March 14, 2010

Quinnipiac Men's Ice Hockey Falls To Union, 3-1, In Second Game Of ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The Quinnipiac University men's ice hockey team lost to Union, 3-1, in the second game of the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals at Messa Rink in Schenectady, N.Y. With the win, Union pulls even with Quinnipiac in thebest-of-three series, 1-1, to force a third and deciding game, to take place on Sunday, March 13 at 7 p.m. Quinnipiac goes to 20-17-2 on the year while Union improves to 19-11-6.

"We were exhausted," Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. "Both teams were. An event like a five-overtime game will do that, but you have to be ready to battle. I think that Union did a better job of that tonight."

Adam Presizniuk scored two of Union's three goals for the night, while sophomore goalie Corey Milan turned back 27 of the 28 shots he saw on the night. The win for the Dutchmen is their first against Quinnipiac in the ECAC Hockey Tournament in four games all-time.

The Bobcats had an early goal waved off, just under four minutes into the first period, when the officials replayed an apparent goal by Spencer Heichman (Yorba Linda, Calif.). After going to the tape, the officials ruled that Heichman kicked the puck into the net. Mike Dalhuisen controlled the puck just below the blue line and sent a shot on goal. Heichman's redirect sent the puck to the opposite post to appear to give Quinnipiac an early 1-0 lead. Replay showed that it was not a goal.

"That goal getting waved off was tough," Pecknold said. "There are some refs who would call that a goal, and there are others that wouldn't. That's one of the breaks of the game and tonight we didn't get it."

Less than two minutes later, following a Bobcats penalty, Presizniuk scored to give Union a 1-0 lead. The goal was assisted on by Mario Valery-Trabucco and Kelly Zajac and ended Quinnipiac goalie Dan Clarke's (Belleville, Ont.) shutout stretch at 140:40. His scoreless streak was the third longest in Quinnipiac's Division I history, falling in behind a streak he compiled earlier this season of 151:19 over a four-game stretch from Feb. 5 to Feb. 13 and Jamie Holden's 171:16 over four games during the 2003-04 season.

With just under three minutes to play in the first period, Brandon Wong (Victoria, B.C.) scored a power-play goal to tie the game at 1-1. Zach Davies (Smithers, B.C.) handled the puck along the blue line in front of Union's bench before sending it across to Greg Holt (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.). Holt sent a shot on goal. The shot heading towards Wong on the far post, who re-directed it past Union's Corey Milan to tie the game. Wong's goal was his 19th of the year, while Holt and Davies picked up their 20th and 11th assists, respectively.

Union jumped back out in front, taking a one-goal lead, 2-1, at the 18:27 mark when Luke Cain scored on a pass from Justin Pallos. The Dutchmen took a two-goal lead just over a minute into the third period when Presizniuk picked off a pass at center ice and skated by the Quinnipiac defense, leaving him one-on-one with Clarke. Presizniuk went five-hole on Clarke to give Union a 3-1 lead.

The Bobcats and Dutchmen meet again on Sunday, March 13 in the third and decisive game of the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal Series. The teams are scheduled to hit the ice at Messa Rink at the Achilles Center at 7 p.m. The winner of that game will advance to the ECAC Hockey Semifinals. Tickets to the game can be purchased at Messa Rink after 3 p.m.