A standing-room-only crowd of 4,074 at Quinnipiac’s High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center saw the nationally-ranked No. 1 Bobcats capture the 11th Annual Heroes Hat with a 4-1 win against No. 13 Yale.
The Bobcats improve to 23-4-4 overall and 16-1-2 in ECAC Hockey play. Additionally, the Bobcats are a perfect 10-0-0 against ranked opponents for the year. Yale drops to 13-10-3 overall and 9-9-1 in ECAC Hockey play.
Sophomore Connor Jones picked apart the Bulldogs line-up with a three-point night that saw the speedy center tally a goal and two assists. Line mates Matthew Peca and Kellen Jones both scored, while freshman Travis St. Denis also added a goal.
Bobcats’ goalie, and Hobey Baker candidate, Eric Hartzell blanked Yale over the first two periods, while first period goals from Peca, Kellen and St. Denis staked the Bobcats to a 3-0 lead and chased Yale starting goalie Connor Wilson after 20 minutes of play. Yale’s Kenny Agostino scored his 13th goal of the year just two minutes into the final frame to ruin Hartzell’s shut-out bid. The Bobcats’ goalie denied 30 shots for the night to improve to 23-3-4 overall.
Peca’s 10th goal of the year makes him the second Bobcat to hit double-digits in goals and assists (10) this season. Three minutes into the game, the sophomore wing stood above the blue line in Yale’s defensive zone and received a pass from Connor Jones before turning and firing on Yale starting goalie Connor Wilson. The puck found its way through traffic and beat the Bulldogs’ goalie to put Quinnipiac on top, 1-0, just 3:03 into the game.
With just under four minutes to play in the first period, Kellen Jones and St. Denis made their way onto the score sheet with their seventh and sixth goals, respectively, of the year. Kellen’s goal came after he stole the puck over the right face-off circle before skating on goal. Jones looked off a defender, wound up and fired on Wilson, finding daylight to give Quinnipiac a 2-0 lead. St. Denis’ tally came 47-seconds later after he cleaned up a rebound off a Connor Jones shot, with Loren Barron picking up his 10th assist of the season.
Following Agostino’s goal, with an assist to Jesse Root, just 1:51 into the third period, it was Connor Jones with an empty-net goal, with assists to Bryce Van Brabant and Dan Federico to cap the Bobcats’ scoring.
Quinnipiac returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 23 when it hosts Brown for an ECAC Hockey match-up at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center at 7 p.m. Prior to the start of the game, Quinnipiac Athletics will honor seniors Ben Arnt, Loren Barron, Kevin Bui, Zack Currie, Mike Dalhuisen, Zach Davies, Russell Goodman, Eric Hartzell, Clay Harvey, Jeremy Langlois and Reese Rolheiser as part of Senior Night.