Quinnipiac scored four unanswered goals in Friday night’s contest against the Yale men’s hockey team to gain a 1–0 advantage in its best-of-three series against the Bulldogs in the opening round of the ECAC tournament.
After trading shots in the early minutes of the game, Yale jumped out to a 1–0 lead at 13:32 in the first frame. First-year forward Tyler Welsh ’21 showed his incredible stick skills, maneuvering the puck past Quinnipiac defenders before ultimately passing to captain and forward Ryan Hitchcock ’18, who lit the lamp for the Bulldogs.
The Eli lead was tested 10 minutes later when Quinnipiac assumed the power play as Yale defender Billy Sweezey ’20 headed to the box for cross-checking. But Yale’s penalty-kill unit, anchored by goaltender Sam Tucker ’19, successfully defended the net and retained its one-goal advantage heading into the second frame.
Quinnipiac opened up the second frame with a goal of its own. Forward Tanner MacMaster sent a behind-the-back pass to defender Joe O’Connor, confusing the Yale defense and allowing O’Connor a prime opportunity to find the back of the net.
For the remainder of the middle period, the Bulldogs and the Bobcats traded shots and penalties, but neither team managed to produce any successful offense. With just 10 seconds left on the clock, Quinnipiac defender John Furgele was assessed a minor penalty to put Yale on the power play to open up the third period.
In a deja-vu moment, the Bobcats christened the third period by scoring once again within the first three minutes of play. The Quinnipiac offense was relentless in the final frame: outshooting the Bulldogs 9–4.
After a flurry of offense in front of the Yale goal, defender Kevin McKernan extended the Quinnipiac lead to two goals with about 11 minutes left to play. As the clock wound down, the Yale offense struggled to generate many scoring opportunities.
Desperate for a goal, the Elis pulled Tucker with under two minutes remaining in the hopes of scoring, but Quinnipiac snagged the puck and forward Alex Whalen notched an empty-net goal to make the score 4–1. Building further on their momentum, the Bobcats snuck the puck past Tucker to cement the 5–1 lead with just 38 seconds left in the contest.
The second game of the series will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Ingalls Rink.