HAMILTON, N.Y. – The Quinnipiac University men's ice hockey team evened its ECAC Hockey Championship Quarterfinals match-up against Colgate with a 4-2 victory at Starr Rink in Hamilton, N.Y. The Bobcats' win ties the series at 1-1. Quinnipiac improves to 20-13-3 for the season, it's 11th 20-win season in 14 years at the Division I level. Quinnipiac and Colgate will meet again in the third and decisive game on Sunday, Mar. 11 at 7 p.m. at Starr Rink.
"I thought we competed hard, we won battles and we won races," head coach Rand Pecknold said. "Our season was on the line and our players responded. We played well."
Four different Bobcats scored as Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia), Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia), Jeremy Langlois (Tempe, Ariz.) and Scott Zurevinski (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) all scored for Quinnipiac, with Connor Jones also picking up an assist. Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) assisted on all three goals, while Loren Barron (Glendora, Calif.) also picked up an assist. Quinnipiac also improves to 4-1 all-time in the second game of a postseason series when trailing 1-0 in the series.
Peca's three assists gives the first-year Bobcat a goal and eight assists for nine points in five ECAC Hockey Tournament, tying Ben Nelson for the most points by a Quinnipiac skater in a single postseason. Nelson accomplished the feat during the 2008 ECAC Hockey Tournament.
The Bobcats got on the board early when twins Kellen and Connor Jones scored inside the first seven minutes of the game to stake Quinnipiac to a 2-0 lead with linemate Peca setting up both goals. On the first marker, Barron blasted a shot from the point that was collected by Peca to the left of Colgate goalie Eric Mihalik. Peca turned and fired a pass to Kellen who one-timed the puck past Mihalik to give Quinnipiac a 1-0 lead at the 4:15 mark.
At the 6:18 mark, Connor and Peca played the puck back-and-forth to each other before Connor skated into the neutral zone and left it behind for Peca. Peca waited for Connor to slide around his defender before sending the puck back. Connor then took aim for the far post, banging it past Mihalik to give Quinnipiac a two-goal lead early in the game.
At the 11:31 mark, with Quinnipiac on the power play, the Bobcats fired a shot from the point that was blocked by a Colgate defender. Colgate's Chris Wagner picked the puck up and took off down-ice, all by himself. A hooking penalty called on Quinnipiac resulted in Wagner being awarded a penalty shot. The sophomore forward scored on the one-on-one situation, for the first penalty shot against the Bobcats since Dec. 5, 2004 when Holy Cross' Tyler McGregor converted on an attempt against Jamie Holden.
Colgate tied the game with just under seven minutes to play in the second period. Quinnipiac took control of the puck deep in its zone and attempted to wrap the puck around the boards. Colgate's Jeremy Price, jumping on the ice during a line change, intercepted the puck and centered a pass to Kurtiss Bartliff. Bartliff skated between the face-off circles and beat Quinnipiac goalie Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.), stick-side, to knot the game at 2-2.
Langlois scored his team-leading 17th goal of the year on the power play with seven seconds remaining in the second period. Peca picked up his third assist of the day when he picked the puck up in the corner to the right of Mihalik and fired a shot across ice to Connor Jones in the far slot. Connor then re-directed the pass to Langlois, on the doorstep, who one-timed the puck past Mihalik to give Quinnipiac a one-goal lead. With 1:28 remaining in the game, Hartzell collected the puck and fired it up-ice to Zurevinski who netted his fifth goal of the season and first goal since Dec. 9, 2011.