Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey rolls past AIC to remain undefeated

By on October 28, 2018

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
The Quinnipiac Bobcats men’s ice hockey (5-0-0, 0-0-0 ECAC Hockey) went up against the American International College (AIC) Yellow Jackets (2-4-1, 2-1-1 Atlantic Conference) winning by a score of 9-2 on Saturday at home to stay undefeated.

The Bobcats came out gunning, scoring four goals in the first nine minutes.Freshman forward Wyatt Bongiovanni and senior forward Alex Whelan each had two of those first four.

This was a major game for Whelan as he had his first goal on the season and his first career hat trick. He scored the third goal 12 minutes into the third period to make the lead 7-2.

“I think today I had a little more space out there,” Whelan said. “First few games I wasn’t finding my usual space. It felt really good [to get my first goal]. Last year…beginning of the year I started really strong. I wanted to get out there and help my team win.”

The Bobcats offensive chemistry showed out as well with five different players scoring and great passing from everyone. Senior defenseman Brandon Fortunato had a career night as well, notching five assists for a career high.

“Played a lot of games in my career,” Fortunato said. “Definitely up there [in reference to career high in assists]. It’s a great feeling. Really tried working hard.”

The Teletubbies, a fan group for the Bobcats, were not out there for the support, but the Bobcats did not need it, outshooting the Yellow Jackets 36-17 on the night. They came out and scored as many goals as they had the past three previous contests combined.

“I thought it was a good win tonight,” head coach Rand Pecknold said. “We battled. Got some fortunate bounces earlier in the game to get us that early lead. It was one of those nights that things went our way.”

There are a few things that the Bobcats need to clean up before going into ECAC Hockey play. One major thing is the penalty kill, as the Yellow Jackets did get one of their goals on the power play in the third period to make the score 6-2. However throughout the night, most of the shots the Yellow Jackets took were on one of their five power play opportunities.

“Just a few things to work on and clean up some areas,” Pecknold said. “Penalty kill [biggest thing to work].”
Throughout the third period, the Bobcats had the puck around the net looking to score and Bongiovanni shot the puck but missed but was hit high by a Yellow Jacket and got hurt. Bongiovanni would not return to the game afterwards.

A few other players that stood out were junior defenseman Brogan Rafferty, sophomore forward Odeen Tufto and senior defenseman Chase Priskie. Rafferty had two goals on the night and Tufto and Priskie both had one a piece.

This win has the Bobcats remain undefeated on the season as they go into ECAC Hockey play. With a young team and high expectations, they cannot get ahead of themselves.

“We are feeling good,” Whelan said. “Everybody knows ECAC is going to be different. We just go to focus on working hard and playing a full 60 [minutes] and I’ll think we’ll be good.”

The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team will play at Harvard University for its first ECAC Hockey matchup of the season on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.

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