CANTON - Matthew Peca and Kellen Jones scored two goals each and Quinnipiac University put on a special teams clinic in a 8-0 rout of St. Lawrence in a ECAC Hockey game at Appleton Arena Friday night.
The Bobcats, ranked eighth nationally and 22-8-5 overall clinched a first-round bye in the upcoming playoffs and are 12-6-3 in league play. SLU, 12-17-4 overall and 6-11-4 in league play remains in contention for a first-round home ice spot in the playoffs despite the one-sided loss.
Quinnipiac scored on its first five power plays in the game and killed all five Saint power plays including a full two minutes of five-on-three in the first period in rolling to the impressive win.
Peca opened the scoring with a rebound which he snapped inside the far post 8:12 into the first period and freshman Sam Anas scored his 19th of the season at 14:37 on the first Bobcat power play of the night, tapping the puck past Saint starter Matt Weninger after Weninger stopped a shot by Kellen Jones, but couldnt cover the rebound.
Quinnipiac went three for three on the power play in the second period, scoring three times on eight shots with the man advantage to flow it open.
Defenseman Zach Tolkinen scored his third of the year on a shot from the center point 2:24 into the period, Jones scored his first of the night and 17th of the year and Peca scored his second of the night and 12th of the season under two minutes later to make it 5-0 after two.
Quinnipiac, which outshot the Saints 13-4 in the second, tacked on three more in the third period to win going away as the Saints absorbed their worst loss of the season. Kellen Jones scored his second of the night on a nifty backhand past Saint backup goalie Matt MacDonald 7:19 into the third period, Bryce Van Brabant scored the Bobcats fifth power play goal of the night at 9:22 and Travis St. Denis completed the scoring at 15:42 with an even strength goal.
QuInnipiac, one of the nations leading penalty killing teams at over 91 percent, held the Saints scoreless in five opportunities and outshot the Saints 32-24. Goalie Michael Garteig made 24 saves for his sixth shutout of the season while Weninger had 15 saves and MacDonald nine for the Saints.
SLU WOMEN FALL
A pair of early goals by Quinnipiacs Shiann Darkangelo ignited the Bobcats offense, as they went on to blank St. Lawrence, 5-0, in the first game of the best-of-three quarterfinal series at TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn.
Just over four minutes in, senior forward Kelly Babstock intercepted a Saints pass in the neutral zone and skated in one-on-one with sophomore defenseman Dominique Korakianitis. Babstock let go of a shot from the slot and was initially stopped by junior netminder Carmen MacDonald, but the rebound kicked out onto the stick of Darkangelo at the bottom of the circle who one-timed it home to Quinnipiac up 1-0.
Darkangelo added her second of the game at the 7:26 mark, ripping a slapshot just under the crossbar from the top of the left circle off a Babstock faceoff win.
Quinnipiac increased its lead to 3-0 late in the second period off a scramble in front of MacDonald. Cydney Roeslers shot from the right circle ended up tangled in the feet of a cluster of players on the far post and though freshman Brooke Webster laid out in front of the crease while MacDonald sprawled to her right, Nicole Connery was able to lift the puck into the net to send the Bobcats to the locker room with a three-goal cushion.
The Saints had a number of good chances to start the third; including a blast from sophomore Jenna Marks on the power-play that rang off the post and a breakaway by senior co-captain Rylee Smith six minutes into the final frame. Smith created a turnover in the neutral zone, split the defense and skated in on Quinnipiac goaltender Chelsea Laden, but the reigning ECAC Goaltender of the Week stacked the pads to stop Smith and her team picked up the puck and skated into the Saints zone for an offensive rush of their own.
It was Connery who collected the rebound off Smiths attempt and carried along the right wall into the St. Lawrence zone. Coming across the red line towards MacDonald, Connery laid a no-look pass to Amanda Colin who was crashing through the slot. Colin got just enough of the puck to push it passed MacDonald as she fell to the ice to give the Bobcats a 4-0 lead.
With just over two minutes to play in regulation, Emma Woods extended the Quinnipiac lead to 5-0 with a low wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle that squeaked between MacDonalds legs.
MacDonald finished with 24 saves for the Saints, while Laden stopped 28 for the Bobcats.
The Saints will return to TD Bank Sports Center for the second game of the series on Saturday at 4 p.m.