Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey blows three-goal lead, loses 7-4 to Maine

By on December 9, 2017

The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team (6-9-2, 3-5-1 in ECAC) was defeated by the Maine Black Bears (7-7-1, 4-4-1 in Hockey East) by a score of 7-4 on Friday night in Hamden.

Junior forward Scott Davidson got the scoring started 5:13 into the contest with his first goal since March 27, 2016. He described the feeling of relief, despite the tally coming off of his skate.

“I felt really good on the bench”, Davidson said. “I was lucky enough to have it deflect in off my foot, but it still counts, so I’ll take it.”

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
Senior forward Bo Pieper increased the lead shortly after, sniping one glove-side to beat freshman goaltender Jeremy Swayman.

The Bobcats continued to pile on the goals early, when senior forward Tanner MacMaster scored a highlight reel goal, in which he dangled around a Maine defenseman and slid the puck past Swayman. This tally gave the Bobcats a commanding 3-0 lead in the first half of the period, but the game was far from over.

Maine found the back of the net once before the end of the first period when sophomore forward Mitchell Fossier got past the Bobcat defense and scored on a nice breakaway move where he faked to his forehand and went to his backhand to get the Black Bears on the board.

Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold felt as though this was a major turning point of the game.

“We were a different team from then on. That was a huge mistake, to give up that breakaway,” Pecknold said. “When you have a 3-0 lead you can’t let guys sneak behind you.”

Maine came out flying in the second period and was rewarded for its hard work.

Sophomore forward Tim Doherty and sophomore defenseman Patrick Holway both had power play goals to get the game knotted up at three going into the final period of play.

Quinnipiac seemed to bounce back at the beginning of the third period, playing with much more pace and getting a flurry of pucks on net.

Just under three minutes into the third period, the Bobcats took the lead back. Junior forward Thomas Aldworth drove to the net hard and got the puck to sophomore defenseman Karlis Cutske, who made no mistake and banged it home for his third goal of the season.

While the Bobcats enjoyed their lead for the first half of the period, Maine did not go away.

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
Freshman forward Eduards Tralmaks scored a beauty of a goal to tie the game up with 9:20 left in the third period. The Riga, Latvia native dangled past junior defenseman Brandon Fortunato on a one-on-one and backhanded a shot past sophomore goaltender Andrew Shortridge, who finished the night with 23 saves.

A goal frenzy ensued for the Black Bears after the tying goal, as they scored three goals in the next 72 seconds.

Senior forward Cedric Lacroix scored what proved to be the game winner, with a snipe off a Patrick Holway feed. Tralmaks added his second of the night and junior forward Brendan Robbins scored the seventh and final goal, as Maine defeated Quinnipiac 7-4.

Pecknold has not been pleased with how his team has dealt with adversity throughout the season and made it known after the game.

“We are definitely not playing to our identity,” Pecknold said. “They buy-in is not there. It’s a good group of guys, but things just start not going our way and we just have to toughen up mentally and battle through.”

The Bobcats have a chance to bounce back tomorrow against Maine for the second game of the weekend series. The rematch is set for 7 p.m. at the Frank Perrotti, Jr. Arena.

Comments

About Joe Bertolami