Quinnipiac Men’s Ice Hockey Sweeps Weekend Arizona State


(Photo: QBSN)

Aiden Barrett

A 3-0 deficit to start the weekend led to adjustments that turned the script to a 10-2 run by Quinnipiac.

Minutes into the second period on Friday the Bobcats found themselves trailing the Arizona State Sun Devils 3-0. With the top line flat through the first 20, head coach Rand Pecknold continued to juggle the lines.

5:56 into the second Jayden Lee found the back of the net on a give-and-go with TJ Friedman. A power-play goal just minutes later cut the lead to one with Ty Smilanic finding the back of the net.

From there on out, Quinnipiac took over the game, scoring five straight led by Wyatt Bongiovanni and Smilanic, who both scored twice in the Bobcats’ 5-3 win.

“We have to grind out every win,” Pecknold said. “So we just shuffled a little bit of things for the second period, maybe get a little bit of energy. I left the [Skyler] Brind’Amour line together because I thought they were pretty good the whole night. Obviously, it worked for us.”

Pecknold went into the second game of the back-to-back with completely different lines including making changes to the top line that had been the same all season.

Smilanic was rewarded for his two-goal game, getting a shot on the wing on that top line alongside Bongiovanni and Michael Lombardi. Oliver Chau and Ethan De Jong, the usual catalysts on that top line, were moved down to the second and fourth, respectively, to start the game.

The top line looked sharp early leading all players between the three combined with 16 shots. But like Friday, adjustments were made.

And with the score tied 1-1 Oliver Chau found the net with just under two minutes to go. A minute and 14 seconds later, Iivari Rasanen, who wasn’t in the lineup on Friday, sent Desi Burgart on a break-away before roofing one top-shelf.

“We had three new players in the lineup tonight,” said Pecknold. “Ras (Rasanen) has been a really good player for us. He’s been a top-four defenseman in the past so with Brendan Less out for a little while we expect him to be a top-four defenseman again.”

With a three-goal outburst in the second period, Quinnipiac was twenty minutes away from a weekend sweep. Chau understood the assignment. The graduate transfer from UMass scored twice in the third period completing the hat-trick.

Chau started the night on a line with Brind’Amour and Guus Van Nes, who picked up an assist on the Bongiovanni game-winning goal the night before.

“Throughout every tier of the lineup we have great players and that’s why we do so well,” Chau said. “We can just run teams down top to bottom. We have so much depth. Gus and Brindy helped me get open tonight, it was just great.”

No. 5 Quinnipiac advances to 9-1-2 on the season as the team continues to contend for one of the top spots in the country.