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HAMDEN, Conn. – The No. 14 Quinnipiac University men's ice hockey team completed its two-game sweep of No. 9 UMass Lowell with a 3-1 victory against the River Hawks. With the home-opening win, Quinnipiac improves to 3-1-0 overall while UMass Lowell drops to 1-3-0 on the young season.
The night began with the unveiling of High Point Solutions Arena's new video board that showcased high-definition video for the first time in the arena's history. On hand for the evening's festivities were fan favorites Clay Harvey, Kevin Bui and Eric Hartzell, who were introduced to the capacity crowd of 3,487 before Quinnipiac President John Lahey and Student Government President Matt Destilets presented the crowd with banners commemorating Quinnipiac's 2012-13 ECAC Hockey Regular Season Championship, the Northeast Regional Championship and the Bobcats' magical run to the NCAA Frozen Four.
After the action got under way, Quinnipiac shrugged off an early goal to score three unanswered markers - included a shorthanded goal and a power play goal - as it cruised to the win against the River Hawks.
Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) scored a shorthanded goal and assisted on two more goals while freshman Derek Smith (Apple Valley, Minn.) had two assists. Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) and Jordan Samuels-Thomas (West Hartford, Conn.) both scored for the Bobcats while Zach Tolkinen (Lino Lakes, Minn.) picked up an assist. Samuels-Thomas scored on the power play, giving the Bobcats five power play goals in their last three games.
Michael Garteig (Prince George, British Columbia) had another stellar performance to pick up his third straight victory. Garteig back-stopped the Bobcats to the tune of 19 saves, including denials on a flurry of Grade A opportunities late in the second and through the third period.
UMass Lowell got on the board first when Ryan McGrath collected a rebound off a shot by Jake Suter and jammed the puck under Garteig to give the River Hawks a 1-0 lead just under six minutes into the game. At the 7:31 mark, Quinnipiac responded when Connor Jones took a pass from twin Kellen at center ice. Connor skated through the River Hawks' zone on the right side and fired for the opposite post, beating Lowell's Doug Carr to tie the game, 1-1. Smith was credited with the assist on the play.
Kellen gave the Bobcats the lead when he stole the puck deep in the Bobcats' zone and took off down ice. Jones looked off a defender and then went to the opposite post on Carr to give the Bobcats a 2-1 lead.
Samuels-Thomas scored his second goal in as many nights, this one also on the power-play after netting a marker with a man-advantage on Friday night against the River Hawks. Smith carried the puck up the opposite wall and passed it off to Zach Tolkinen (Lino Lakes, Minn.) at the point. Tolkinen fed Samuels-Thomas, who was all alone in the right face-off circle, who sniped a shot top-shelf to give the Bobcats a two-goal lead, 3-1, heading into the final period.
Quinnipiac returns to action on Tuesday, Oct. 22 when it hosts Bentley University for a non-conference match-up set for 7 p.m. at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn.