Albany- Going into the third period, Qunnipiac found themselves in a vulnerable position, but were able to pick up a convincing win with just one more game before the Frozen Four.
The Quinnipiac Bobcats defeated the RIT Tigers on Saturday night at the Times Union Center by a score of 4-0 to clinch a birth in the East Regional Finals.
After a slow beginning to the game, it took nearly 15 minutes for a team to put something on the scoreboard, but the Bobcats prevailed with the first tally at 14:55 elapsed time on a power play goal from Travis St. Denis to make it 1-0.
“Our power play is one of our strengths on the team, and we knew early on if we could get a power play, we could get our offense going,” St. Denis said.
After a quiet but physical first two periods of play, Quinnipiac held that 1-0 lead, but things were starting to look interesting, as RIT had had many scoring chances throughout the first forty minutes, but they all were stopped by the dominant play of goaltender Michael Garteig. The ECAC player of the year finalist stopped all 27 shots he faced in a dominant shutout.
“We just try to help him (Garteig) the best that we can and hope he does the same for us, so we were just trying to keep that puck from going into the net.” Devon Toews said.
Quinnipiac would start the third frame with a bang just two and a half minutes in on a goal from Scott Davidson, making the game 2-0 and padding on a lot of security for the Bobcats to hold on for the win.
Quinnipiac held this seemingly big lead for ten minutes, when Soren Jonzzon scored a goal at 12:18 in the third period. This was his first of two goals on the night, as he added an empty net goal in the final minutes.
“It was a nice, resilient win. Probably not our best game, but I thought we were resilient, as we have been all year,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said.
The first game of Saturday evening was a very physical one, as the first period alone had six penalties. The game cooled down after that, as the game finished with a total of eight penalties, only one additional penalty in each of the second and third periods.
Quinnipiac goaltender Michael Garteig continued his string of impressive play, picking up the shutout. He has only allowed one goal in his past two games, as he buckled last Saturday night in Lake Placid when Quinnipiac took on Harvard in the ECAC Championship Game.
Quinnipiac now advances to the East Regional Finals, and they will play the winner of UMass-Lowell and Yale, which is the second game of the night in the final game. That game will be played Sunday, March 27th in an Easter Sunday special for a bid to the Frozen Four in Tampa Bay, Florida next weekend. The East Region Final will once again be played at the Times Union Center, and is set for a 7:30 PM start time.
Soren Jonzzan: 2 goals
Thomas St. Denis: 1 goal
Scott Davidson: 1 goal
Tim Clifton: 2 assists
Devon Toews: 2 assists
Sam Anas: 1 assist
Connor Clifton: 1 assist
Quinnipiac: (Michael Garteig): 27/27, 100% saved
RIT; (Mike Rotolo): 26/29, 90% saved