Atkinson’s hat trick sparks Bobcats

By Corey Hersch

Senior winger Mike Atkinson scored three goals, two of them shorthanded, in a 4-2 win against conference foe Clarkson.  The game marked the Bobcats’ first of the season in ECAC play.  The win improves Quinnipiac’s record to 5-1-0 overall.

The first period of play was dominated by Clarkson, who outshot Quinnipiac 14-10 in the period.  Dan Clarke was solid in net, though, stopping all of the shots he faced in the frame.   Then, with under a minute to play, the Bobcats caught lightning in a bottle.  Scott Zurevinski took the puck in the neutral zone and skated into the zone with Eric Lampe on a two-on-two.  Zurevinski left a drop pass for Lampe in the slot, who fired it over the left shoulder of Clarkson goalie Richie LeVeau for the first goal of the contest.  It was Lampe’s fifth goal of the season.

The second period began much like the first, with the Golden Eagles dominating the play.  They got on the board four minutes into the second stanza, with Scott Freeman scoring his third goal of the year.  Freeman collected a rebound off of a shot from Brandon DeFazio, and was right on the doorstep to stuff it home.

atkinson

Mike Atkinson

Less than three minutes later, after Jean-Marc Beaudoin was called for a cross-checking penalty, Clarkson took the lead on a power-play goal from Adam Pawlick.  Pawlick took a slapshot from the right circle, and got it past Clarke, who was screened on the play.

Quinnipiac took another penalty which led to a goal later in the period.  This time, though, it was the Bobcats who cashed in.  Yuri Bouharevich found Atkinson at the blue line, who entered the zone in a one-on-one.  Atkinson took it to the near circle, and wristed one through a screen and past LaVeau to make it 2-2.

A Brandon Wong penalty mid-way through the third period led to yet another shorthanded situation for the Bobcats.  Once again, it was Atkinson who shifted the momentum back to Quinnipiac.  This time, Atkinson took the puck along the far side boards and got tripped up, drawing a delayed penalty call.  Atkinson recovered though, skated past the rest of the Golden Eagles defense, and made a move to slip a shot past LaVeau to give the Bobcats a lead.

With 14 seconds left and the Clarkson net empty, Atkinson intercepted a pass and took it the length of the ice to complete his hat trick.  He now has four goals on the season, and his hat trick was the first of his collegiate career.

Dan Clarke was solid in net on the evening, stopping 34 of the 36 shots he faced.  The Bobcats return to action on Saturday at 4 p.m., when they will take on the St. Lawrence Saints.  That game can be heard on the hockey stream, with the broadcast starting at 3:50.

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