Men’s ice hockey ties Ohio State in OT
Without junior forward Connor Jones, the no. 20 Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team and Ohio State Buckeyes ended the first game of their weekend doubleheader in a 1-1 overtime tie at the TD Bank Sports Center Fri. night.
“I thought we played well enough to win, but it was a good college hockey game and a great crowd,” said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold.
Quinnipiac (2-1-1) and Ohio State (1-1-1) will finish their sequel Sat. afternoon at the TD Bank Sports Center at 4pm.
“They’re a very good hockey team with a ton of talent,” said Pecknold. “We did a really nice job of shutting them down.”
Bobcats’ sophomore forward Matthew Peca scored the first goal of the game, as well as his first this year off a feed from junior Kellen Jones. With 10 minutes left in the second period, he took the puck and deked to the left. One flick of the wrist resulted in the puck passing Buckeyes’ senior goalie Brady Hjelle and hitting the top left part of the netting.
“It was just a broken play,” said Peca. “Someone from their side turned it over and I found it on my tape.”
The Buckeyes missed a huge chance to tie it up two minutes after Peca’s goal, when an Ohio State player took a shot that went through Quinnipiac senior goalie Eric Hartzell’s legs and hit the left crossbar, but it deflected back in play.
With that missed opportunity, Ohio State came out firing to start the third. But Hartzell and his glove were catching every shot that came in his direction. It became too much for the senior, as Buckeyes’ sophomore forward Matt Johnson scored on a one-timer with nine minutes remaining.
“There’s always room to improve,” said Peca. “We just got to bear down and put the puck in the net.”
Quinnipiac gave up two easy chances to retake the late lead. The first came with six minutes remaining in the third period, when senior defenseman MIke Dalhuisen ripped a slap shot straight off a faceoff that hit the top right crossbar. Three minutes later, junior forward Ben Arnt found an empty net with the puck to the right of his skate. But his stick got stuck in a Buckeye defender, leaving him waddling to attempt to kick the puck and miss.
“We need to finish,” said Pecknold. “We’ve had a ton of chances and we need a bit more confidence.”
Overtime was no different, as both teams played evenly aggressively and mentally. Hjelle and Hartzell were exchanging saves, but the Buckeyes’ goaltender led with 31 at game’s end compared to Hartzell’s 24.
“They got a good team over there,” said Bobcats’ senior defender and captain Zack Currie. “I felt like we probably deserved better than what we got tonight.”