Union Outscores Quinnipiac 5-2 Despite Getting Outshot 54-17

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Kyle Levasseur

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

 

By: Kyle Levasseur

 

Since Dec. 6, 2014, no ECAC team has defeated No. 5 Quinnipiac at home in the regular season. No. 18 Union has broken that streak as it defeated Quinnipiac 5-2 on Saturday night. Despite Quinnipiac dominating in shots 54 to 17, four unanswered goals after the first period proved to be too much for the Bobcats, as they drop to 10-5-2 overall and 6-2-1 in ECAC play.

Union Senior goalie, Alex Sakellaropoulos, had a career high 52 saves including a couple of acrobatic glove saves in the first and second period. Quinnipiac head coach, Rand Pecknold, feels Sakellaropoulos’s was the difference maker in the game.

“Sakellaropoulos was by far the best player on the ice,” Pecknold said. “I thought we needed to keep pounding the net and cause a little more traffic in front of him.”

Quinnipiac alternate captain, Tim Clifton, finished the night with a team high, eight shots. None however found the back of the net.

“It’s frustrating. It’s the same kind of story as last night. We put up a lot of shots and last night the puck’s falling in, in the third period. Tonight they don’t fall. It’s how she goes.”

“We didn’t make many mistakes, they didn’t get many scoring chances but when they did, they finished,” Pecknold said. “I don’t even know if they got six scoring chances the whole night. They might have had five, but they scored four goals on net, that happens once in awhile.”

Pecknold pulled Chris Truehl after Union’s fourth goal, as he finished the night saving 8-12 shots. Andrew Shortridge was put in during the third period and made 4-4 saves.

While Union’s first line is comprised of the top three point scorers in the ECAC in Sebastian Vidmar, Mike Vecchione, and Spencer Foo, they were not the ones giving Truehl trouble. The trio only combined for one goal which was a late game empty-netter by Vecchione.

Clifton feels the Bobcats did a great job containing the first line.

“We couldn’t have asked for anything more…I guess. We know they’re the best line in the country, arguably. We were able to hold them off but unfortunately we couldn’t hold anyone else off.”

While they didn’t finish with many shots the Dutchmen found production from the entire team. Defenseman, Nick Desimone, scored his fourth and fifth goal of the season, including one of Union’s two power play goals.

Union also had goals from Jeff Taylor on the power play (his fourth of the season), and from fourth liner Cole Maier (his fifth of the season).

Quinnipiac also had goals from fresh faces. Junior transfer, Kevin Duane, netted his first career goal for the blue and gold. Duane had six goals and four assists over two years at Boston University, and has missed the majority of the season due to injury.

“It was definitely a big monkey off the back for me. I’ve been hitting a lot of posts lately and gloves, so getting that first one is definitely a good feeling.”

After an assist against RPI on Friday, Pecknold believes Duane has been a great addition for the program since joining last season.

“I thought he had a great weekend. He’s had four games since he got back from injury, and he’s been really good. It’s all part of the process for him of learning our system,” Pecknold said. “He’s getting there, learning things that we need him to do. He’s a nice player, works hard, great kid, and we’re happy to have him in the program.”

Quinnipiac will have a two-game series against Princeton (3-7-1) next weekend. Friday will be on the road, while Saturday Quinnipiac looks to start a new undefeated streak at High Point Solutions Arena.