No. 14 Quinnipiac Drops Home Opener to No. 2 Boston University in Overtime


Kyle Levasseur

Video by: Drew Feinberg

By: Kyle Levasseur

Despite scoring first in their second game in a row, the No. 14 Quinnipiac Bobcats are still searching for their first win of the season. After tying No. 13 Boston College 1-1 to start the regular season, Quinnipiac fell to No. 2 Boston University 3-2 in overtime on Sunday afternoon. 

Connecticut local, Patrick Harper, assisted on Shane Bowers’ game winning goal with just 41.1 seconds left in overtime. The assist was Harper’s team leading 6th point of the season, as he also had two goals in regulation on Sunday.

Despite Harper being the highest returning point scorer for the Terriers, having tallied 37 points in his freshman campaign, Boston University head coach David Quinn has seen the sophomore grow since last season.”

“That’s usually the biggest jump I think a player makes in college: the freshman to sophomore year,” Quinn said. “Guys are a little bit more comfortable, they’re a little bit older. You know, (Harper) worked so hard away from the rink, he’s a little bit bigger and thicker. We’ve talked an awful lot with him about having a pace without the puck. He’s really good with it and he plays quick with it. But when the other team gets it, as most players do when they get to college, there’s a little bit of a lull and they tend to not play fast, and I think he’s elevated the pace of his play without the puck.”

Another player transitioning well from his freshman to sophomore year, is Quinnipiac’s Alex Whelan. After scoring Quinnipiac’s lone goal at Boston College on Friday night, Whelan opened the scoring with just over six minutes left in the first period on Sunday.

Quinnipiac Head Coach, Rand Pecknold, has seen Whelan transform into one of the hardest working players on his team.

“(Whelan) just keeps getting better,” Pecknold said. “He’s got a great release and he’s started to pick the corners better, but I think more than that is his compete level. He’s what we’re all about and we just need to get a few more guys in that range of how hard he hunts the puck.”

Linemate, Craig Martin, blocked a shot in the defensive zone allowing Whelan to scoop it up and beat Terrier’s goalie Jake Oettinger glove side. Whelan now has 4 goals in his last five games, dating back to last year’s ECAC quarterfinals.

“I think I’ve been working a lot on placing my shots instead of just turning around and shooting it,” Whelan said. “This year I’ve been working with Craig (Martin) and Scott Davidson so far and they’ve been really good. I mean if Craig doesn’t block that shot, I never get the chance to take that shot, so I think that’s a great play by him.”

Martin wasn’t the only Bobcat blocking shots on Sunday. Freshman Keith Petruzzelli made his first collegiate start saving 31 of 34 shots on goal. 

Pecknold was impressed with how the Detroit Red Wings third round draft pick played.

“I think Keith was good,” Pecknold said. “We got a good eval on him of his strengths. You can see why he’s a high NHL draft pick, and we saw some things of what he’s going to need to work on.”

While disappointed in the outcome, Petruzzelli was happy with how his debut went. The freshman feels he still has work to claim the starting role.

“I think I go into desperation mode a little bit too early,” Petruzzelli said. “I think I can stay on my feet more and trust my edges.”

Quinnipiac featured two players in it’s starting lineup that used to wear the opposition’s red and white sweaters: Kevin Duane and Brandon Fortunado.

“They were (out there)?” Quinn said jokingly with a smile. “I noticed (Duane) out there with the penalties. And you always notice (Fortunado). He really makes plays, and when he has the puck you know good things are going to happen. So I thought we weathered the storm with him tonight.”

One Bobcat who wasn’t suited up for Quinnipiac was captain Chase Priskie. The junior was a late scratch after taking an awkward hit into the boards on Friday night. Luke Shiplo, moved from forward to defense, while Brogan Rafferty paired up with Fortunado in the place of Priskie.

“Yeah (Shiplo) did a good job tonight,” Pecknold said. “We thought Chase could play today and then was a late scratch, so he jumps in there. I thought he had a good game. It’s nice when you can have a player who can jump in and fill in for guys. Obviously there’s no way we’re going to replace Chase, he’s one of our top three or four players so that certainly hurt us.”

No indication has been made on Priskie’s status or who will be in net for Quinnipiac when they take on Vermont at home next Saturday in front of a packed crowd for Quinnipiac University’s annual parents weekend.