Maine falls to Quinnipiac in back-half of home series over weekend
After falling short in Friday night’s overtime contest against Maine, the Quinnipiac hockey team responded Saturday with an overtime win of its own.
A sellout crowd at home wouldn’t be enough to will the Black Bears (3-1-0, 0-0-0 Hockey East) to their fourth win of the season, as they dropped the second of back-to-back games against Quinnipiac 3-2.
The Bobcats (3-1-1, 0-0-0 ECAC) opened the scoring with three minutes remaining in the first period on a goal from senior Tommy Schutt. Just over a minute later after a roughing penalty called on Maine, Tim Clifton netted a power-play goal and increased the Quinnipiac lead to 2-0 heading into the first intermission.
At 4:40 into the second period after the Bobcats were whistled for a tripping call, the Black Bears got on the board with a power play goal of their own coming off the stick of senior forward Blaine Byron.
Maine goaltender, Rob McGovern, kept the game close at 2-1 throughout the rest of the second, stopping an impressive 12 shots from the offensive attack of the Bobcats in the period.
McGovern’s shutdown play in net would prove to be crucial for the Black Bears, who tied the game at 2-2 on a goal from Nolan Vesey with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.
In overtime, Quinnipiac was able to get off two shots against McGovern. At 1:15, an odd-man rush allowed Craig Martin to put the game-winner into the back of the net. Kevin McKernan and Clifton got the assists on the final goal.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Maine.
The Bobcats return to action Wednesday when they host the Connecticut at 7 p.m. The Black Bears look to bounce back Friday night when they take on Miami University for a weekend series in Ohio.
UNH secures first win of the year
The New Hampshire hockey team traveled to New York Saturday night and defeated Clarkson in a high-scoring contest, 5-3.
Two goals from senior Tyler Kelleher – including the eventually game-winner – led the Wildcats (1-2-0, 0-0-0 HEA) to their first win of the 2016 season.
Within the first ten minutes of action, the Golden Knights (2-2-0, 0-0-0 ECAC) found themselves up 2-0. A goal 94 seconds in from senior Troy Josephs and another from sophomore Juho Jokiharju at 9:52 gave Clarkson its early lead, but a hot start for the offense wouldn’t intimidate the UNH attack as the Wildcats tied up the game on a pair of goals, the first by Patrick Grasso and the second by Dylan Maller. Maller’s goal was the first of his collegiate career.
Jokiharju put the Golden Knights back in the lead midway through the second period, but from that point on the game was all Wildcats.
After running into some trouble and killing off Clarkson’s 5-on-3 power play early in the third, the Wildcat’s offense took control. Kelleher’s game-winner came with just 1:39 left in the period and gave UNH the 4-3 lead they wouldn’t allow themselves to lose.
With 32 seconds remaining, Kelleher made sure of it and added on with an empty netter, securing the win 5-3.
Kelleher’s four points against Clarkson provides the type of leadership the Wildcats will need from their seniors in order to make a run in the always-tight Hockey East conference. After a week of practice, they hit the road again to take on Colorado College at 7 p.m. Saturday night.
Clarkson looks to bounce back this Friday when they travel to Rhode Island and face off against Providence College.
Liam Flaherty can be reached at email@example.com.