Quinnipiac Advances to Connecticut Ice Championship Game


(Photo: Kaylyn Terry/QBSN)

Aiden Barrett

Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey took down Sacred Heart by a final score of 3-2 to advance to the Connecticut Ice championship game on Sunday against UConn.

The recipe to beating the Pioneers on Saturday? Don’t play 5-on-5 hockey.

The Bobcats held a 1-0 lead heading into the third period before Sacred Heart answered with two goals itself. With three minutes left, Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold made the gamble and went six-on-five with three minutes left.

Just under two minutes later junior Joey Cipollone delivered with his second goal of the game.

“He’s having a really good year for us,” Pecknold said. “Had a great summer, worked on his skating, worked on his defending, and winning his battles, that’s why I had him out there.”

Quinnipiac then scored its second non 5-on-5 goal in the five-minute overtime period when Zach Metsa fooled Sacred Heart goalie Justin Robbins, sneaking one underneath him.

“In general I like the 3-on-3,” Pecknold said. “There’s a lot more chances, so I’m glad that we went to that.”

Although the Bobcats scored both goals playing with a different number of men on the ice they still had control for a good portion of the game. Robbins had much to do with that.

“He’s a very competitive young man,” Sacred Heart head coach C.J. Marottolo said. “He battles, that’s one thing we know that we’re going to get from Justin when he’s in the pipes. I thought he was tremendous tonight.”

Robbins stopped 25 of 28 shots in Sacred Heart’s defeat. Even in the losing effort the Pioneers took the Bobcats to the brink.

“5-on-5 we played great against them,” Marottolo said. “3-on-3 I’m not a big proponent of it, anything can happen. Happy with our effort and we can take something out of this game and take a step.”

Sacred Heart outscored Quinnipiac 2-1 while playing 5-on-5 and mustered 20 shots on net in the game.

With the Bobcats knocking out the defending Connecticut Ice champions they’ll have a chance to win the tournament tomorrow against UCONN while Sacred Heart will play Yale for third place.