Fast Start Propels Quinnipiac Past St. Cloud
Three goals in 11 minutes gives Quinnipiac a lead it wouldn't relinquish
by Mike McMahon/Staff Writer
PITTSBURGH Since they entered the NCAA tournament as the top overall seed as top team in the PairWise, a title they held from wire-to-wire this season, the Quinnipiac Bobcats have repeatedly been asked to answer the critics.
After coming from behind late to beat Canisius in the first round, throngs of naysayers screamed that they didn’t deserve their spot.
Even a convincing win over Union, which manhandled Boston College the night before, did little to silence them.
After a dominating performance in a win over St. Cloud State, 4-1, in the national semifinals, the Bobcats are just one win away from superglueing those doubters’ mouths shut for good, and winning a national championship in the process.
“I don't think it was our best game of the year,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “I don't think we played perfect. But we battled and found a way to score goals and got that nice lead early.”
It didn’t take long for the Bobcats to put a stranglehold on the game.
Just 1:49 into the first period, Jordan Samuels-Thomas went to the corner to take part in a puck battle and came away from the rubber behind the net, beating Ryan Faragher on the inside post.
Ben Arnt made the lead 2-0 just over three minutes later when Samuels-Thomas toppled a few Huskies down low before feeding his teammate in front.
Things kept deteriorating for the Huskies. At the 11:19 mark of the first, Jeremy Langois deposited a juicy rebound off Faragher’s right pad to make it 3-0.
“We’d do anything to have the first 11 minutes of that game back,” St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko said.
After that, the Bobcats could put it in cruise control.
Joey Benik cut the deficit to 3-1 at the 6:25 mark of the second period, but there was little doubt about the outcome.
Kellen Jones’ goal eight minutes later made it a 4-1 game in favor of the Bobcats.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “It’s been a great year and I think the whole team is really excited. I think we earned it. I’m really excited.”