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Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey falls to Maine 5-3

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn/Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network

The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team fought to a 5-3 loss against the University of Maine Saturday night, capping off a tough out of conference home weekend losing both games of the series to the Black Bears.

The loss drops Quinnipiac to 6-10-2 on the season, while Maine improves to 8-7-1.

With 24 seconds remaining in regulation, and the game tied 3-3, Maine’s Patrick Shea put the Black Bears on top.  Shea controlled a rebound and fired it past the outstretched leg of Quinnipiac goaltender Andrew Shortridge, for the game- winning goal.

Cedric Lacroix then converted on his second point of the night, as he added an empty net goal that left one second on the clock.

“It’s a great time for a break,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said after the game.

Pecknold showed his frustrations with his team’s recent performances the past two nights. As the team is now without a win for four straight games, the Bobcats seem to be in somewhat of a daze.

Despite facing a combined 102 shots this weekend, Maine’s freshman goaltender Jeremy Swayman played outstanding, combining for 95 saves across both games.

But Pecknold felt as if his team wasnt’t taking quality chances.

“I think we had 100 shots in the two games, and [Swayman] saw 99 of them,” he said.

On the other end of the ice, Shortridge tallied 21 saves on Saturday. Although this stat may not stand out, Shortridge looked sharp making some key saves for the Bobcats.

Quinnipiac will take a break for final exams and the holidays, but will return to the ice on Jan. 2, as the Bobcats face the Huskies of UConn in Hartford at 7 p.m.

The right time for break?

With an extended break coming for Pecknold and his squad, senior Tanner MacMaster thinks this is a good chance to recharge.

“I think the break will be big for us. This weekend we didn’t get the results we needed,” he said. “It will be good for the guys to go home and see family.”

Despite scoring seven goals this weekend, the Bobcats’ defense got burned a few times, leading to odd-man rushes and goals. Pecknold did not downplay his team’s defensive struggles either.

“We have a lot of problems. We don’t defend very well and we give up too many high quality scoring chances,” he said.

Struggling to generate scoring, forwards like Alex Whelan and Landon Smith are going to have to step up in big ways in order to bolster the Bobcats’ offense.

Without a double-digit goal scorer, the team has not made it easy for Shortridge (or freshman goaltender Keith Petruzzelli) to keep the Bobcats in games. Despite losing both this weekend, Shortridge still ranks fifth in the ECAC with a 2.49 goals against average and has continued to look impressive.

With tough road ECAC matchups against Colgate, Cornell and Harvard coming after break, the Bobcats will look to get back on the right track, and turn the season around.

Full press conference postgame: 

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