TROY, N.Y. – Facing a two-goal deficit early in the first period, the No. 5 nationally-ranked Quinnipiac men's ice hockey team battled back and scored a 3-3 tie against Rensselaer. The Bobcats scored two goals in the second period while junior Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) scored the game-tying goal with 8:23 remaining in the third period to cap the come-from-behind result. Quinnipiac's record moves to 13-2-3 (6-1-2 ECAC Hockey) while the Engineers record stands at 7-5-2 (2-3-3 ECAC Hockey).
Peca's goal was his fourth on the season while senior Zach Tolkinen (Lino Lakes, Minn.) and freshman San Anas (Potomac, Maryland) proved the scoring for the Bobcats. It was Quinnipiac's second time this season coming back to erase a two-goal deficit as they also did so back on Oct. 25, 2013 against Holy Cross. Anas' goal bumps his scoring streak up to five games as the nation's leading freshman scorer has now tallied a point in 13 out of the last 14 games.
The nation's leading goal scorer Ryan Haggerty struck first early in the first period at 3:16 as he skated from the far side boards with the puck on his backhand. He beat the Quinnipiac defender to the far post and his backhanded flip on net from a wide angle beat sophomore Michael Garteig (Prince George, B.C.) high and gave the Engineers the lead.
The puck continued to find Haggerty's stick less than three minutes later as Garteig made an initial save with his pads on a shot from the near side faceoff dot. The sophomore goalie then attempted to clear the puck out wide but Haggerty was in the right place at the right time as he banged home his 17th goal with his skate while trying to shield off a Quinnipiac defender.
Garteig was unbelievable in the second period as he started the frame with a sprawling pad stop to his right on an RPI two-on-one breakaway attempt. Later in the stanza he flicked his left leg pad out to deny another prime scoring opportunity for the Engineers.
Meanwhile the Quinnipiac offense picked up the pace with 13 shots-on-goal in the second compared to just four in the first. Faced with the two-goal deficit the Bobcats scored their first of the game at 2:12 on a ripped slap shot from the point by Tolkinen. The senior defenseman took a pass from freshman Devon Toews (Abbotsford, B.C.) and blasted a shot top-shelf off the post and in for his second goal of the season.
The teams skated back-and-forth throughout a majority of the second period until Anas struck with nearly two minutes remaining to tie the score at 2-2. Junior Dan Federico (Acton, Mass.) spotted Anas across the neutral zone at the blue line and found him with the pass. The nation's leading freshman scorer did what he's done all year as he skated in on Scott Diebold, deeked back-and-forth three times before sliding one past the RPI goalie five-hole. Anas' goal extended his scoring streak to five games as he has now registered a point in 13 out of the past 14 games.
Rensselaer came out of the locker room and took a 3-2 lead off the stick of Chris Bradley just 1:02 into the third. Bradley's shot from the near side boards made its way through traffic and beat Garteig on the stick side.
With Quinnipiac on the power play midway through the third, Peca slammed home a rebound goal in front of Diebold at 11:30. The play developed quickly as Toews found senior Connor Jones (Montrose, B.C.) in the neutral zone. Jones skated into the RPI zone and put a shot-on-goal that was initially saved but left in front. Peca beat the Engineer defender to the puck and flicked in the game-tying goal.
Both sides played to a scoreless overtime frame with prime scoring chances coming from both ends but to no avail as the game ended in the 3-3 tie.
The No. 5 Bobcats will finish up their weekend in the Capital District with a matchup against No. 11 Union on Saturday night at 7:00 pm.