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Men’s hockey puts on scoring clinic
The Quinnipiac Bobcats men’s ice hockey team’s sleeping offense woke up last weekend. They scored 11 combined goals against ECAC Hockey foes Union and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to improve their record 4-4-1 overall and 2-2-1 in conference play.
The Bobcats were held scoreless for over 194 minutes dating back to 11:32 of the third period of the Nov. 1 home game against UConn. Senior forward Bryan Leitch quickly helped Quinnipiac break out of their slump when he scored at 1:15 of the first period in this past Friday night’s 6-3 victory over Union. Leitch was able to slip a one-timer past goaltender Corey Milan after receiving a pass from junior forward Eric Lampe. However, that was only the start of his big night.
Leitch would add two more goals before the final horn sounded, resulting in the first hat trick of his career. He also assisted on two goals, giving him five points, a career-high, for the game.
Head coach Rand Pecknold was satisfied with his team’s effort.
“I thought we played well against Colgate and Princeton,” Pecknold said, referring to the two shutout losses from Nov. 7 and Nov. 11. “But tonight our guys bought in. We played well and executed well. It’s important that we got a win here tonight, because if we didn’t we were in a lot of trouble.”
The Bobcats stayed out of trouble, as they were able to hit the net six times. In addition to Leitch’s memorable performance, senior defenseman Matt Sorteberg scored two goals, sophomore defenseman Zach Hansen added another and freshman goaltender Nick Pisellini made 32 saves in the victory.
This past Saturday night was more of the same for Quinnipiac’s offense, defeating the Rensslensar Polytechnic Institute Engineers 5-1 behind two goals from freshman forward Scott Zurevinski and three points from Lampe.
Hansen scored his third goal of the season, a power play goal, at 15:10 of the first period. The goal was assisted by Leitch and Lampe. Senior forward David Marshall scored his fourth goal on the year in the same fashion three minutes later. Quinnipiac wasn’t done there. After seven minutes of play in the second period, the Bobcats already scored twice more to extend their lead to 4-0 after goals from Zurevinski and Lampe.
Pecknold attributed the team’s scoring troubles from a week before to bad luck. However, as evidenced by the team’s success against Union and RPI, it finally caught breaks.
“We’ve been generating a ton of offense,” Pecknold said. “We hadn’t been getting any bounces. We got a lot of bounces go our way this weekend.”
Pecknold also said despite its problems, the team never quit.
“I give our team a lot of credit,” he said. “We went three games without a goal and they were all games we could have won. Plus we had two days to turn around after playing Princeton on Tuesday. We could have tucked-tail, but we came out and played hard.”
Pisellini helped secure Saturday’s victory, making 23 saves to improve his record to 4-2-1 in his freshman campaign, but the offense was the story this weekend. Overall, Leitch scored seven points, Lampe scored four points and Sorteberg scored three points.
The Bobcats will look to continue their offensive tear this weekend with conference road games against Clarkson and St. Lawrence.
QuinnipiacBobcats.com contributed to this report.