January 17, 2009

Men's Ice Hockey Downs Niagara, 6-4

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – Zach Hansen's (White Bear Lake, Minn.) goal with 1:38 remaining in the third period gave Quinnipiac a 5-4 lead before an empty net goal by David Marshall (Buffalo, Minn.) gave the Bobcats a 6-4 win over Niagara University in a non-conference match-up at Dwyer Arena in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The win was Quinnipiac's first all-time on the Purple Eagles' home ice as they improved to 12-7-2 while Niagara drops to 9-9-1.

Bryan Leitch (Coquitlam, B.C.) had four assists in the game, three coming in the final seven minutes of the game. Scott Zurevinski (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) and Marshall each scored twice in the Bobcats' win, while Jean-Marc Beaudoin (St. Paul, Alb.) and Brandon Wong (Victoria, B.C.) both had a pair of assists in the win.

Quinnipiac got on the board first at the 13:13 mark when Leitch handled the puck in the Purple Eagles' zone before dropping a pass off to Eric Lampe (Madison, Wisc.) behind Niagara's goal. Lampe then found Marshall, whose first shot was blocked by a Purple Eagles' defenseman before he collected his own rebound and put a shot on Niagara's Juliano Pagliero in goal. Lampe collected the rebound and beat the senior netminder for his seventh goal of the year. The assist was Leitch's NCAA Division I leading 24th of the year while Marshall picked up his 15th assist.

Marshall's assist brings his scoring streak to 14 games, tying him with former Quinnipiac All-American Reid Cashman for the program's longest stretch of games with a goal or an assist since Quinnipiac joined the Division I ranks in 1998.

Zurevinski put the Bobcats out in front at the 3:30 mark with a power-play goal to give Quinnipiac an early 2-0 lead. Wong handled the puck to the right of the Purple Eagles' goal before passing along the boards to Beaudoin. Beaudoin, who received the puck behind Niagara's goal, skated out in front of the net where he found Zurevinski waiting in front of the crease. The freshman's one-time beat Pagliero for his sixth goal of the season. Wong picked up his eighth assist while Beaudoin converted on his sixth.

Niagara's Egor Mironov scored his fifth goal of the season to cut into the Bobcats lead, 2-1, a the 13:13 mark of the second period. Mironov was assisted on the play by Ryan Olidis and Travis Anderson. Mironov took a shot from the left face-off circle that was deflected and re-directed to the far-side post.

Zurevinski scored his second goal of the game at the 11:06 mark of the second period. On the power-play, Andrew Meyer (St. Louis, Mo.) started the play in the Bobcats' zone before passing to Beaudoin out on the right flank. Beaudoin dropped the pass across the ice to Wong, who drove to the right of Pagliero behind the goal line. The junior center slid out just below the face-off circle and unleashed a shot on net. The puck struck Pagliero in the face before bouncing out in front of the net where Zurevinski punched it in to increase Quinnipiac's lead to 3-1.

Niagara pulled within a goal, 3-2, with 14:45 left in the third period. Vince Rocco fed Chris Moran in the face-off circle in front of the Bobcats' bench. Moran then spied Ted Cook moving towards the opposite side of the net. Moran's backdoor pass set up Cook for a one-timer that beat Quinnipiac goalie Bud Fisher (Peterborough, Ont.) top-shelf to move the Purple Eagles within a goal.

Quinnipiac answered with their third power-play goal of the night when Beaudoin hooked up with Leitch out in front of the Niagara net. Leitch then passed to the left face-off circle where Marshall was waiting. The senior forward collected the puck, stepped through the Niagara defense to the slot where his shot beat Pagliero to give Quinnipiac a two-goal lead, 4-2. The goal was Marshall's 11th of the season, while Beaudoin picks up his third assist of the night. Leitch also converted on his second goal of the game and his 25th of the season.

Niagara scored with just under nine minutes to play when Marshall turned the puck over Olidis who found Purple Eagles' sophomore Bryan Haczyk. Haczyk's from the left face-off circle beat Fisher to cut Quinnipiac's lead to a goal, 4-3. Niagara tied the game with less than five minutes to play when Anderson was assisted by Brian Dowd out in front of Fisher. Anderson's goal was his first of the season.

Hansen put Quinnipiac out in front again at the 1:38 mark. Wong started the play deep in the Bobcats' zone before passing to Leitch at center ice. Leitch skated into the Purple Eagles' zone before passing from the right face-off circle to the far post when Hansen's one-timer beat Pagliero to give Quinnipiac the lead. Marshall added an empty goal with 23 seconds remaining to give Quinnipiac a two-goal lead, 6-4. He was assisted on the play by Leitch for his fourth assist of the game while Lampe was also credited with one.

Wong and Chris Myers (Wallaceburg, Ont.) both played in their 100th career game, making them the 39th and 40th players in Quinnipiac history to reach the century mark.

Quinnipiac returns to action tomorrow night when they hit the ice against the Purple Eagles for the second game of their two-game series at 7:30 p.m. at Dwyer Arena in Niagara Falls, N.Y.