HAMDEN, Conn. – Six different players found the net Saturday night for the No. 7 Quinnipiac Bobcats in a 6-2 defeat of the Rensselaer Engineers at the High Point Solutions Arena.
Quinnipiac (17-3-5, 8-2-3 ECAC) was up 5-0 after the first two periods, but Rensselaer (8-10-4, 3-5-3 ECAC) tallied two power-play goals to provide some life in the third period.
“We have kids that care, you’re not going to quit, so they did what you expected them to do, but that wasn’t the issue; the third period was fine,” Rensselaer coach Seth Appert said.
Sam Anas scored one goal and assisted two more to lead the Quinnipiac offense, while Matt Peca and Kellen Jones each tallied a goal and an assist in the win for the Bobcats.
“I thought we had confidence; from the moment the puck dropped we just felt confident,” Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said. “We got that first goal and the bench was up and the kids were really into it. Our guys were really into it; they were fired up.
Quinnipiac jumped out to an early 1-0 lead 4:37 into the game when Jones stole the puck on the forecheck and skated to the end line before passing the puck in front of Rensselaer goaltender Scott Diebold to find a wide-open Anas in the slot, who tucked the puck home.
Alex Barron doubled the Bobcats’ lead midway through the first period when he wristed a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle after a pass from a spinning Cory Hibbeler in the left corner to make it 2-0.
“I think the second one was a little unfortunate,” Appert said. “One of our young guys made the right play to chip it off the wall and it hit the official, which created their three-on-two, so that’s a bad bounce but you’ve got to respond from that, make up from that; we just weren’t able to.”
Three minutes later, the Bobcats took advantage of a five-on-three power-play when Jones backhanded home the rebound off an Anas shot from the point to give Quinnipiac a 3-0 lead.
“I thought we had a really good first period and followed it up with a good second period, so it’s a great weekend, a good four-point weekend,” Pecknold said. “It’s tough to do against [Rensselaer] and Union.”
Rensselaer managed just four shots on goal in the first period as the offense struggled to get things started.
“We turned too many pucks over; we talked about that Quinnipiac’s a great transition team and those are things we wanted to avoid is neutral zone turnovers,” Appert said.
In the second period, the Bobcats picked up where they left off as Brayden Sherbinin notched a goal 5:06 into the period to make it 4-0. Tim Clifton won the faceoff and Tommy Schutt found Sherbinin in the slot with a pass as he fell to the ice.
Matt Peca gave Quinnipiac a 5-0 lead with just 0.3 seconds left in the second period after Anas found him on the doorstep of the goal with a pass from the end boards.
Diebold made 14 saves on the 19 shots he faced before giving way to freshman Jake Soffer, who made his first career appearance for the Engineers.
Quinnipiac could not hold onto the shutout as Matt Neal came through on a power play for the Engineers with a one-timer inside the right faceoff circle to make it 5-1.
Just two minutes later, Matt Tinordi scored a second straight power-play goal for Rensselaer after Jimmy DeVito sent Tinordi a pass from the left corner to the left of the slot and Tinordi fired a shot high glove side past Garteig to cut the Bobcats’ lead to 5-2 with 9:56 left in the 3rd period.
“Certainly we’re disappointed to give up two power-play goals; we haven’t done that in a long time, we haven’t given up a power-play goal in ages it seems like,” Pecknold said. “We made mistakes on both and we’ll learn from that and clean it up a little bit.”
Bryce Van Brabant answered back quickly with a power-play goal of his own with 7:46 left in the third period when he deflected Zach Tolkinen’s shot from the point past Soffer to give Quinnipiac a 6-2 lead.
“We just finished, we’ve been getting a lot of good looks every game, pucks just haven’t been going in for us so it was nice to score some goals tonight and get a little bit of breathing room,” Pecknold said.