BELFAST, Northern Ireland –Quinnipiac freshman Nick Jermain’s (Cos Cob, New York) shoot-out goal against ECAC Hockey foe St. Lawrence was the difference in leading the nationally-ranked No.3/4 Bobcats to the 2016 Friendship Four Championship Game. The game registers as a 0-0 tie in the official standings, but the lone shoot-out goal sets up a match-up against Vermont at SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2:30 PM EST for the Belpot trophy.
Jermain’s goal may not count towards his statistics but it was enough to help the Bobcats advance in the tournament. Quinnipiac goalie Chris Truehl (Madison, Wisconsin) had arguably his best game as a Bobcat after turning back all 30 of St. Lawrence’s shots-on-goal for his first shutout of the season, and first as a Bobcat since transferring from Air Force before the 2015-16 season, and the fourth of his career.
Truehl was tested early as St. Lawrence peppered him with 14 shots in the first frame. Despite being out-shot in the period, Quinnipiac had several scoring opportunities that featured a shot by Chase Priskie (Pembroke Pines, Florida) glancing off the crossbar and a failed power play.
Coming out of the first period, momentum swung Quinnipiac’s way as they blasted St. Lawrence goalie Kyle Hayton with 17 shots in the middle frame while allowing just three on-goal by the Saints’ offense.
Deadlocked at 0-0 heading into the final period, a back-and-forth battled ensued that was highlighted by a major penalty on St. Lawrence and a five-minute power play for the Bobcats. Despite not being able to convert on a flurry of chances, the Bobcats also clamped down on the defensive end and stifled St. Lawrence’s offense that heaved 14 shots on Truehl down the stretch.
After a scoreless five-minute overtime, the enthused crowd of 5,000-plus at SSE Arena rose to their feet as Landon Smith (Greenwood Village, Colorado) strode to the center face-off dot. Smith’s attempt sailed wide of Hayton, setting up St. Lawrence’s Drew Smolcynski. Smolcynski’s bid was turned back by Truehl, who also stopped Gavin Bayreuther and finally Mike Marnell to empty the Bobcats’ bench in celebration.
Just prior to Marnell’s denial, Jermain scored the shoot-outs only goal. The freshman Bobcat started out with the puck on his backhand as he carried it to the face-off circle to Hayton’s left. Once he stepped between the face-off circle, he went to his forehand and was able to make Hayton commit before switching back to his back-hand. With Hayton reeling, Jermain calmly flipped a shot past the St. Lawrence goalie to give the Bobcats the deciding marker.
Quinnipiac and Vermont will hit the ice at 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) at SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland in a game that can be seen live on NESN, SNY, TSN 2 and Americansportsnet.com.