Men’s ice hockey ices Arizona State

By on January 27, 2017

Ten years ago Saturday, the TD Bank Sports Arena opened its doors. Since then, hundreds of events have been held there from sporting events to welcome weekends. The men’s ice hockey team celebrated the arena’s ten-year anniversary with a 5-2 win over the Arizona State University Sun Devils on Saturday night.

DSC_0178Caitlin Cryan | The Quinnipiac Chronicle

“We’re very grateful to Quinnipiac for giving [the team] a facility like this to compete in on a national level,” head coach Rand Pecknold said.

Just four minutes into the game, the Bobcats drew first blood on a goal scored by defenseman Connor Clifton. The Bobcats made it a two-goal lead when forward Bo Pieper scored the first of three power-play goals with 3:21 left to go in the opening period.

Before the end of the first period, tempers began to flare between the Bobcats and the Sun Devils when several gloves flew between the two teams. At one point, Bobcat defenseman Karlis Cukste was taking on two players from Arizona State simultaneously while one of the referees tried to break up the trio. After all was said and done, five players were sent to the penalty box, three for Arizona State and two for Quinnipiac.

DSC_0250Caitlin Cryan | The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Bobcats started off strong in the second period as well. 14 seconds in, forward Alex Whelan scored the lone goal in the second period to give the Bobcats a 3-0 lead over the Sun Devils.

Going into the third period, the Bobcats were on a power play for the first 1:45, but it only took 38 seconds into the final period for defenseman Chase Priskie to find the back of the net.

“You get out there in the first couple of minutes and you really take it to the [Sun Devils],” Priskie said.

The Bobcats were able to score within the first minute in two of three periods.

DSC_0149Caitlin Cryan | The Quinnipiac Chronicle

“It gives the team a lot of leeway,” Priskie said. “It pushes their defense back and makes their forwards more conscious with the puck, which allows us a lot more space to make plays. If we can take time and space away from [the Sun Devils] it’s going to make our team more successful.”

Three minutes after Priskie’s goal, the Sun Devils responded on a Wade Murphy one-timer from teammate Tyler Busch.

With less than seven minutes remaining in the game, Priskie once again found the back of the net on the third and final power-play goal for the Bobcats. Sun Devils forward Jack Rowe scored the last goal of the game, but it was the Bobcats who emerged victorious.

DSC_0165Caitlin Cryan | The Quinnipiac Chronicle

As far as tonight’s game went, the power play was the name of the game according to defenseman Brogan Rafferty.

“It’s a game of special teams,” Rafferty said. “When you get the power play going, it get’s the boys going. It can show up in big moments of the game and really uplift our guys and get them going.”

The Bobcats will wrap up their weekend series against the Sun Devils tomorrow night when both teams face off at 7 p.m.

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