#1 UMass Minutemen vs #8 Quinnipiac Bobcats

QU Goalie steals the show

The opening period was eventful from puck drop. UMass goalie filip Lindbergh was tested early, and failed that test when the Bobcats scored on their second shot of the game just :42 in. In all fairness, UMass was flat-footed to open, and it showed as both defenders on the goal, Cale Makar and Marc DelGaizo were unable to corral the rebound that fell to QU freshman Wyatt Bongiovanni who put the past both and Lindbergh. That was Bongiovanni’s 7th goal of the season, assists went to Chase Priskie and Odeen Tufto, giving them their team leading 20th and 25th points. For the Minutemen the Kurt Keats, Jack Suter, and Gorge Mika line was bringing the pressure and physical play in the first period. UMass gave QU the first Power Play of the evening when Senior forward Jacob Pritchard was whistled for High Sticking @ 4:28. QU had a few decent chances that Lindberg was able to turn away, allowing the Minutemen to kill off the man advantage. As UMass started to show signs of life in the Bobcat zone, Makar made a nice feed from the right point to a wide open Mitchell Chaffee below the left circle but Jr goalie Andrew Shortridge was able to stonewall Chaffee. It was to be that kind of night for Shortridge. Shortridge would make 6 saves in the first period. The 2nd QU PP came @ 11:57 when Bobby Trivigno was called for Cross-Checking. The Minutemen had a strong chance on the penalty kill that ultimately led to a 3 on 1 for QU the other way that seen Tufto hit the post. The Bobcats had strong pressure to end the first period.

The middle frame seen the Minutemen pick up their play from the drop. Again the Keats, Suter, and Mika line was the catalyst to stronger play. The Minutemen were certainly more physical than they had been. Defenseman Colin Felix rocked Bongiovanni with an open ice hit at the red line. Even with John Leonard assessed a 10 minute misconduct UMass still carried the play. Brett Boeing set up Trivigno to the right of Shortridge, but he was able to get the handle of his stick on what looked like a sure game tying goal. Then during a scrum out front Shortridge was able to hold his line keeping the puck out of his net. On a face-off in the UMass end to Lindberg’s left, Sophomore Joe O’Connor was able to connect with a streaking Zach Mesta to put the Bobcats up 2-0 @ 12:56. UMass coach Greg Carvel would end up using his Timeout to settle his players. It seemed to work but again Shortridge was making his case for player of the game when he robbed Philip Lagunov who was wide open on his door step around the 18:20 mark. Shortridge would continue to add to his save totals by stopping all 11 UMass shots.

The 3rd period would start off with the Minutemen resuming their Power Play. They had a couple of chances but as was the story all night, Shortridge was there to make the play. The play was back and forth. Just after the 10 minute mark Boeing was robbed by Shortridge as he glided in and tried to sneak the puck in by the post but Shortridge kicked his leg out to make the stop. The Bobcats shut the door on the Minutemen for this one @ 12:34 when Senior Craig Martin was all alone in front of Lindberg and went bar down to put QU up 3-0. With the play behind the net both Minuteman defensemen were there leaving Martin to take the feed from Alex Wilson and William Fallstrom. Boeing was called for Elbowing @ 14:04, but the PK held off the Bobcats. Carvel tried to get the Minutemen something when he pulled Lindberg with more than 3 minutes to play, but it was that type of night as QU’s Martin notched his 2nd goal on the empty net shot @ 16:37 off the face-off. 4-0 Quinnipiac is how the game would end. The Minutemen out shot the Bobcats 32-26 and won the face off battle 24-20 but overall it was QU’s night, they outplayed UMass in the little battles.

The teams meet again tonight in Amherst @ 730pm. The game is sold out so the atmosphere at the Mullins Center should be electric.

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