HAMDEN, Connecticut – A capacity crowd of 3,144 Bobcat fans were in attendance in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the opening of the TD Bank Sports Center to see the nationally-ranked No. 17 Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey defeat Arizona State, 5-2. The non-conference win pushed the Bobcats to 14-10-2 with the win while Arizona State drops to 9-18-2 to date.
Chase Priskie (Pembroke Pines, Florida) doubled his season goal total with a pair of power-play goals to lead the Bobcats, while Brogan Rafferty (Dundee, Illinois) added to his team-leading assist total with helpers on both of Priskie’s goals.
The Bobcats power-play unit scored three times on the night as Bo Pieper (Roseville, Minnesota) also scored his ninth goal of the year – good for the second in the Bobcats’ line-up. Connor Clifton (Matawan, New Jersey) and Alex Whelan (Ramsey, New Jersey) also scored. Quinnipiac has now scored four-or-more goals in three of its last four games after posting six-straight games of three-or-fewer goals. Quinnipiac also out-shot Arizona State, 57-22, for its largest shot-differential of the season. In goal, Andrew Shortridge (Anchorage, Alaska) recorded 20 saves for the win.
Clifton’s third goal of the season came in just a few ticks over the three-minute mark when he picked up off a pass in the neutral zone and bullied his way through the Sun Devils’ defensive end and popped the puck past ASU goalie Robert Levin to put Quinnipiac on the board. The goal was Clifton’s first since Nov. 19 at Colgate and his first overall point since Dec. 3.
Pieper’s goal came with a little more than three minutes to play in the period when he picked up a loose puck and slapped it past Levin. Tanner MacMaster (Calgary, Alberta) carried the puck over the blue line and handed it to Thomas Aldworth (Heller, Texas) who sent the puck on goal. It glanced off the stick of K.J. Tiefenwerth (Bellmore, New York), who was crashing the net, and came to rest in the slot where Pieper cleaned it up.
Whelan’s second goal of the season, and of his career, came just 14-seconds into the second period. Karlis Cukste (Riga, Latvia) carried the puck, and two ASU defenders, along the boards before fired a shot on goal. Pieper stepped in front of the shot and deflected it off of Levin before Whelan walked across the crease and fired a back-hand shot past a sprawled-out Levin to give Quinnipiac a 3-0 lead.
Coming out of the second break, the Bobcats found themselves on the power play after a penalty with 16-seconds left in the second period. Tim Clifton (Matawan, New Jersey) won the face-off in ASU’s zone back to Rafferty who ripped the puck across the ice to Priskie. With Priskie winding-up, Landon Smith (Greenwood Village, Colorado) provided the screen for Priskie’s one-timer to beat Levin and give the Bobcats a 4-0 lead.
After ASU’s Wade Murphy scored, Priskie’s second goal of the night came off a pass from Rafferty again after Craig Martin (Trail, British Columbia) moved the puck to the point. Rafferty stepped between the face-off circles, faked a back-hand pass back to Martin and zipped the puck over to Priskie for the one-timer that clanged off the near-side post and in to give the Bobcats a 5-1 lead. ASU’s Jack Rowe scored with less than three minutes to play to pull the Sun Devils within three.
Quinnipiac will return to action for the second game of its two-game set against the Sun Devils on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center.