HAMDEN, Conn. – Ethan Leyh (Anmore, British Columbia) scored his first career goal Friday night and Keith Petruzzelli made 25 saves with a strong final two periods as the No. 9/13 Quinnipiac men's ice hockey team down the AIC Yellow Jackets, 3-2, in the 2019-20 season opener.
The Bobcats picked up a season-opening win for a second straight season and are unbeaten in their last six openers dating back to the 2014-15 season.
Odeen Tufto (Chaska, Minnesota) led all Bobcats with two points on a pair of helpers while Leyh, Nick Jermain (Norwalk, Connecticut) and Peter DiLiberatore (Bedford, Nova Scotia) all scored goals for the Bobcats in the win. Jayden Lee (North Vancouver, British Columbia) joined Leyh as Bobcats to record their first career points.
Petruzzelli was stellar in goal over the final two periods of play as he tallied 21 saves on 22 shots to keep the Yellow Jackets off the board and hang on to the victory.
Quinnipiac 3, AIC 2
Quinnipiac (1-0-0, 0-0-0 ECAC Hockey) | AIC (0-1-0, 0-0-0 Atlantic Hockey)
Frank Perrotti Jr. Arena at the People's United Center | Hamden, Conn.
- (5:58, 1st period - PP) – Quinnipiac 1, AIC 0: Leyh got the scoring started for the Bobcats early in the first period as Tufto worked the puck across to Karlis Cukste (Riga, Latvia) who shoveled it to Leyh on his left where he beat goaltender Zackarias Skog blocker side.
- (13:05, 1st period) – Quinnipiac 1, AIC 1: The Yellow Jackets tied the game just over seven minutes later as Elijiah Barriga redirected a shot from Brennan Kapcheck into the net as he skated across the slot.
- (19:41.8, 1st period) – Quinnipiac 2, AIC 1: Jermain gave the Bobcats the lead for good with just 18.2 seconds remaining in the first period as Zach Metsa (Delafield, Wisconsin) picked off a pass and hit Jermain with a pass entering the zone where Jermain beat Skog over the glove.
- (4:00, 2nd period – PP) – Quinnipiac 3, AIC 1: DiLiberatore got in the scoring mix with a 4-on-3 power-play goal early in the second period after exchanging multiple passes with Tufto where he blasted one through a screen from Ethan de Jong (North Vancouver, British Columbia).
- (7:41, 3rd period) – Quinnipiac 3, AIC 2: Tobias Fladeby passed the puck across the offensive zone to Patrik Demel at the left point where his shot went wide off the boards but Blake Christensen muscled his way to the puck and put home the rebound to pull within a goal.
- Tufto recorded his 26th career multi-point game with a pair of assists in Friday's 3-2 win over AIC
- His multi-assist effort was his 16th of his career after recording five as a sophomore
- Leyh scored his first career goal and the Bobcats have had a freshman score in the season-opener in back-to-back seasons
- Jermain picked up his first tally of the season with a late first period goal for the 15th of his career as he skated in his 90th game
- DiLiberatore recorded his first goal of the season after netting three goals in 2018-19
- Lee recorded his first career assist on DiLiberatore's power-play goal
- Metsa picked up his first point of the season with an assist on Jermain's goal after tallying four points in 32 games in 2018-19
- Cukste picked up where he left off last season with an assist and is just one point shy of 50 in his career
- The Bobcats went 2 for 5 on the power play, continuing a strong man-advantage presence after averaging a power-play goal per game in 2018-19
FROM THE SOURCE
Head Coach Rand Pecknold
"Nice win tonight. It wasn't the prettiest win we've had over last few years. It was a little hectic, little chaotic. AIC was really good; their coaching staff is one of the better staffs in college hockey and do a great job preparing. They gave us all we could handle tonight.
"We had a lot of kids who played great and we had some kids who really struggled. We have to find a way to be a little more consistent as the season goes on but its game one, we'll take the win and move on."
"He's a goal scorer. He almost had that tip too, net front. He's just got a knack for it and we're really happy with him. He's an 18 year old kid so that's a lot to play college hockey at 18 and we have three of them right now...He was good tonight."
- Quinnipiac and AIC complete the home-and-home series Saturday night as the Bobcats travel to Springfield to take on the Yellow Jackets. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. from the MassMutual Center.