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Hockey dominates home-opener
The Quinnipiac Bobcats gave the UConn Huskies a cold reception in their first visit to the TD Banknorth Sports Center, taking the season home-opener by a score of 4-1 last Saturday night.
The Bobcats (2-2-0) came out of the gates firing, tallying up 13 shots on goal in the first period alone. Led by senior David Marshall and junior Brandon Wong, Quinnipiac had 38 shots on goal for the game. UConn (2-4-0) could not keep up, registering just 23 shots on goal. Bobcats head coach Rand Pecknold said the team needed this aggressive performance.
“We’ve struggled every game we played this year–we’ve been playing flat,” Pecknold said. “Tonight we played like a team that wins.”
Marshall led the Bobcat attack, giving his team a 2-1 lead in the second period. He put the game away for good with 8:28 left in the third period with a power play goal, making it 4-1. Marshall, who now has three goals on the season, was quick to congratulate his teammate on turning the game in Quinnipiac’s favor.
“The biggest goal was Zerv (freshman Scott Zurevinski) getting his first goal of the year, making it 1-1,” Marshall said.
UConn started the scoring for the night halfway into the first period. Sophomore Steve Bergin took a pass from fellow sophomore Justin Hernandez and fired a shot past Bobcat goalie Nick Pisellini for a 1-0 edge.
Zurevinski brought his team back with a goal 5:33 into the second period. Freshman Spencer Heichman had the puck behind the net and passed it to Zurevinski, who was cutting across the crease. He got a clean shot past Huskies goalie Beau Erickson and tied the game.
Pisellini, who was starting ahead of senior goalie Bud Fisher, was solid for the rest of the night. He recorded 22 saves for the game and improved to 2-0-0 for the season. The team has received a great boost from Pisellini’s efforts.
“He’s done a great job,” Pecknold said of Pisellini. “The goal he gave up he had no chance with.”
Fisher has been struggling since the start of the season, allowing nine goals in just over 76 minutes of play. His teammates are still fully supportive of him and are not worried about his current slump.
“Bud struggled in the first two games,” Marshall said. “But he is a fine goalie.”
UConn’s goalie, Erickson, performed admirably, registering 33 saves for the game. The Bobcats were relentless, though, and Erickson could not handle the onslaught. UConn Head Coach Bruce Marshall said Erickson needed more support from his defensemen.
“If we’re going to get beat, let them at least beat our goaltender,” Marshall said. “We rely a little bit too much on him (Erickson); he’s a solid goaltender.”
With the home-opener behind them, the Bobcats get to rest until Friday, when they will host Colgate. This will be their first game of the season against a conference opponent. Quinnipiac will then face Cornell and Princeton before leaving the TD Banknorth Sports Center for a tough six-game road trip. The Bobcats are not worried, and will look to this game for inspiration.
“[This game] just shows what kind of character we’re going to have this year,” Marshall said.