Garteig’s fifth shutout lifts No. 3 Quinnipiac past Massachusetts

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HAMDEN, Conn. — Michael Garteig’s poise in net pushed third-ranked Quinnipiac past Massachusetts in a 1-0 final with the second half of the home-and-home on Saturday.

For the Minutemen, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

UMass outshot the Bobcats 28-23 overall, posting 15 shots in the first period alone. It’s also the first time since the teams began playing each other in 2009 that one team did not score.

“Obviously, finding the back of the net would be a nice reward for all the good things, the positive things we did leading up to it,” said UMass coach John Micheletto. “Credit has to go to Garteig and the defense around him to deny us the rewards that I think the rest of the process deserved.”

Garteig is currently riding a 118-minute shutout streak dating back to the Clarkson game Nov. 20. He’s been a force at home posting an 8-0-2 record, with a 0.89 GAA and a .966 save percentage.

“He’s been great, he’s been dominant this year, he’s one of the better goalies in college hockey, his numbers prove that,” said Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold. “I think he’s been great, he makes us go. His numbers have just been phenomenal.”

For Garteig, the mindset in his game is the same, regardless of the shot totals.

“It’s the same mindset no matter what,” said Garteig. “It could be five shots a game, it could be 10 shots, 50, 80, a hundred, doesn’t matter. Stay engaged, and just focus on what I can do to be successful.”

But to Pecknold, there is still work to be done for his still-undefeated team.

“It’s great to be 13-0-2 and be frustrated with your team because we’re on a little bit of a see-saw here,” said Pecknold. “If we play well one night, it’s almost a lock that we’re going to be bad in the first period the next night. Sooner or later, it’s going to bite us. It hasn’t yet, so they’re not really getting punished for not being ready to play in the first period.”

The only goal of the night came off the stick of freshman winger Scott Davidson. Tim Clifton was in the corner and worked to chip the puck out from the corner before being hit. Davidson was wide open and deflected the pass over Henry Dill’s blocker.

Quinnipiac had an opportunity to tack on another goal after Travis St. Denis was awarded a penalty shot at 3:28 of the second period, but Dill closed up his pads.

The Bobcats jump back into ECAC play on the road at Yale on Dec. 3 and Brown Dec. 4.

To Garteig, it’s still business as usual.

“It’s always fun playing a good goalie like [Yale’s] Alex Lyon,” Garteig said. “Nothing changes. I can’t score goals on him, he can’t score goals on me. It’ll be fun, it’s always fun playing Yale. We just gotta get back to what we can do.”