HAMDEN, Conn. — Quinnipiac rallied from two separate deficits to defeat Northeastern 4-3 Sunday afternoon at High Point Solutions Arena.
Landon Smith led things offensively for Quinnipiac with two goals and an assist, all in the second period. Sam Anas also picked up a pair of assists on Smith’s goals. Andrew Taverner and Soren Jonzzon each added a goal for the Bobcats (3-2-1).
Goaltender Michael Garteig made 23 saves to improve to 3-2 on the season.
“It’s still a work in progress,” said Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold. “Yesterday we played a great 20 minutes and hung on, tonight we played a great 40 so we have to start putting 60 minutes together if we want to make a run in the ECAC.”
Mike Szmatula scored a pair of goals and Kevin Roy added a pair of assists for Northeastern. Derick Roy made 23 saves for the Huskies (0-6).
“When you’re not winning you better do all the little things well,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “I thought we did more of the little things well tonight. We just can’t have our better players take penalties and a few of them did tonight.”
The Huskies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period with a pair of goals from Szmatula.
The first came just under eight minutes into the game, capping off a three-on-two rush for Northeastern. Kevin Roy found Szmatula in the slot; he then shot the puck toward the goal. A Quinnipiac defender knocked down the initial attempt before Szmatula picked up the loose puck and chipped it over Garteig’s blocker.
Four minutes later Szmatula found the back of the net again, this time on a power play. After Kevin Roy and Garret Cockerill traded passes at the blue line, Cockerill shot the puck on net. Garteig made the save but Szmatula slammed home the rebound at the left post.
“The guys that we need to score are starting to score and we’ve had some chances,” said Madigan. “But we need to get heavier on pucks and we have to get to the net with a little more conviction.”
Heading into the first intermission trailing 2-0, Pecknold inserted Landon Smith on the top line with Matthew Peca and Anas.
“We were flat so I just juggled a couple lines in hopes of something working once in a while,” said Pecknold. “It worked well for us. I think Landon gave us some jump on that line and energized it a little bit and it got Sam and Matthew going a little bit.”
Smith cut the Northeastern lead in half just 23 seconds into the middle period. Anas intercepted the puck at the red line and broke toward the Northeastern zone. He passed the puck to Peca, who gained the blue line and hit an open Smith in the slot. Smith capped off the play by quickly shooting the puck past the blocker side of Roy.
Smith struck again halfway through the period on a power play to even the game 2-2. Tanner MacMaster found Smith positioned below the goal line, next to the Northeastern goal. Smith then hit Anas, who one-timed a shot on goal. Roy could not control the rebound as Smith chipped it into the back of the net.
The Huskies quickly answered just 31 seconds later with Ryan Rosenthal’s first goal of the season. Dalen Hedges broke toward the Quinnipiac net and was stopped by Garteig. With Garteig out of position, Rosenthal picked up the loose puck and skated toward the front of the crease before sliding the puck into the net.
Quinnipiac tied it at 3-3 with just over a minute to play in the second. Taverner shot the puck into a gaping goal after deflecting the puck into the crease behind Roy.
Jonzzon netted the eventual game-winner for Quinnipiac five minutes into the third period. Joined by Alex Barron on an odd-man rush, Jonzzon slipped the puck back to Barron, who shot it from the high slot.
Roy stopped Barron’s shot with his right pad before Jonzzon poked the puck under the pad and into the goal.