Quin­nip­iac men’s hockey team shuts out No. 1 UMass

Shor­tridge, Bob­cats blank top-ranked Min­ute­men

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Michael Forn­abaio

HAMDEN — The No. 1 team in the coun­try fi­nally showed up at Quin­nip­iac in the sec­ond pe­riod Fri­day night. The Bob­cats’ goalie was ready for them.

UMass pep­pered An­drew Shor­tridge from all an­gles in the last 40 min­utes, but the ju­nior from Alaska stopped all 32 shots on net in Quin­nip­iac’s 4-0 win in front of 3,625 fans at Per­rotti Arena.

“That was the best game I’ve ever seen him play,” said se­nior Craig Martin, who scored the Bob­cats’ third and fourth goals in the third pe­riod. “That was in­cred­i­ble, the best game I’ve ever seen a goalie play, I think.”

The eighth-ranked Bob­cats (14-2), who have won seven in a row, scored on the first shift of the game, Wy­att Bon­gio­vanni pot­ting the re­bound of a Chase Priskie shot 42 sec­onds in.

Quin­nip­iac dom­i­nated the first pe­riod; Shor­tridge dom­i­nated the last two. He has back-to­back shutouts and hasn’t al­lowed a goal in eight sec­onds shy of 125 min­utes.

“I just try to keep it sim­ple, fo­cus in on the mo­ment, go save by save and work my way through the game,” said Shor­tridge, 6-0 while split­ting time of late with sopho­more Keith Petruzzelli.

“For my­self, I don’t re­ally think about (the saves), just re­act to what­ever comes to me and try to fo­cus on the mo­ment, the here and now, in­stead of the past or present.”

UMass played its first game ever as the No. 1 col­lege hockey team in the nation, at least in the U.S. Col­lege Hockey On­line poll; the USA To­day/USA Hockey poll put them sec­ond, be­hind St. Cloud State.

The packed house matched the en­ergy on the ice, a game be­tween two speedy, skilled teams, and the Bob­cats’ se­niors said they hadn’t seen an at­mos­phere like that since the school reached the na­tional cham­pi­onship game when they were fresh­men in 2015-16.

“Give a lot of credit to Quin­nip­iac. They were ex­cited to play us,” said UMass coach Greg Carvel, whose team is 12-2. “I’m ac­tu­ally kind of glad we lost, to get past this ‘No. 1’ thing and get back to be­ing hockey play­ers.”

The teams meet again Satur­day night in Amherst, Mass., and the Min­ute­men ex­pect a sell­out at the Mullins Cen­ter.

The Min­ute­men botched some rushes Fri­day, fanned on some op­por­tu­ni­ties, after the Bob­cats kept pres­sure on most of the first pe­riod.

“I thought we re­grouped and were play­ing very well in the sec­ond pe­riod, a lot of pucks bounc­ing around the goal­tender,” Carvel said. “The fact that none of those found the back of the net was kind of in­dica­tive of our com­pete level.”

But they had some beau­ties, and Shor­tridge was al­ways there.

“He’s a lit­tle calmer in net” than in the past, Bob­cats coach Rand Pec­knold said, and Shor­tridge said he’s just try­ing to keep things sim­ple.

“I thought tonight he was ahead of the play a lot. He was al­ready there, which is where you want your goalies to be.”

You could put a star on four or five of his stops. Brett Boe­ing’s back­han­der mid­way through the third, tick­eted for an open cage, that Shor­tridge kicked past the right post with his left toe. A cou­ple of stops on Philip La­gunov in front late in the sec­ond.

Ear­lier in the sec­ond, he moved quickly left to stop Bobby Triv­i­gno’s el­e­vated back­han­der from close range. He got his right pad to the post be­fore Mitchell Chaf­fee’s stuff at­tempt from the side of the net got to the goal line, keep­ing it a 1-0 game.

The of­fi­cials re­viewed that play at the next stop­page and kept their no­goal call. Off the next face­off, the fourth line scored, Zach Metsa from Hamden’s Joe O’Con­nor, both nat­u­ral de­fense­men pressed into duty on the wings.

“We’re a lit­tle banged up,” said Pec­knold, who won his 499th ca­reer game. “I thought O.C. and Metsa were re­ally good tonight. They gave us some good shifts, some good en­ergy.”

John Vana­core / For Hearst Connecticut Me­dia

Quin­nip­iac’s Wy­att Bon­gio­vanni, right, cel­e­brates his open­ing-minute goal with Odeen Tufto dur­ing their 4-0 win over UMass Fri­day night in Hamden.

John Vana­core / For Hearst Connecticut Me­dia

Quin­nip­iac goal­tender An­drew Shor­tridge makes a stop against UMass for­ward Ge­orge Mika on Fri­day night in Hamden.

John Vana­core /For Hearst Connecticut Me­dia

Quin­nip­iac’s Joe O'Con­nor bat­tles to clear the puck against UMass on Fri­day.

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