Early deficit too much to overcome for Bobcats

By: Jamie Palatini

 

(HAMDEN, Conn.) – It’s not the start Bud Fisher envisioned for his senior season at Quinnipiac.

Fisher allowed three goals in the first period before being pulled as UMass Lowell beat Quinnipiac 4-1 Thursday night at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Mass. With the win, the River Hawks improve to 3-2. The loss drops Quinnipiac to 1-2.

UMass Lowell jumped out to the lead 8:35 into the game. While on a power play, Ben Holmstrom fired a shot saved by Fisher. But the rebound came right to Kory Falite, brother of former Quinnipiac hockey player Craig Falite. He corralled the rebound and shot it past Fisher to give the River Hawks a 1-0 lead.

About two and a half minutes later, UMass Lowell extended their lead. Fisher made a few saves on a barrage of shots by the River Hawks, but let one get away from him. Fisher tried to cover up a rebound, but was unable to as the puck trickled away from the crease. Holmstrom picked up the rebound and lifted it over Fisher as he lay sprawled out on the ice, and UMass Lowell had the two-goal advantage.

Scott Campbell increased the River Hawks’ lead just two minutes later. After the Bobcats’ defense failed to clear a rebound away from the crease, Campbell took the puck and beat Fisher to give the UMass Lowell a 3-0 lead. At that point, Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold had seen enough from his senior goaltender, and pulled him in favor of freshman netminder Nick Pisellini. Pisellini performed well in relief of Fisher, allowing only one goal on 23 shots the rest of the way for the Bobcats.

Fisher has struggled mightily through the start of this season.  Since the first period in Quinnipiac’s season opener in Omaha, Neb., where he kept Union off the scoreboard, Fisher has allowed a combined nine goals in his last 56 minutes in net, averaging out to nearly a 9.00 goals against average.

Falite scored his second goal of the game early in the second period while UMass Lowell was on the power play to give his team a 4-0 lead.

Quinnipiac’s lone goal came midway through the third period. The Bobcats were shorthanded when Mike Atkinson made a pass to freshman Spencer Heichman, who beat River Hawks goaltender T.J. Massie for his second goal of the season.

The Bobcats will look to rebound Saturday evening when they host in-state rival UConn in their ’08-’09 home opener at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.

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