good shift after a goal, whether we scored or they scored,” Pecknold said. “We got sluggish for a couple shifts there and they were opportunistic. The third goal, the puck literally bounces right to him and that happens the game of hockey sometimes.”
Lyon was strong in net for the Bulldogs despite the three goals allowed, as he gave Yale a chance to win, especially after the three-goal burst in the second period.
“He did a good job for us; I think he was out square to the puck and was poised under pressure,” Yale coach Keith Allain said.
Quinnipiac got on the board first in the first period when Sam Anas ignited the crowd with just under a minute remaining after he put home the rebound off a Kellen Jones shot to a wide-open net.
The Bobcats made it 2-0 with nine minutes remaining in the second period when Jordan Samuels-Thomas skated along the end line and hacked at the puck at Lyon’s pads until it crossed the goal line.
“I thought we played well enough to win tonight; you’d expect to win when you outshoot and dominate a team like that but hey, that’s why you play the game,” Pecknold said. “We’ve got to be better at finishing out chances.”
Yale responded not long after when Ryan Obuchowski scored a power-play goal on a one-timer from the point off a pass from Tommy Fallen to cut Quinnipiac’s lead in half. Devon Toews took a slashing penalty just 26 seconds prior to Obuchowski’s power-play goal.
“I thought we were playing okay, they had a kind of opportunistic goal that second one,” Allain said. “We seemed to be having a hard time getting power plays, but made a nice play on the power play, [Obuchowski] hit the one-timer top shelf and it’s a 2-1 hockey game and we got a little bit of life out of that.”
Three minutes later, the Bulldogs tied the game when Frankie DiChiara got on the board with a backhanded shot from the top of the crease over Garteig’s blocker after he received a pass from Stu Wilson behind the goal.
Pecknold called a timeout after the goal from DiChiara, but Yale answered just 22 seconds later. Mike Doherty gave Yale the lead off the long rebound on Gus Young’s shot that came out to the slot and he ripped it past Garteig to make it 3-2 in favor of the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs held the lead until Peca scored his game-tying goal to bring the Bobcats back and force overtime. Neither team was able to net a game-winner, and Yale could not even get a shot off in the extra session.
“I’m disappointed not getting a win tonight, but when you look back on it, three points on a road weekend in our league you have to be satisfied with that number right there,” Allain said.