HAMDEN, Conn. – The No. 15/20 Quinnipiac men's ice hockey team scored early and often Saturday night as the Bobcats roared to a 9-2 rout of the American International College (AIC) Yellow Jackets at Frank Perrotti Jr. Arena.
Alex Whelan (Ramsey, New Jersey) netted his first career hat trick in the victory while Wyatt Bongiovanni (Birmingham, Michigan) and Brogan Rafferty (Dundee, Illinois) also tallied multi-goal efforts in the win.
Brandon Fortunato (North Hills, New York) was incredible with the puck as he picked up a career-high five assists while freshman Ethan de Jong (North Vancouver, British Columbia) had three assists. In total, nine players for the Bobcats had multiple-point performances.
Quinnipiac 9, American International 2
Frank Perrotti Jr. Arena at People's United Center | Hamden, Conn.
- (00:40, 1st period) – Quinnipiac 1, AIC 0: For the second straight night, the Bobcats scored on the first shift of the game as Whelan rifled home his first of the game past starting goaltender Stefano Durante
- (3:36, 1st period) – Quinnipiac 2, AIC 0: Bongiovanni doubled the Bobcats lead just under three minutes later with his first of the night as he received a long pass from Fortunato while skating into the offensive zone and firing a wrister home
- (6:25, 1st period) – Quinnipiac 3, AIC 0: Less than three minutes later the Bobcats added another one as Bongiovanni wristed home the goal off a feed from de Jong, adding in a water bottle pop with the top shelf finish
- (8:41, 1st period) – Quinnipiac 4, AIC 0: Not to be outdone in the first period, Whelan added his second goal of the period as he redirected a shot from de Jong on the left wing four the Bobcats fourth goal of the period
- (16:25, 2nd period) – Quinnipiac 5, AIC 0: Chase Priskie (Pembroke Pines, Florida) gave the Bobcats their first five-goal lead of the season as he blasted home a rocket from the point off a feed from Fortunato from behind the end line for his fourth of the season
- (17:54, 2nd period) – Quinnipiac 5, AIC 1: The Yellow Jackets got a goal back as Jared Pike crashed the net on a rebound and put home the puck after save by Keith Petruzzelli (Wilbraham, Massachusetts) on a shot from Kyle Stephan
- (4:18, 3rd period) – Quinnipiac 6, AIC 1: Rafferty got into the scoring action with his first goal of the night as he one-timed home a pass from Craig Martin (Trail, British Columbia) at the top of the slot
- (10:16, 3rd period) – Quinnipiac 6, AIC 2: AIC's Blake Christensen scored his fourth of the season as once again the Yellow Jackets scored on a player crashing the net and putting home a close goal
- (12:19, 3rd period) – Quinnipiac 7, AIC 2: The Bobcats kicked off a stretch of three goals in 3:19 as Whelan capped off his hat trick with another tip-in goal as he redirected Peter DiLiberatore's (Bedford, Nova Scotia) shot from the point just after the Bobcats started a five-minute power play
- 13:11, 3rd period) – Quinnipiac 8, AIC 2: Odeen Tufto (Chaska, Minnesota) got into the scoring mix just a minute later with his first of the night. After some crisp passing, he set up in the slot and lifted a one-timer off a feed from Fortunato on the wing
- 15:28, 3rd period) – Quinnipiac 9, AIC 2: Rafferty wrapped up the scoring for the Bobcats with his second of the night as he created space from himself at the left point before firing a one-timer from Karlis Cukste (Riga, Latvia) for the Bobcats' ninth goal of the game
- The Bobcats' extended their winning streak to five games to open the season, it's longest to open a season since an 11-game winning streak to open the 2015-16 season
- Quinnipiac is one of just seven unbeaten teams this season and one of five with a perfect record
- Of those teams with perfect records, Quinnipiac and Penn State each have five wins while Lake Superior State has four wins
- Quinnipiac's nine goals was its most in a game since recording 10 against Cornell on March 16, 2013 in the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals
- The Bobcats scored four goals in both the first and third periods Saturday night, the first time they have had two four-goal periods since a 9-2 win against Bentley in the MAAC Quarterfinals on March 10, 2000
- Quinnipiac recorded three four-goal periods in the 2017-18 season, most recently against Yale in the ECAC Hockey First Round on March 2, 2018
- Fortunato tallied a career-high five assists for the Bobcats, tied for the second-most assists in a single game in program history and the most assists in a game in 18 years since Matt Erhart '03 had five assists at Bentley on March 3, 2000
- Fortunato also had the Bobcats first five-point night since Matthew Peca's six-point game at St. Lawrence on Feb. 28, 2014
- Whelan notched Quinnipiac's first hat trick of the season, also the first in nearly a year for the Bobcats since Landon Smith had a hat trick on Nov. 17, 2017 against Brown
- Saturday night marked Whelan's second career multi-goal game
- Bongiovanni tallied his first career multi-goal game after putting home the first goal of the season on the road at Vermont
- Rafferty's two-goal night was the second of his career after scoring two against St. Lawrence on Feb. 3, 2018 in Frank Perrotti Jr. Arena
- de Jong is the first freshman with a three-assist night since Rafferty had three helpers at Colgate on Nov., 19, 2016
- Priskie's goal was his team-leading fourth of the season and 26th of his career, pulling within two goals of tying the program record of 28 set by Dan Ennis '03
- DiLiberatore picked up a pair of assists for his first two career points Saturday night
- Cukste recorded just his second career two-assist game, picking up two helpers for the first time since at Princeton on Nov. 28, 2017. It was also Cukste's fourth career two-point game
- Quinnipiac already has five players with at least five points on the season and 13 different players with one point on the year
- Not to be overshadowed, the Quinnipiac defense allowed just 19 shots on goal to lower its season average to exactly 20 per game, the second lowest in the nation this season
- Petruzzelli picked up his fourth win of the season to improve to 4-0-0, his longest personal winning streak in his career
- He leads ECAC Hockey with four wins, one shutout, a 1.50 GAA and .922 save percentage
- Quinnipiac kicks off ECAC Hockey play this upcoming weekend with a trip to Harvard on Friday night for a 7 p.m. puck drop against the Crimson before continuing the trip up to Hanover, New Hampshire, to face the Dartmouth Big Green at Thompson Arena Saturday night.