Engineers run away with a win against Quinnipiac
With a win against Quinnipiac, the Engineers inch closer to securing home ice advantage for the playoffs.
Before the puck drop, Rensselaer recognized the Albany Bombers, one of the teams in the Albany Gay Hockey Association, and invited the Albany Gay Men’s Choir to sing the national anthems as part of Pride Night.
RPI began the game by dealing massive hits to the Bobcats and interrupting their attacks as early as possible. With 14:25 left to play in the first period, the Engineers showed their dominance with a quick shot that rang off the post. The Engineers intensified as the period progressed, leading shots on goal 6‒3 with 10:45 remaining.
With 5:15 left to play in the first period, Quinnipiac’s Ethan Leyh tripped Patrick Polino ’20, granting the Engineers their second power play of the night. A minute later, the Engineers won a faceoff and Will Reilly ’20 ripped a shot that was tipped by Todd Burgess ’20 into the mask of goalie Keith Petruzzelli. Thirty seconds after the shot by Reilly, the puck fell to Burgess, who failed to convert on the backhand rebound. Before the power play expired, Reilly took a shot from the right wing that sailed into the top left corner to put the Engineers up 1‒0. Going into the first intermission, the Engineers led 1‒0 with a 12‒9 shots on goal advantage.
After playing 2:30 of the second period, Chase Zieky ’20 was called for hooking to give the Bobcats their first power play. RPI’s penalty kill was fantastic, quickly closing down on their opponents before they could get a shot off; Quinnipiac recorded zero shots during Zieky’s stay in the penalty box. With 13:56 left to play in the period, Mason Klee ’23 was called for a hook, bringing the Engineers down to four men once again. After 50 seconds of play, a shot from Peter Diliberatore was initially saved by Owen Savory ’22, but the rebound fell to the stick of Odeen Tufto. Savory was quick to react and was forced to sprawl in order to keep the puck out of the net.
The Engineers were short-handed again as Rory Herrman ’23 was sent to the box. At the halfway point of the period, the Bobcats’ Alex Whelan dropped the puck back to Karlis Cukste, who already raised his stick to prepare for a slapshot. The puck cannoned off of Cukste’s stick but Savory saved the shot to preserve the lead. With 8:08 left to play in the second frame, Nick Jermain tried to jam the puck between Savory’s left pad and the post, but Savory made the stop. On a counterattack before the end of the period, Ture Linden ’22 lured his defender out of position and dropped the puck to a trailing Reilly. With expert stickhandling, Reilly maneuvered the puck around the stick of a sliding Diliberatore and was through on goal. He lost control of the puck before he could direct it where he intended, so Petruzzelli was able to make the save. At the end of the second period, the score remained 1‒0 with Quinnipiac leading shots on goal 20‒16.
In the third period, the Engineers showed no signs of weakness as they kept up their intensity. With 14:36 left to play, Tristan Ashbrook ’23 gained possession of the puck after checking William Fällström. Ashbrook’s pass back to Ottoville Leppänen ’22 was deflected, causing Leppänen to slip the puck in front of goal behind an out of position Petruzzelli; the puck was centered into the crease but was cleared before an Engineer could make contact.
With 8:39 remaining, Quinnipiac’s Ethan De Jong was called for hooking. A minute later, the Engineers had a five-on-three as Whelan was called for slashing. With 7:03 left to play, Reilly sent the puck across the ice to Burgess, whose shot found the bottom left corner of the net and gave RPI a two-goal lead. With 4:21 left to play in the period, Quinnipiac pulled their goalie to gain a man-advantage. However, Jake Marrello ‘20 won possession of the puck and slid the puck into an empty goal to give RPI a 3‒0 lead.
With 3:15 left to play in the period, Mike Gornall ’20 went to catch an aerial puck. Diliberatore then delivered a high hit to a defenseless Gornall, warranting a review for a possible ejection due to the dangerous nature of such a hit. With 30 seconds left to play in the game, Gornall took a shot that was deflected. Ashbrook picked up the deflected puck, switched it onto his backhand, and scored before Quinnipiac netminder Petruzzelli was able to shift to his right.
The game ended with RPI taking the victory 4‒0, but Quinnipiac led shots on goal 37‒25. The victory over Quinnipiac brought the Engineers’ league points total to 21. Since Brown won against Colgate, RPI did not clinch home ice advantage for the playoffs with their win.
The playoff situation for the Engineers may be impacted by their game against Princeton.