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Scott Zurevinski’s two goals helped give the No. 20 Quinnipiac University Bobcats a 4-2 victory over the Dartmouth Big Green in ECAC Hockey action Saturday evening.
The Bobcats (8-1-0, 4-0-0 ECAC Hockey) opened up the scoring with an early breakaway goal by Jean Marc Beaudoin just fifty-three seconds into the contest. Standing behind the Bobcats net, Zach Hansen sent a pass off of the glass that Scott Zurevinski chipped over to Beaudoin to spring him on the breakaway.
Beaudoin put the puck on his backhand as he got pulled down and flipped the puck over the pads of Dartmouth’s (0-5-0, 0-5-0 ECAC Hockey) Jody O’Neill.
Quinnipiac took a two-goal advantage on Zurevinski’s power-play goal. Already a man up, the Bobcats drew a penalty to garner an extra attacker. Jeremy Langlois sent a pass to the point where Greg Holt stood waiting. Holt shot the puck while on its side and it fluttered on net, where Zurevinski redirected it home for the two-goal advantage.
“The first period we were up three to nothing, but I don’t think we played well; we gave up like five two-on-ones,” said Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold. “Clarke played well to stop that. We let Dartmouth back in the second. Ultimately, we found a way to grit out a win.”
Spencer Heichman added to the scoring run when he banged home a rebound goal with 16:30 left in the first. Mike Glaicar ripped a shot on net that O’Neill saved. Clay Harvey got the first rebound shot and Heichman put home the second, to give Quinnipiac a three-goal advantage.
“They [Quinnipiac] are a good team,” said Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet. “We traded chances in the first period and they came out on top. It was a tough fourth goal that hurt us. They are playing really good hockey. I feel like our guys played hard. We showed signs of the team I want us to be. It’s a very tough league and everyone is good.”
James Mello replaced O’Neill in net to start the second period and Dartmouth responded with two goals. This was Mello’s second career appearance in his tenure at Dartmouth; his only other appearance came at Quinnipiac last season.
“It was a momentum change,” said Gaudet. “Jody is a really good goalie; I just wanted to change the momentum. I felt maybe the guys would work hard, play smart and protect him and they did. I thought he did a really good job. I can’t fault him on the goal they scored.”
Dartmouth cut the deficit to 3-1 with power-play goal early in the second period. The Big Green sent a barrage of shots on net to displace the Bobcats’ Dan Clarke from being in position. As many as four Bobcats’ players lay in the crease trying to protect Dartmouth from scoring, but Adam Estoclet was able to find an opening to put the Big Green on the board at 5:05.
Again on the power play, the Big Green struck. This time it was Scott Fleming who registered the goal. Coming in on a two-on-one, Kyle Reeds took a shot that Clarke deflected away and bounced out to Fleming, who banged home the rebound at 14:54.
The Bobcats regained a two-goal lead on Zurevinski’s second goal of the night. Dartmouth attempted to clear the puck out of the zone, but Zurevinski picked it off and skated in alone and rifled a shot past the glove side and under the bar of Mello at 7:41 of the third.
Clarke made 33 saves in the win, while O’Neill made 11 in the loss and Mello 17 in the non-decision.
Both of Dartmouth’s power-play goals came with two seconds remaining on the man up opportunity.
This is the best start Quinnipiac has had to open up an ECAC Hockey season, and they stand alone in first place in the conference standings.