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Quinnipiac defeats Yale 5-2, extends unbeaten streak

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

By: M.J. Baird

It has now been nine games since Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey has lost to the Yale Bulldogs. Nine games may not seem like a long time, but the unbeaten streak extends to 46 months.

To save you from doing the math, that dates back to April of 2013. Any Quinnipiac (or Yale) fan could tell you what happened then. The Bulldogs beat the Bobcats in the game that mattered most: the national championship.

On Saturday, Quinnipiac ventured the 11 miles down the road to New Haven and defeated its rival Yale by a final score of 5-2, despite falling behind twice in the contest.

“I thought it was a really good win in a great college atmosphere here tonight,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “Everybody contributed and it was a fun win.”

Three power play goals ultimately lifted the Bobcats to victory. The penalties quickly added up and came as a detriment to Yale, earning 18 total penalty minutes.

Although the Bulldogs only earned six penalties, the minutes added up due to two five minute majors, both for boarding.

Even with the abnormally high penalty minutes compared to its season average of 11.91 per game, Yale head coach Keith Allain did not think this was of great importance.

“I didn’t think discipline was an issue on my hockey team,” Allain said.

Luke Shiplo was the recipient of both boarding calls, and after the second did not return to the game, leaving Quinnipiac with five defensemen on the bench.

Chase Priskie took full advantage of the time and extended his recent success on the man-advantage adding two goals against the Bulldogs.

“It’s a big compliment to have four other guys on the ice who do their job and are able to find me in open position,” Priskie said. “I just try to put the puck on net and hope it rattles around.”

These two power play tallies combined with two more just a weekend ago against Arizona State brings Priskie’s goal total to six on the season.

Pecknold even said Priskie was one of the two best players, alongside Connor Clifton.

“There are certain players that find ways to get points. They are always on the scoresheet,” Pecknold said. “Usually its forwards but Chase is that type of player as a defenseman.”

Finding the score sheet is not foreign to Priskie, especially in 2017. The sophomore defenseman has recorded a point in six out of Quinnipiac’s eight games since the new year, of which includes four power play goals.

Priskie chalks his recent success up to his work ethic in practice.

“We go out everyday after practice (Brogan Rafferty and I) and kind of work on our one-two punch,” Priskie said. “We have been able to capitalize lately and help our team win.”

With Quinnipiac converting at a 37.4 percent rate on the man advantage on Saturday, the Bobcats improved their season average to 19 percent, good for top 25 in the nation.

Nonetheless, Allain thought nothing other than the large number of opportunities was the issue for Yale in stopping Quinnipiac.

“I think they had 18 minutes on the power play,” Allain said. “That’s what made it difficult to defend.”

Other than special teams being the story of the game, freshman Nick Jermain made his presence known in just his 15th start of the season.

The Connecticut native tallied two goals, more notably the first two of his collegiate career.

Jermain’s first goal ended up going down as the game-winner for the Bobcats, an impressive task in a big pressure game.

“I’ve been coming here like my whole life, I’ve seen a lot of games here,” Jermain said. “I kind of felt comfortable.”

Quinnipiac has another opportunity to extend its unbeaten streak against Yale in less than three weeks.

This time, however, the Bulldogs have to come to Hamden and play in the confines of the TD Bank SportsCenter, where Quinnipiac has only lost four games this season and six in the past two seasons.

Quinnipiac welcomes Yale for the most hyped game among students on campus on Friday, Feb. 24.

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