Purple Eagles Dominate Bobcats

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Andrew Hare’s 48 save performance helped propel the Niagara University Purple Eagles to a 6-2 decision over the Quinnipiac University Bobcats in non-conference action Friday night at the TD Bank Sports Center.

It was Hare’s first career victory in his fifth game played.

“He’s been practicing better and we thought he deserved a start since it’s our last non conference weekend,” said Niagara head coach Dave Burkholder. “Hare was under enormous pressure and made all of the first saves. Our defense did a great job of protecting him.”

Niagara opened up the scoring at 4:20 of the first with Wes Consorti’s rebound goal, his first of the season. Tyler Matthews carried the puck over the blue line and put a shot on Quinnipiac’s Dan Clarke. He made the save, but it popped back out into play and Consorti crashed the net for the rebound and poked it through the five-hole for the goal.

Less than a minute later, Chris Moran extended the lead when he took a puck from behind the net and walked to the right circle and fired a shot on net. Clarke was screened by two Niagara players and the puck found its way to the back of the net.

“Obviously coming here these are big games for us,” said Burkholder. “We need to be more disciplined [tomorrow] and protecting our goalies after whistles. We need to stay out of the box; they have some high end skill on their power play.”

Dan Baco gave Niagara a three goal lead when he beat Clarke through the five-hole. Matthews sent a pass from the neutral zone to spring Baco, where he carried the puck into the zone and hit the back of the twine at 7:59 of the second.

After the goal, Clarke was pulled in favor of Mathieu Cadieux.

Niagara’s Paul Zanette gave the Purple Eagles a lead of four goals, this time on the penalty kill. On a turnover by the Bobcats at center ice, Zanette picked off a pass and skated into the Quinnipiac zone. He laced a shot, far side, over the glove of Cadieux at 16:58 of the second.

Quinnipiac got on the board with Greg Holt’s power-play goal with under one minute remaining in the second. After facing 21 shots, Andrew Hare was beat by Greg Holt on the 22nd shot. Holt received a pass from Jean-Marc Beaudoin and skated into the slot and ripped a shot past Hare on his glove.

“We had 50 shots on net and had 106 attempted shots, so were generating the offense and the guys are competing and we have to find a way to get the puck in the net,” said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold. “Give Andrew Hare a lot of credit, he played great and competed. He was the best player on the ice tonight. Sometimes you just run into a hot goalie.”

Jason Beattie helped Niagara regain their four goal lead when he blasted a shot from the point on a one time pass from Giancarlo Iuorio at 6:04.

Brian Haczyk added the Purple Eagles’ second shorthanded goal of the night when he went up top and beat Cadieux on the blocker side.

“We need to be better defensively,” said Pecknold. “We were bad tonight giving up a lot of odd man rushes and quality chances. You can’t win a lot of hockey games when you play defense like that.”

Ben Arnt added a power-play goal with three seconds remaining to cap the scoring. It was his first career goal in a Bobcats uniform.

Quinnipiac (13-10-1) is now 2-11 all time against the Purple Eagles and 1-4 at home. The Bobcats last home win versus Niagara (7-13-2) came on Jan. 28, 2006, a 5-2 victory, at the Northford Ice Pavilion. Quinnipiac is now 1-9-1 in their last 11 games after starting the season 12-1.

Clarke made 11 saves in the loss, while Cadieux made nine in the non-decision.

Both teams square off again in the second game of the two game set on Saturday night.

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