HAMDEN, Conn. – The No. 6 Quinnipiac men's ice hockey team defeated Harvard, 3-2, to run its NCAA-best unbeaten streak to 11 games (10-0-1). Quinnipiac improves to 10-1-1 overall and 4-0-1 in ECAC Hockey while Harvard drops to 2-4-1 overall and 1-4-1 in league play.
Freshman Brayden Sherbinin (Kelowna, British Columbia) scored his first career goal and in the process joined classmate Derek Smith (Apple Valley, Minn.) as the only two players in Quinnipiac history to score on their first career shots.
Cory Hibbeler (St. Charles, Mo.) and Jordan Samuels-Thomas (West Hartford, Conn.) both scored for the Bobcats while Alex Barron (Glendora, Calif.) had two assists. Sam Anas (Potomac, Md.) ran his team-best point streak to eight games with an assist. In goal, Michael Garteig (Prince George, British Columbia) stopped 31 of Harvard's 33 shots on goal to improve to 10-1-1 on the season.
Sherbinin, appearing in his first career game, wasted little time breaking into the scoring column when he one-timed a pass from Tim Clifton (Matawan, N.J.) and beat Harvard goalie Rafael Girard and give Quinnipiac an early, 1-0 lead. Barron started the play, putting the puck on Clifton's stick as the first-year Bobcat slid around the Harvard net. Clifton popped out to Girard's left and ripped a pass to Sherbinin, who was crashing the net. Sherbinin's goal and Clifton's assist were their first career points.
It was Barron again on Quinnipiac's second goal when he picked up the puck off the boards and sent it cross-ice to Devon Toews (Abbotsford, British Columbia). Toews blasted a shot from the point that Hibbeler tipped between Girard's pads. The puck dribbled over the goal line to give the Bobcats a two-goal lead with just under eight minutes to play in the first.
In the second period, Harvard's Jason Esposito was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct before Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) was hit with a five-minute face-masking penalty and a game misconduct. After Harvard killed Esposito's penalty, the Crimson had three minutes remaining with a man-advantage. Kyle Criscuolo scored with 45-seconds left on the Crimsons' power-play, banging home his fourth goal of the year when he one-timed a loose puck in the slot past Quinnipiac goalie Michael Garteig (Prince George, British Columbia) to cut the Bobcats' lead in half, 2-1.
Less than five minutes into the third period, Samuels-Thomas scored his sixth goal of the year to give Quinnipiac a 3-1 lead. Sam Anas (Potomac, Md.) tipped the puck behind the Bobcats' net where Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) picked it up and attempted to tuck inside the short-side post. As a Harvard defender slid down to stop him, Jones spun and found Samuels-Thomas in the nearside face-off circle. Samuels-Thomas one-timed a shot through traffic, beating Girard and giving Quinnipiac a two-goal lead.
With 8:50 to play, a scrum in front of Quinnipiac's resulted in a Harvard goal when the Bobcats failed to clear the puck out of the crease. Jimmy Vesey's fourth goal of the year pulled the Crimson within a goal with 8:50 to play. Quinnipiac was able to hold on in the closing minutes to preserve the win.
Quinnipiac is back in action on Saturday, Nov. 16 when it hosts Dartmouth in an ECAC Hockey match-up at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center at 7 p.m.