TROY, N.Y. – The nationally-ranked No. 16 Quinnipiac men's ice hockey team improved to 6-0-0 in ECAC Hockey play with a 3-1 win against Rensselaer at Houston Field House in Troy, N.Y. The Bobcats, in first place in the ECAC Hockey standings, run their undefeated streak to eight games at 7-0-1 while improving to 10-3-2 overall. RPI drops to 3-6-3 overall and 0-5-1 in league play.
Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia), Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) and Clay Harvey (Gull Lake, Saskatchewan) all scored for Quinnipiac. Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia), Bryce Van Brabant (Morinville, Ontario) set up Kellen's goal while Peca's game-winner came with the Bobcats skating short-handed, 5-on-3. Zach Davies (Smithers, British Columbia) was credited with an assist after he blocked a shot and left the puck for Peca. Harvey had an empty-netter to give Quinnipiac a two-goal lead with just over a minute to play in regulation. Quinnipiac's penalty-kill unit was a perfect 8-for-8 for the night.
In goal, Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.) stopped 21 of RPI's 22 shots on goal to improve to 10-2-2 overall. He also picks up his 33rd career win, good for third place all-time at Quinnipiac.
The Bobcats went on the power play for the first time in the game after RPI's Ryan Haggerty was called for a cross check on an open-ice hit on Peca. Connor Jones tipped the puck deep into the Engineers' defensive zone where Van Brabant picked it up. Skating along the boards, Van Brabant tipped the puck over to Kellen just as he was getting checked. Kellen skated out to center ice and beat RPI goalie Jason Kasdorf, bar-down, to give Quinnipiac a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
With seven minutes to play in the second period, Mike Zalewski took a pass from Milos Bubela and stepped through traffic in the face-off circle to the left of Quinnipiac goalie Eric Hartzell. Zalewski fired a shot to the far post to beat Hartzell and tie the game, 1-1. The goal ended a run of 114:24 consecutive scoreless minutes stretching back to the Bobcats' tie at UMass on Saturday, Nov. 27.
Peca's goal came with 8:29 left in the game after Quinnipiac was called for a pair of penalties that gave RPI a 5-on-3 advantage. Peca intercepted a pass between the face-off circles in Quinnipiac's defensive zone and took off up-ice. Peca beat RPI's Marty O'Grady to the puck and tipped a shot past Kasdorf to give Quinnipiac a one-goal lead.
Quinnipiac returns to action next weekend when it hosts Princeton on Friday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center. The Bobcats and Tigers will then face-off again on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. from Hobey Baker Memorial Rink in Princeton, N.J.