Quinnipiac sophomore Matthew Peca had a goal and an assist to lead the nationally-ranked No. 2 Bobcats to a 4-1 win against Cornell Friday night at Lynah Rink. With the win, Quinnipiac improves to 20-3-4 overall, giving the Bobcats their 12th 20-win season in their 15th season at the NCAA Division I level.
Additionally, Quinnipiac runs their NCAA-leading unbeaten streak to 20 games (17-0-3) while they also remain undefeated in ECAC Hockey play at 13-0-3. The win gives Quinnipiac its first regular-season sweep of Cornell in program history.
Since Quinnipiac joined the NCAA Division I ranks for the 1998-99 season, the Bobcats are just the third team – joining Minnesota (22 games, 2006-07) and North Dakota (20 games, 2008-08) - to post undefeated streaks of 20 or more games.
Peca now boasts a team-best seven-game point streak, giving the second-year Bobcat nine goals and nine assists for 18 points. Peca now has 10 points on four goals and six assists during the point streak and 13 points, on five goals and eight assists, in his last 10 games. Clay Harvey, Jordan Samuels-Thomas and Connor Jones also scored for the Bobcats in the win, while Mike Dalhuisen, Jeremy Langlois and Dan Federico all picked up assists.
Quinnipiac scored just 1:13 into regulation when Peca dug the puck out of the corner to the left of Cornell goalie Andy Iles. Peca skated up the boards and dropped the puck off to Mike Dalhuisen. With Peca and Langlois set-up just below the blue line, and Clay Harvey set-up in front of the goal, Dalhuisen sent the puck through traffic. Harvey was able to get his blade on it and re-direct the shot between Iles' pads to give Quinnipiac an early 1-0 lead.
Less than four minutes into the second period, with seconds running off a Bobcat power play, Samuels-Thomas scored his eighth goal of the season, with assists credited to Travis St. Denis and Zach Davies. Samuels-Thomas took a pass from St. Denis and skated along the boards into the face-off circle to the left of Iles. With daylight, Samuels-Thomas wristed a shot to the opposite post and beat Iles, stick-side, to give Quinnipiac a two-goal lead, 2-0.
Just over three minutes into the third period, Peca scored his ninth goal of the season, with assists credited to Dan Federico and Langlois . It was Peca carrying the puck deep into the Cornell zone on a two-on-one break-away that saw a bid from Langlois sail wide of the goal. After a flurry of attempts – all denied by Iles – Federico flipped the puck to Langlois on Iles' right post, but his shot was stopped by Iles' pad. Peca was waiting in the slot where he was able to collect the puck and wrist a shot past Cornell's goalie to give the Bobcats a three-goal lead.
Cornell's Greg Miller scored the Big Red's goal with less than three minutes to play with assists going to Christian Hilbrich and Kirill Gotowets. Connor Jones scored on an empty-net with just over a minute to play in regulation.
Quinnipiac returns to action when it heads to Hamilton, N.Y. on Saturday, Feb. 9 to take on Colgate in an ECAC Hockey match-up that can be seen live on Time Warner Cable, where available, at 7 p.m.