Feb. 13: Quinnipiac University rallied with a pair of goals just 2:30 apart in the second period and goaltender Michael Garteig made the lead stand up with a strong third period which included a penalty shot save as the ECAC Hockey-leading Bobcats snapped the Saints’ seven-game win streak 2-1 on Friday night.
The Bobcats swept the season series with a pair of one goal wins and snapped a four-game home ice losing streak to the Saints in a game that was wide open from start to finish. The Saints, still comfortably in second place in the standings and 16-11-2 overall and 12-5-0 in league play will try to gain a split for the weekend when they play at Princeton on Saturday.
“I thought Quinnipiac did a good job frustrating us in trying to get the puck to the neutral zone,” said Saint coach Greg Carvel. “They competed hard and really played outstanding positional hockey. We had some chances, but ultimately I thought they were the better team tonight.”
Junior Sean McGovern gave the Saints the early lead as he followed up a sequence of plays which started with a Christian Horn breakaway and shot just over the crossbar with his seventh of the year. Ryan Lough gathered in the rebound of Horn’s shot off the end boards and fed McGovern, who was coming down the slot and McGovern beat Garteig from right in front at 5:41 for the early Saint lead.
Quinnipiac stormed back in the second as the puck was knocked off the stick of a Saint defender and Matthew Peca got it to Soren Jonzzon, who was all alone in the short slot and snapped his fifth of the year past Saint goalie Kyle Hayton at 8:24. The Bobcats took the lead at 10:54 as Landon Smith scored his 13th of the year from nearly the identical spot with Peca again assisting.
Hayton, who finished with 31 saves for his 15th 30-plus save game of the season, kept it a 2-1 game with some big saves the rest of the way, but Garteig matched him stop-for-stop including a penalty shot save on McGovern, who was pulled down on a shorthanded breakaway.
The Saints pulled Hayton for an extra attacker with 40 seconds left and had two close in tries with under 10 to go, but couldn’t come up with the equalizer.
“I think we can take a lesson out of tonight’s game. It is a little frustrating because we didn’t play our game as well has we have been in the last few games, but a lot of credit goes to Quinnipiac for the way they played.We had enough chances, but their goaltender made some key saves and they really make you work for everythign you get,” Carvel added.