October 6, 2013

Jordan Samuels-Thomas and Connor Jones Lead No. 10/11 Bobcats To 7-2 Win Against Saint Mary's

HAMDEN, Conn. – The nationally-ranked No. 10/11 Quinnipiac men's ice hockey team skated to a 7-2 win against Saint Mary's in an exhibition game played at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center.

Quinnipiac seniors Jordan Samuels-Thomas (Windsor, Conn.) and Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) scored twice, with Samuels-Thomas also picking up an assist. Peter Quenneville (Edmonton, Alberta), Matt Lemire (Townsend, Mass.) and Connor Clifton (Matawan, N.J.) also scored for Quinnipiac, with Lemire and Quenneville both assisting on goals as well, while Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) had two assists. Michael Garteig (Prince George, British Columbia) got the start in goal, stopping all eight shots he saw in his 35 minutes of play before giving way to freshman Brady Rouleau (Lethridge, Alberta) late in the second with a 5-0 lead.

Quenneville put the Bobcats on the board with less than three minutes to play in the first period. Samuels-Thomas took control of the puck, skated behind the Saint Mary's goal and, on the wrap-around, left the puck in the crease where Quenneville one-timed off the post. Moments later, with the Bobcats on the power play, it was Soren Jonzzon (Mountainview, Calif.) hooking up with Lemire on a pass from the boards to Lemire's tape for the one-timer.

Coming out of the first intermission, Quinnipiac took advantage of another Saint Mary's penalty, as Samuels-Thomas scored the first of his two goals. Zach Tolkinen (Lino Lakes, Minn.) took a pass from Kellen Jones at the right point and ripped a shot through traffic. Samuels-Thomas, who was screening Huskies goalie Anthony Peters, tipped the puck to the back of the net to give the Bobcats a three-goal lead. Samuels-Thomas scored again, on the power play, when Quenneville fed him just above the blue line where he split two defenders before going to his backhand to beat Peters between the pads and put Quinnipiac out in front, 4-0. 

Two minutes later, Connor Jones got in on the act when he sniped a shot over the left shoulder of Peters to give Quinnipiac a five-goal lead with sixteen minutes to play in the period. Quinnipiac had a shot from the point blocked by a Saint Mary's skater before freshman Sam Anas (Potomac, Md.) reached from behind the Huskies player, stole the puck and dropped it back to Cory Hibbeler (St. Charles, Mo.). Hibbeler touch-passed the puck across the ice to Jones who was waiting, wide open, for his first goal. His second came with the Bobcats' shorthanded after he jumped on the ice during a line change and was immediately spied by his brother, Kellen. Connor skated behind the Huskies' defense and wristed a shot from the top of the face-off circle over the glove of Peters.

With one minute left in the second period, Steven Beyers got the Huskies on the board with assists from Cory Tanaka and Francis Menard.

Quinnipiac started the third period on the power play and it was Clifton scoring on a blast from above the right face-off circle to give Quinnipiac its seventh goal of the night. Brooks Robinson (Duncan, British Columbia) dug the puck out the corner and sent it to Lemire. Lemire skated up the boards and snapped the puck over to Clifton who wound up and sent a shot through a crowd, beating SMU goalie Curtis Black to give Quinnipiac a 7-1 lead. Midway through the third period, Huskies' right wing Michael Strickland scored on a pass from Cory Tanaka to cut Quinnipiac's lead to 7-2.

Quinnipiac opens the regular season on Friday, Oct. 11 when it takes on Alaska-Anchorage at the Kendall Hockey Classic in Anchorage, Alaska. The game is slated for a 12:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time puck-drop. The Bobcats will then face Alaska-Fairbanks on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.