Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey head coach Rand Pecknold registered his 400th career win as the nationally-ranked No. 14 Bobcats defeated UMass, 3-1, in Amherst, Mass.
Sophomore Tim Clifton found the back of the net twice to lead the No. 14-ranked Quinnipiac men’s hockey team to a 3-1 victory over the University of Massachusetts Minutemen before 1,911 fans at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass., on Saturday night. The win avenges a 4-3 upset loss to these same Minutemen at High Point Solutions Center in Hamden on Saturday night.
Midway through the first period, with the Bobcats on a 5-on-3 power play, Clifton scored the game’s first goal—his fourth tally of the season—when redirected by Justin Agosta’s blast from the point past UMass netminder Henry Dill. Derek Smith picked up the helper on Quinnipiac’s first power play goal over the past three games.
UMass knotted the score at one goal apiece just under two minutes later. After Quinnipiac’s Kevin McKernan was sent to the penalty box for holding, Quinnipiac gained control of the puck in the UMass zone, but Ben Gallacher knocked the rubber biscuit away, and teammate Frank Vatrano gained control of the loose puck near the left faceoff circle, where he beat Bobcat freshman goalie Sean Lawrence to make it 1-1 with 2:11 left in the first period.
The score remained tied until Clifton netted his second goal of the game—a one-timer from the slot—to give the Minutemen a 2-1 lead 1:47 into the third period. The Bobcats closed out the scoring on a power play goal from Sam Anas at the 7:15 mark. Devon Towes and Landon Smith picked up helpers on Anas’s 10th goal of the 2014-15 campaign.
Shortly after Quinnipiac was whistled for a penalty, the Bobcats regained control of the puck deep in the UMass zone with Travis St. Denis carrying it behind the UMass goal. St. Denis, who hails from Trail, British Columbia, proceeded to thread the needle between two UMass defenders and found Clifton in the slot who promptly deposited it in the back of the net for the game-winner.
The win—the ninth of the season for the Bobcats—was also the 400th career victory for Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold. He becomes the fourth coach in Quinnipiac men’s hockey history to reach the lofty plateau, joining Burt Kahn, Mike Quitko and Dan Gooley in the “400 Club.”
Meanwhile, Lawrence (1-0-1) turned aside 17 of the 18 shots the Minutemen put on goal to earn the first win of his NCAA Division 1 career. Clifton’s two-goal performance—the first multiple-goal game of his career—makes him the fifth Bobcat this season to post a two-goal night joining Sam Anas, Landon Smith, Alex Barron and Travis St. Denis.
Next up, the Bobcats will entertain the 3-3-1 Big Green of Dartmouth College on Friday night. Face-off at High Point Solutions Arena is slated for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on WQUN 1220AM.