HAMDEN, Conn. - The #17 Quinnipiac University men's ice hockey team lost to St. Cloud State, 3-2, in the second game of a two-game series at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn. The loss drops the Bobcats to 13-9-1 on the year while St. Cloud improves to 14-7-3 with its sixth consecutive win.
Sophomore Scott Zurevinski (Saskatoon, Sask.) scored his 11th goal of the year, and also picked up his eighth assist on a goal by senior captain Jean-Marc Beaudoin (St. Paul, Alb.). Zurevinski's goal answered three straight goals by St. Cloud State that saw the Huskies jump-out to a 3-0 lead through two periods. Greg Holt (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.), Jeremy Langlois (Tempe, Ariz.) and Brandon Wong (Victoria, B.C.) all picked up assists.
"We played well and we had a bit of a lull in the second and let them jump out to a three goal lead," head coach Rand Pecknold said. "We had our chances; we didn't finish and St. Cloud got good goaltending again tonight. It is what it is and we need to find a way to start scoring some goals."
Quinnipiac and St. Cloud played to a scoreless tie through the first period, while the Bobcats outshot the Huskies, 12-4, in the first frame. Quinnipiac outshot St. Cloud, 37-21, for the game, including holding SCSU to four shots in the first period and six in the third.
St. Cloud's David Eddy scored twice in the second period, his first coming less than two minutes into the period with assists going to Tony Mosey and Garrett Roe. Brett Barta gave St. Cloud a 2-0 lead with his first goal of the season at the 4:22 mark. Ben Hanowski and Sam Zabkowicz both picked up assists on the play. Hanowski handled the puck behind the net and fed Zabkowicz by the left face-off circle. Zabkowicz sent a pass to Barta at the point, who blasted a one-timer past Quinnipiac goalie Dan Clarke (Belleville, Ont.) to give St. Cloud a two-goal lead.
Eddy's third goal came at the 14:16 point of the period, when St. Cloud used the man-advantage to convert on the power play. Festler cycled the puck around the net where it was picked up by Hanowski. Hanowski then sent the puck across the Quinnipiac zone to Eddy, who popped the puck past Clarke to stake St. Cloud to a three-goal lead heading into the second intermission.
Quinnipiac bounced out the second intermission intent on making the non-conference match-up a contest. Zurevinski scored his third goal in his last five games at the 1:34 mark to put Quinnipiac on the board. Langlois picked up his seventh assist of his freshman year when he started the rotation that ended with Holt, who picked up his 11th assist of the season, finding Zurevinski for Quinnipiac's first goal of the night. Holt's 11 assists are the most for the senior wing since his freshman year when he totaled 12 assists.
St. Cloud goalie Mike Lee was outstanding in goal for the Huskies, turning back 35 shots in the game, including 24 over scoreless first and second periods. It wasn't until Pecknold pulled Mathieu Cadieux (Oshawa, Ont.) with five minutes to play that the Bobcats pulled to within a goal. Cadieux was inserted into the game to start the third period after Clarke stopped 12 of 15 shots through the first three periods. Cadieux turned back all six shots he saw from St. Cloud in the third period.
Coming out of a timeout, Zurevinski won the face-off and sent the puck to Wong. Wong then found longtime linemate Beaudoin in front of the crease. The senior captain's shot was stopped by Lee, but trickled past the freshman goalie to give Quinnipiac its second goal of the night.
Lee stopped 13 of 15 shots in the third period alone to secure the St. Cloud lead. The game was Lee's first action since last week's World Junior Championships, in which he posted a 4-0-0 record in helping the United States to a Gold Medal.
Quinnipiac had four legitimate opportunities to score down the stretch, including a shot by Sean Coughlin (Winthrop, Mass.) off a rebound that Lee was able to get back in position for to stop. Senior Eric Lampe (Madison, Wisc.) also had a look with 15 seconds to play that Lee got a piece of and ended with a deflection off the crossbar.
The Bobcats look to bounce-back next weekend when they host Niagara for a two-game series on Jan. 22-23 at the TD Bank Sports Center. The two games, both set for a 7 p.m. start, will be Quinnipiac's final non-conference games of the season.