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Men’s ice hockey holds on to defeat St. Lawrence 2-1
Bobcats take five-point lead in ECAC with the win
For Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey head coach Rand Pecknold, there has been a big change in goalie Michael Garteig’s play since the Bobcats lost to Connecticut 4-1 on Oct. 21 in Bridgeport.
Garteig was pulled from that game after giving up two first-period goals, then reinserted midway through the second after backup Sean Lawrence surrendered a goal of his own.
It’s simple, for Pecknold.
“He’s figured it out.”
Garteig only allowed one goal in a 23-save effort, and Quinnipiac scored two second-period goals en route to beating St. Lawrence 2-1 on Friday evening at the TD Bank Sports Center.
“[Garteig] just wasn’t playing that well early in the year,” Pecknold said. “He was struggling, he was overthinking things. He’s been trusting his instincts lately. Really, since Christmas he’s been lights out.”
For senior co-captain Matthew Peca, Garteig’s performance as of late hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“He’s great, he’s won us a couple games,” Peca said. “He’s kept us in games, and he’s such a hard worker.”
After surrendering a goal at 5:41 in the first period, Garteig blanked the Saints for the rest of the night. Quinnipiac is now 14-2-1 in ECAC Hockey play, now five points ahead of St. Lawrence, who falls to 12-5 in the conference.
“That was one of the more physical games we’ve been in all year,” Pecknold said. “I think Saint Lawrence brings that out in us, because there was a little more at stake today. They were more amped up, we were more amped up.”
“I love it,” Peca said. “Everyone loves being in those games, you take pride in winning those games. They’re bigger than us, so we thought we pushed back physically pretty well tonight.”
Soren Jonzzon and Landon Smith each scored for the Bobcats, and Matthew Peca had two assists in the win.
Quinnipiac knew it didn’t play well through the first 20 minutes, according to both Pecknold and Peca. The last two periods, however, were much different.
“It’s been a recurring theme, that we haven’t played well in the first period,” Peca said. “So we knew we were gonna come out in the second and have a great end of the game, and I thought we did.”
The Bobcats outshot St. Lawrence 33-24.
The win marks the 10th time all season that the Bobcats have won by only a single goal.
“We’re winning a lot of close hockey games, which is a sign of a good team,” Pecknold said.
Quinnipiac moves to 19-8-2 overall with the victory. The Bobcats are back in action on Saturday, as they host St. Lawrence at 7 p.m.Follow @solari_nick