HAMDEN, Conn. - The No. 12/11 Quinnipiac University men's ice hockey team lost to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 4-1, in an ECAC Hockey match-up at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn. With the loss, Quinnipiac drops to 13-6-1 overall and 7-5-0 in ECAC Hockey play while RPI improves to 11-10-1 overall and 4-4-0 in league action.
Scott Zurevinski (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) joined Brandon Wong (Victoria, B.C.) as the second Bobcat to reach double-digits goals with his 10th of the season less than five minutes into the third period. With the Bobcats trailing 3-0, Eric Lampe (Madison, Wisc.) handled the puck and sent it to Greg Holt (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.). Holt then fed Zurevinski to the left of RPI goalie Allen York. Zurevinski faked a shot then cut behind the net and beat York on a wrap-around to put Quinnipiac on the board and cut the RPI lead to 3-1. Lampe picked up his team-leading 15th assist of the season, while Holt was credited with his 10th of the year.
Both teams played to a scoreless tie through the first period of play. Quinnipiac outshot RPI 14-5 through the first period and 27-10 through the second. For the game, Quinnipiac held the Engineers to just 15 shots while rattling off 37 on York, who turned back 36 for the victory. Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, MInn.) lasted two periods for Quinnipiac in net, totaling seven saves on 10 shots on goal. He was lifted after the second period in favor of classmate Mathieu Cadieux (Oshawa, Ont.). Cadieux stopped all four RPI shots-on-goal.
Chase Polacek assisted on three of RPI's four goals, all of which came in the second period on special teams. The Engineers' first two goals came with Quinnipiac on the power play. At the 3:19 mark, Peter Merth connected with Polacek who put a shot on goal. Jordan Watts collected the rebound off the pipe and dropped in his first goal of the season, a shorthanded marker that gave RPI a 1-0 lead.
Polacek picked up his second assist less than three minutes later. With Quinnipiac once-again on the power play, Polacek beat the Quinnipiac defense into the Bobcats' zone and put a shot on net. Hartzell was able to knock it down, but Marty O'Grady collected the rebound and tipped it past Hartzell to give RPI a 2-0 lead. RPI scored once again, with less than two minutes to play in the period, when Joel Malchuk scored his fourth goal of the year. Polacek picked up an assist on the play, his 17th of the year, while freshman Brandon Pirri was credited with his 16th of the season.
Following Zurevinski's goal at the 4:49 mark of the third period, both teams played it even before Ryan Brutlag netted his fourth goal of the year to give RPI the 4-1 decision.
Quinnipiac hits the ice again on Saturday, Jan. 9 when it hosts No. 17 Union College at 7 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn. Union comes to Hamden with a record of 11-4-5 overall and 5-0-3 in ECAC Hockey following a 7-3 drubbing of Princeton University tonight. The Dutchmen have lost just once in their last 15 games, posting a 9-1-5 record.