Hamden, CT — Quinnipiac and Yale are only separated by eight miles on Whitney Avenue. The two schools are close, meaning the hockey between the two southern Connecticut schools is fierce. On Friday night, the Elis traveled to Quinnipiac looking to climb the ECAC standings in a sold-out road rink. Instead, York Hill turned into a shooting gallery and the Bobcats had the better end on Hero’s Hat Night at the People’s United Center.
The opening frame was entirely dominated by Quinnipiac, who outshot Yale 24-7 and out-chanced their guests 35-11. Junior goalie Corbin Kaczperski held his own but did yield one goal in the opener. After some sustained pressure, Nick Jermain thread a backhander through traffic for the first goal of his season to give the home team the lead permanently.
Quinnipiac ballooned the lead with a strong second period open. Only 2:13 in, Peter Diliberatore caught Kaczperski off balance and fed a short pass to William Fallstrom across the crease. With the goalie down, QU’s sophomore Sweed roofed a shot for his sixth goal of the season. Only 2:24 later, Luke Shiplo found space inside the left circle and fired a seeing-eye wrister through Kaczperski for a 3-0 lead. The remainder of the second’s pace belonged to Quinnipiac as they dominated the shot counter 13-4.
Yale generated more offense in a chippy third period but could not crack Andrew Shortridge. The junior from Anchorage Alaska stopped all 12 3rd period Yale shots and all 23 shots for his fourth shutout of the season and tenth of his career. Quinnipiac landed one final goal in the waning seconds when Michael Lombardi cleaned up a puck on the crease for a 4-0 final, a three-game winning streak against Yale, a four-game home-winning streak vs the Elis, and a ten-game point streak in the series atop York Hill.
Corbin Kaczperski set a career high with 46 saves, ten more than his previous high of 36 from a year ago, set on February 17th, 2018, against Cornell.
Yale drops to 11-8-3 overall and 9-5-1 in ECAC play. They stay at 19 conference points and fall to fourth place in ECAC play. The Bulldogs travel to play Princeton at Hobey Baker Rink tomorrow night and return home for a series with Colgate and Cornell at Ingalls. Puck drops at 7 pm for all remaining Yale regular season games.
Rand Pecknold spoke well of his team in the postgame. “I thought it was a great effort tonight. The boys were locked in, the forwards were excellent, for 60 minutes Shorty did his job, the rink was rocking, great atmosphere, and we had to take advantage. That’s a very good Yale team.”
Brandon Fortunato did not play in this game at all due to injury.
Quinnipiac improves to 21-5-1 overall and 10-4-1 in ECAC play. The win puts the Bobcats above both Harvard and Yale for sole possession of second place in the conference. Pecknold’s squad trails Cornell by one point, 22-21. QU hosts the Brown Bears tomorrow night at the People’s United Center, then travels to New York’s Capital region for a weekend set with Union College on Friday night and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday night. Puck drop is at 7 pm for all remaining Quinnipiac regular season games.