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Men’s hockey beats Bentley, drops pair to AF
Following a 3-0 victory in the home opener against Bentley last Tuesday night, head coach Rand Pecknold was not satisfied with his team’s performance.
In a matchup between the two teams last season, the Bobcats dominated the Falcons en route to a 6-1 win.
Last Tuesday night, however, the Bobcats struggled over the first two periods and only led 1-0 entering the third.
“You’ve got to give Bentley credit. They had a good game plan and stalled our transition game,” Pecknold said. “But we were not mentally prepared to play. I think we might be reading too many of our own headlines.”
Those headlines have been touting Pecknold’s squad as a Top 20 team in the country and the second best team in the ECAC.
Luckily for the Bobcats goaltender Peter Vetri, making his first career start for Quinnipiac, was stellar in net, especially in the first period.
“I wanted to get him in there and see what he could do. He made some huge saves to keep it scoreless in the first,” Pecknold said.
Over the first period and a half, Pecknold decided to separate the line of Jamie Bates, Ben Nelson and Bryan Leitch. The team sputtered offensively until midway through the second period when he reunited the trio.
Leitch was able to score with under four minutes remaining in the period on an assist from Nelson.
The assist gave Nelson 100 career points, making him only the 25th player in program history to achieve the feat.
Leitch said he was happy to be back with his linemates.
“We’ve got 12 good forwards, so coach was just trying to find something that works,” the junior forward said. “I’ve got a great connection with Bates and Nelly and it really clicked tonight (Tuesday).”
Two minutes into the third period, Dan Travis was able to put in a rebound off a Brandon Wong deflection to give the Bobcats a 2-0 lead. Andrew Meyer also assisted on the goal.
Leitch scored his second goal of the game a little over two minutes later, again off an assist from Nelson.
After skating into the zone, Nelson made a nifty drop pass to Leitch, who lifted a shot over the shoulder of Bentley goalie Joe Calvi to give the Bobcats a three goal lead.
Nelson was excited about his milestone night, but knows the team needs to play better.
“It’s a real cool feeling. I didn’t even know until right before the game, but I’m definitely happy about it,” he said. “We were a little shaky tonight and weren’t ready to play. Luckily we battled through it. We just need to keep getting better.”
The sluggish play continued last weekend as the Bobcats dropped a pair of road contests at Air Force.
The Falcons used three unanswered goals over the final two periods to defeat the Bobcats 4-1 on Friday night.
Bud Fisher made his first appearance in net for Quinnipiac this season.
Ben Nelson scored his first goal of the season off assists from Jamie Bates and Bryan Leitch, but the Bobcats could not find the back of the net again.
On Saturday night, Vetri got the start in net. Despite out shooting the Falcons 22-16, the Bobcats dropped a 3-1 decision to Air Force.
The Bobcats trailed 1-0 entering the third period for the second straight night, and again gave up two third-period goals to let the game get out of reach.
Trailing 3-0, David Marshall put in a rebound off a Bryan Leitch shot to put the Bobcats on the board, but a 1-for-7 performance on the power play, 1-for-14 on the weekend, did not allow the Bobcats to get any closer.
The Bobcats take the ice next at home against American International on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.