By David F. Pendrys
HAMDEN, CT- The Quinnipiac Men’s Hockey team has been inconsistent this year and that was on display Saturday night when the Bobcats were upset 4-2 by visiting Arizona State. ASU, a program in its second year in existence entered the contest as an underdog, but took advantage of Quinnipiac mistakes and their own resourcefulness to take the win.
Though critical to Arizona State’s win was goaltender Joey Daccord who made 53 saves on the night including 27 in the third period. Daccord was ready for much of what QU threw at him, though QU Head Coach Rand Pecknold was concerned after the game that QU was not getting enough players in front of the net on screens, and was taking too many shots from the outside which were in theory easier to defend against.
Quinnipiac also missed numerous opportunities, whiffing on shots, or not setting up passes correctly. This was also noted by Pecknold in his post game thoughts. The result was for two periods ASU had the upper hand building a 3-0 and later a 4-1 lead.
The first ASU goal as Anthony Croston fell down in front of the net but still knocked it past QU’s Andrew Shortridge. Dylan Hollman had fed him the puck quickly right in front got the assist at 14:25. Soon after a Quinnipiac penalty put ASU on the power play and Brinson Pasichnuk teed up a shot from the point which got into the net. Assists went to Jakob Stridsberg and Hollman at 16:52.
Just 22 seconds into the second period, Croston snatched the puck in the QU zone suddenly and scored quickly on Shortridge. This ended the goalie’s night as Chris Truehl was put in to replace him.
Tim Clifton thought he had a goal later in the period, but the refs waved if off after a long video review. He responded very quickly with an undeniable power play goal at point blank range at 14:22. Assists went to Chase Priskie and Craig Martin.
Stridsberg struck himself at 18:38 with a shot from deep in the zone which seemed to deflect past Truehl. QU’s Connor Clifton would respond in the third assisted by Martin and Brogan Rafferty but that was it for the scoring. Despite QU putting up 28 shots to ASU’s 1 in the third the Sun Devils held on. The Sun Devils overall only sent 19 shots on net but potted 4 of them. Shortridge had made 6 saves and Truehl made 9 in relief.
For ASU, Pasichnuk had 5 blocks, Stridsberg had 4, Liam McGing had 3, and Edward McGovern, Croston and Brett Gruber had 2 among the team’s blocks on the day.
For QU, Karlis Cukste had 3 blocks, plus Connor Clifton, Tim Clifton, Luke Shiplo, and K.J. Tiefenwerth all had 2 blocks each
ASU rises to 10-18-2 on the season, QU drops to 14-11-2 in the non conference match up.
Coach Pecknold reaction presser.
Tim Clifton reaction presser.
Larger version at the facebook page.