ALLENTOWN, PA -- Joe O'Connor (Hamden, Connecticut) scored in the first four minutes of his first career NCAA Tournament game and the No. 8/8 Quinnipiac men's ice hockey team never looked back as the Bobcats held on to beat the No. 14/14 Arizona State Sun Devils, 2-1, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
With the win, the Bobcats advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history and will meet the defending national champion No. 2/2 Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs Sunday night at 6:30 p.m. at the PPL Center.
O'Connor scored his third goal of the season just 3:54 into the first period before William Fällström (Stockholm, Sweden) added a key insurance goal in the early stages of the second period as the Bobcats hung on for the win.
Andrew Shortridge (Anchorage, Alaska) was solid between the pipes for the Bobcats as he tallied 20 saves in his first NCAA Tournament victory. Shortridge made 10 saves through the first two periods before tallying 10 in the third period alone.
Quinnipiac 2, Arizona State 1
Quinnipiac (26-9-2) | Arizona State (21-13-2)
PPL Center | Allentown, Pa.
- (3:54, 1st period) – Quinnipiac 1, Arizona State 0: TJ Friedmann (St. Louis, Missouri) won an offensive zone faceoff in the right circle. O'Connor held off an Arizona State defenseman before setting himself up for a tough angle shot that beat Sun Devils' goaltender Joey Daccord through the five-hole
- (6:59, 2nd period) – Quinnipiac 2, Arizona State 0: Fällström doubled the Bobcats lead in the early stages of the second period as he fired home a rebound past Daccord off a bad angle shot from Whelan on Daccord's left.
- The Bobcats picked up their seventh overall NCAA Tournament victory and first since the 2016 season, improving to 7-5 all-time
- O'Connor and Fällström each scored their first career NCAA Tournament goals in the Bobcats victory over the Sun Devils
- O'Connor's goal was his third of the season and first since Nov. 23 at Maine and he now has a career-high for goals this season
- Fällström's tally was his eighth of the season and first Feb. 22 against St. Lawrence as he now has points in back-to-back games
- Fällström is one of seven Bobcats with at least seven goals this season
- Whelan picked up an assist for his 25th point of the season, Quinnipiac's sixth player with 25 points and now has points in back-to-back games
- Martin continues his stellar senior season as he recorded an assist for his 29th point of the season, putting him one away from being Quinnipiac's third 30-point scorer
- Friedmann recorded his fifth assist of the season and now has three points in his last five games
- The Bobcats outshot the Sun Devils, 38-21, in one of their largest shot margins of the season
- Shortridge earned his 18th victory of the season as he recorded 20 saves
- Quinnipiac will face defending national champion Minnesota Duluth in the Midwest Regional Final Sunday night with a shot at its first Frozen Four since 2016.
- Puck drop between the Bobcats and Bulldogs is set for 6:30 p.m. at the PPL Center.