The Quinnipiac men's ice hockey team bounced back in a big way Saturday night as the Bobcats returned the favor and downed the No. 10/10 UMass Minutemen, 2-1, in the final game of the first half of the season at the Mullins Center.
Nick Jermain (Norwalk, Connecticut) scored late in the second period off a faceoff win in the offensive zone to put the Bobcats on the board before Alex Whelan (Ramsey, New Jersey) netted the game-winning goal l in the early stages of the third period.
Keith Petruzzelli (Wilbraham, Massachusetts) continued his impressive play between the pipes as he registered 25 saves in his seventh win of the season. He has allowed two goals or fewer in six straight games for the Bobcats.
Quinnipiac defeated a nationally-ranked opponent for the first time this season with the win Saturday night after a challenging November with four games against nationally-ranked teams.
Quinnipiac 2, #10/10 UMass 1
Quinnipiac (7-7-1, 2-3-1 ECAC Hockey) | UMass (9-4-1, 4-3-1 Hockey East)
Mullins Center | Amherst, Mass.
- (17:57, 2nd period) – Quinnipiac 1, UMass 0: Desi Burgart (North Vancouver, British Columbia) won a faceoff in the offensive zone that Jermain redirected to Zach Metsa (Delafield, Wisconsin). Metsa's shot was deflected to Burgart who redirected it to Jermain where he slipped it past UMass goaltender Filip Lindberg.
- (6:06, 3rd period) – Quinnipiac 2, UMass 0: CJ McGee (Pearl River, New York) slid the puck to Whelan who carried the puck out of the defensive zone and hit Skyler Brind'Amour (Raleigh, North Carolina) with a pass. Brind'Amour hit Whelan back in the right faceoff circle where he rifled the puck past Lindberg to double the Bobcats' lead.
- (17:31, 3rd period – EA) – Quinnipiac 2, UMass 1: John Leonard scored on a backdoor feed from Jack Suter with an extra attacker on the ice to pull within a goal late in the third period.
- Jermain set a career-high with his sixth goal of the season Saturday night, taking just 15 games this season to surpass his previous best.
- He now has 20 career goals, tied with Wyatt Bongiovanni (Birmingham, Michigan) for third among active Quinnipiac players.
- Petruzzelli earned his seventh win of the season with a 25-save performance at UMass.
- Over Petruzzelli's last six games, he has been dominant with a .938 save percentage and 1.52 GAA.
- Whelan notched his second goal of the season and snapped a three-game pointless streak after scoring his first goal against Rensselaer.
- Burgart picked up his fourth assist of the season and first since Nov. 1 at Arizona State.
- Metsa tied Peter DiLiberatore (Bedford, Nova Scotia) for second among Quinnipiac defenseman with six points this season after his sixth helper on Jermain's tally.
- Brind'Amour also picked up his first point since Nov. 1 with an assist on Whelan's goal as he now has four assists and six points on the season.
- McGee recorded his first career point with an assist on Whelan's goal, making him the 18th different skater to record a point this season.
FROM THE SOURCE
Head Coach Rand Pecknold
"It was a big win for us tonight, for our team. We're young and we've been playing well lately and not getting rewarded, so we'll take it and move in. UMass is definitely a top 10 team and well coached, I love what that staff does with that team. They have a great identity and are set up for a great season. We feel fortunate to come to UMass and win one here, I know they don't lose a lot at home.
"We had good jump, especially in the first. We were ready to go. We had a tough one last night, losing to them, and that was a big part of the game. We didn't get a lot out of the first but we gained confidence from it. We are a young and immature team and now the maturation as the year goes on so that was a big part of giving us some confidence that we could play with these guys."
- The Bobcats have entered the holiday break and are off from game competition for one month before returning to ECAC Hockey play at Princeton on Saturday, Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. at Hobey Baker Rink.
- Quinnipiac's next home game is Sunday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. against Princeton
- For more information on Quinnipiac men's ice hockey, visit gobobcats.com/mih and follow the team on Twitter and Instagram, @QU_MIH.