Three first period goals were too much for the Providence Friars (2-12-1, 0-8-1 Hockey East), as the Quinnipiac University Bobcats (7-6-1, 4-3-1 ECAC Hockey) took a 5-2 decision Friday night at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.
Itâ€™s the first time the Bobcats have hosted a member from the Hockey East conference.
â€œI thought we played pretty well at times and were opportunistic offensively,â€ said Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold. â€œNick [Pisellini] did a good job in net. Itâ€™s always nice to beat any Hockey East team and happy to do it at home.â€
The Bobcats had lost their last two games, both to travel partner Princeton, while Providence had lost their last seven and nine of their last ten with the other a tie versus Vermont.
On a two-on-one, Greg Holt came into the offensive zone with Brandon Wong. Holt fed Wong, who made a deke move around the Friars’ defender. The puck was knocked away in front of the crease and found a seam through the five-hole of Chris Mannix for the 1-0 lead just 1:55 into the first period.
The Bobcats extended their lead at the 11:26 mark when Jean-Marc Beaudoin banged home a rebound shot. Wong picked up the puck deep in the offensive zone and ripped a shot that Mannix was unable to control. Beaudoin corralled the puck at the left circle and went short side for the two goal lead.
David Marshall gave the Bobcats a three goal lead as a Friars’ penalty was expiring. Marshall carried the puck from behind the net to the blue line, fed Dan Henningson, and got the puck back, and slid it in the near side post at 13:13.
â€œThe guys were fired up to play tonight and they were able to play a Hockey East team at home,â€ said Pecknold.
Providence cut the deficit to two goals when Chris Eppich recorded his first career goal in his 54th career game. Matt Germain ripped a shot from the blue line as he entered the zone which bounced off the glass behind the net and into the slot, where Eppich followed the play and put the puck in the open net.
The Bobcats regained the three goal lead with a Bryan Leitch tally. On a face-off to the right of Mannix, Marshall won the draw to the tape of Leitch, who one-timed the puck into the back of the net.
In the third period, Eric Lampe received a pass from Leitch and went in alone on Mannix and beat him five-hole for the goal 28 seconds in.
Providence added a four-on-four goal when Matt Bergland scored his fourth of the season from Mark Fayne and John Cavanagh, beating Quinnipiacâ€™s Nick Pisellini glove side.
Pisellini made 25 saves in the win to move his record to 6-2-1 while Mannix made 23 in the loss to drop his record to 1-3-0 on the season.
The Bobcats are now 1-2 all time versus the Friars. Providence travels to Brown for the Mayorâ€™s Cup, while the Bobcats return to action December 29 in the UCONN Hockey Classic against Merrimack.