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Yale beats Quinnipiac 3-2, snaps ‘the streak’

Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn/Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network

By: M.J. Baird

NEW HAVEN – “Ding!”

The sound an iron pipe makes when struck with rubber.

The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team had to hear five “dings” on Friday night at Ingalls arena in a 3-2 loss to Yale.

It was a wild final few minutes. Quinnipiac struck iron twice, as if not able to buy a goal.

“Sometimes the puck just doesn’t go in for you,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “(Sam) Tucker played well too. I’m not going to take anything away from him. But we need to do a better job of finishing our chances.”

A late penalty call on Yale’s Kevin O’Neil for crosschecking after the whistle gave the Bobcats a chance to climb back. Quinnipiac then pulled its goaltender for an extra-attacker. The luck even went as far as to have a Yale defender lose his stick in the defensive end for nearly a whole minute.

But the Bobcats couldn’t get it done.

“We could have scored ten (goals) tonight,” Pecknold said. “Tons of offense, the puck just wasn’t going in for us.”

Quinnipiac set up defenseman Chase Priskie for his coveted one-timer from the faceoff circle a handful of times on the final power play. The suspense brought all of Ingalls arena to its feet with excitement and anxiety as Quinnipiac closed in on tying the score at three.

However Yale held Quinnipiac off, due in part to the play of goaltender Sam Tucker, and in part to what is known in hockey as the “goaltenders best friend,” or the iron that surrounds the net.

“You know its tough, you always want to get the bounces,” freshman Odeen Tufto said. “You just have to keep powering through it because some games you do get it and some games you don’t, that’s just the way the game goes.”

Perhaps the larger storyline in Friday night’s game was the circumstances that make up the bigger picture: Quinnipiac hadn’t lost to Yale since the 2012-13 season.

However that loss was more than any other loss. It was the 2013 National Championship game.

In 11 games since then, Yale wasn’t able to repeat the task it did in April of 2013.

But that all changed on Friday night, and almost everyone in the arena knew it.

“This one is going to sink it. It is going to haunt me for a while,” Priskie said. “We know we just need to go out and play Brown tomorrow with the same intensity and play a full 60 minutes.”

Despite what may seem like bad Quinnipiac puck luck, the Bobcats can only blame themselves for the position they were in at the end of the game.

A span of three minutes in the second period was all it took for Yale to capitalize on Quinnipiac’s mistakes and earn a lead.

“We preach it all year that we need to play a full 60 minutes,” Priskie said. “We let up in the second period and they capitalize on them. We didn’t play our game, turnovers in bad areas, just everything that we preach to do we didn’t really do.”

The Bulldogs scored first in the game, and the production came from a somewhat unlikely source. Defenseman Billy Sweezey netted his first goal of the season on an end-to-end rush and finishing with a hard shot on the ice that beat Quinnipiac goaltender Keith Petruzzelli.

 

And the Bobcats freshman net minder, playing in his first Quinnipiac-Yale rivalry game, certainly wishes he had the second goal back. A fluttering puck hopped under his glove and nestled in the crease where Yale’s Ted Hart knocked it in the open net.

 

 

Less than 180 seconds later Hart again put the puck past Petruzzelli, this time a backhander on the backdoor.

“The first and second goals, they just shouldn’t go in. We should defend better than that,” Pecknold said.

Quinnipiac saw two goal scorers of its own. The first was from Brandon Fortunto, his second goal in three games. And the latter from Tufto, who is making himself a serious case for ECAC rookie of the year honors.

 

 

12 multi-point games, a five game point streak and leading all NCAA freshman in scoring are only some of the freshman’s trackable stats, but his value to this Quinnipiac team is much more than just numbers of a page.

Tufto will look to add to his already impressive stat line in less than 24 hours as Quinnipiac travels to take on Brown University in Providence, RI.

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