By Russ Mairs
Over the past two weeks the Quinnipiac Bobcats began a new era with their new sports complex on the top of the York Hill campus. The $52 million dollar project will serve as the new arena for future Hockey and Basketball games. On Sunday, January 28th, the Quinnipiac Men’s Ice Hockey team opened up at the TD Banknorth Sports Center at noon in front of sellout crowd with their first game against College of the Holy Cross. Although coming off their worst start in six years, both teams seemed evenly matched in the first period of the game. In the second period Matt Burke of Holy Cross was called on a contact to the head penalty. Nearly two minutes into the power play Quinnipiac would capitalize and take a 1-0 lead by Matt Sorteberg at 6:27 of the second period. At 7:16 of the second period, Mike Atkinson was given a two minute minor for hooking. However, that one goal began an offensive rally resulting in a pair of shorthanded goals, one from Eric Lampe at 8:24 of the second, and the other from Dan Lefort coming only thirty seconds apart. Only two minutes later the Bobcats would make it a 4-0 game with an even strength goal from Bryan Leitch at 10:06 of the second period. The second half of the second period featured some aggression as each team was assessed a roughing penalty in the closing minutes. In the opening seconds of the third period, Holy Cross was given a hooking penalty that sent Quinnipiac on the power play that would result in a power play goal by Jamie Bates making the score 5-0 Bobcats. At 6:11 of the third period, Mark Agnew would score to make the game 6-0. Nearly a minute later Greg Holt would score to “finalize” the score at 7-0 giving the bobcats a seven to nothing win over Holy Cross. Both Bud Fisher and Zach Kleiman earned a combined shutout with 18 saves.
Two days later, on January 30th, the Bobcats faced of against the Harvard Crimson in their second game at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. The first period featured some aggression between these two teams. Eric Lampe would net the game opener on power play goal 14:14 of the first period to give the bobcats a 1-0 lead that would carry through to the end. In the second period at 8:38 Bryan Leitch would extend the Bobcats lead to two goals. Harvard would answer back, cutting the lead in half with a goal from Dave Watters that would spark some aggressive behavior from both teams with four roughing penalties assessed as the period came to a close. The third period came to be the turning point of the game. At the 14:06 mark, Harvard’s, Kevin Du, would score forcing the final score to be a 2-2 tie.
On February 2nd, 2007 the Quinnipiac Bobcats played one of their biggest games of this 2006-07 season as they faced off in front of another sellout crowd against their New Haven rival Yale Bulldogs. The Bobcats showed their control early in the first period. The teams seemed evenly matched with the Quinnipiac’s penalty killing unit on the ice for most of the period. At seven minutes into the period the penalty kill ran out of steam and similar to the first game on January 13th, Yale scored the game opener on a power play goal from Sean Backman giving the bulldogs a 1-0 lead. Nearly halfway through the second period Quinnipiac would tie the game at 1-1 on and even strength goal from Matt Sorteberg at the 8:58 mark. At 14:34, the Bobcats would take the lead on a power play goal from Greg Holt giving the Bobcats a one goal lead over the visiting Bulldogs. Four minutes later, the Bulldogs would answer back with a goal of their own from Sean Backman tying the score at two goals a piece to end the second period. The third period was a scoring rally for Quinnipiac as they netted two power play goals nearly three minutes apart. At 10:53, Sean Backman of Yale would net his third goal that evening notching a hat trick to make the score 4-3 with the Bobcats in control. Quinnipiac would answer with two goals, one on a power play at 12:27 from David Marshall, the second a shorthanded goal from Andrew Meyer in the closing minutes of the final period. Quinnipiac would be called on delay of game penalty giving Yale a power play on which they would capitalize to make the final score 6-4. Still, the Bobcats would come away with a victory over their rival Yale Bulldogs and finishing the dedication week with a record of 3-0-1.
The weekend following dedication week the Bobcats traveled to Providence, Rhode Island to take on the Brown Bears. The Bobcats would take control with a goal from Ben Nelson to open the scoring nine minutes into the first. The Bears would answer with a goal of their own on power play scored by Brown’s Ryan Garbutt at 14:37 of the first period. In the second period, Jamie Bates would score to regain the lead for the Bobcats with a power play goal at the 3:57 mark. At 14:09, however, Josh Duncan was assessed with a roughing penalty that gave Brown a power play in which Ryan Garbutt would net his second goal of the night at 15:03. The game would remain tied at the end of the second period. In the period, the Bears roared to life and netted three goals from Jeremy Russell, Sean Hurley and Ryan Garbutt in a span of nearly three minutes to take a 5-2 lead over the Bobcats. The Bobcats would score one more time in the third period with a power play goal from Ben Nelson to make it a 5-3. However, the Brown Bears would seal the victory with a shorthanded goal at 16:45 in the third period to end the Bobcats winning streak handing them a 6-3 loss.
On Tuesday, February 6th, Quinnipiac hosted the Bentley Falcons in a non conference game at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. The first half of the first period featured little action; however Quinnipiac would end up shorthanded at 15:23 with a hooking penalty by Bryan Leitch. Yet, Brandon Wong would score a shorthanded goal giving the bobcats a 1-0 lead in the first period. The Bobcats would begin the second period shorthanded with a penalty on Greg Holt and, similar to the first period, again in shorthanded situation, Brandon Wong would score giving the Bobcats a 2-0 lead over the Falcons. At 4:34 of the second period, Brandon Wong would complete a hat trick scoring his third goal at even strength giving the Bobcats a 3-0 lead. The Bobcats would hold shutout over the Falcons until the final two minutes of the second period when Pat Percella would score a power play goal to make it a 3-1 game. In the third period, the Bobcats would extend their lead over the Falcons with a power play goal from Jamie Bates at 6:47 to extend the Bobcats lead to three goals making the score 4-1. Six minutes later, Chris Meyers would make it a 5-1 game on an even strength goal. Then, after another six minutes, Eric Lampe would score a shorthanded goal giving the Bobcats the victory improving their overall record to 14-9-5.