Part 1 of the MAAC Hockey League Challenge was played Friday, November 15, 2002 at the Arena @ Harbor Yard, the home of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League. Part 1 consisted of two games, in the first game the Huskies of the University of Connecticut took on the Pioneers of Sacred Heart University. The second game saw the Bobcats of Quinnipiac University play the Stags of Fairfield University.
GAME 1 – UNIVERSITY of CONNECTICUT vs. SACRED HEART UNIVERSITY
There is an old saying in hockey that goes “Control the face-offs, and you control the game.” The Sacred Heart Pioneers proved this wrong, as they were leading after the first period but losing the face-offs 16-8. The Pioneers were also leading in the shots on goal category 10-7.
The Pioneers took an early lead when Junior Marc-Andre Fournier of St. Nicholas, Quebec, Canada scored on the first shot of the game at just 23 seconds into the first period. Fournier scored his second goal of the game about ten minutes later to give the Pioneers a two goal lead. The U-Conn Huskies cut the lead in half when Freshman Chris Uber of Ithaca, NY scored with under five minutes left in the period.
The Huskies tied the game just one minute into the second period when Senior D.J. Miller scored his second goal of the season. The Pioneers took their second lead of the game when Sophomore Ryan Brummner of Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada scored with just under seven minutes left in the period.
The third period saw the Pioneers just dominate the Huskies. The Pioneers scored twice within the first five minutes of the period, the first was from Sophomore Barclay Folk of Westbank, British Columbia, Canada. Local boy Junior Nick Nuttier of Hamden, CT scored the second goal of the period. The Pioneers increased their lead when Senior Martin Paquet from St. Catherine, Quebec, Canada scored his team leading fifth goal of the season.
The Huskies were 1 of 4 on the power play, had 4 penalties for 8 minutes, and Junior goaltender Artie Imbriano stopped 27 of 33 Pioneers shots to drop his record to 0-3-1. The Pioneers were 1 of 4 on the power play, had 5 penalties for 10 minutes, and Senior goaltender Eddy Ferhi stopped 21 of 24 Huskies shots to better his record to 2-3-1.
Chris Uber – 1 (Michael Hoffman, Eric Nelson), 16:29, 1st period
D.J. Miller – 2 (PP) (Mark Murphy, Jon Ames), 1:00, 2nd period
Mark Murphy – 1 (D.J. Miller, Kurt Kamienski), 18:32, 3rd period
Marc-Andre Fournier – 1 (Unassisted), 0:23, 1st period
Marc-Andre Fournier X2 – 2 (PP) (Rocco Molinaro, Les Hrapchak), 10:59, 1st period
Ryan Bremmner – 1 (Unassisted), 13:05, 2nd period
Barclay Folk – 1 (Peter Giatrelis, Michael Forsland), 1:39, 3rd period
Nick Nutcher – 1 (Rocco Molinaro), 3:10, 3rd period
Martin Paquette – 5 (Konn Hawkes), 12:51, 3rd period
GAME 2 – QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY vs. FAIRFIELD UNIVERSITY
In the second game of the night the Bobcats of Quinnipiac University faced-off against the Stags of Fairfield University. The Bobcats came into the game undefeated in the MAAC with a record of 5-0-1 and 7-1-1 overall. The Stags who are off to a slow start with a record of 1-4-1, and 1-1-1 in the MAAC looked to be an uneven match up. But things are not always how they seem.
The first period started with the two teams feeling each other out. The Bobcats than scored the first two goals just under two minutes apart from each other. The first goal from Senior Wade Winkler of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and the second goal from Junior Bill Cass of Indianapolis, Ind. The Stags cut the lead in half when Senior Ryan Tormey of Hanover, MA. scored. The Bobcats bounced back quickly when Senior Brian Herbert from Langley, British Columbia, Canada.
In the second period the Stags pulled within a goal when Sophomore Jack Devaney scored. As the Stags continued the pressure it was the Bobcats Herbert scoring his second goal of the game. The Stags again pulled within a goal of tying the game when Tormey scored his second goal of the game.
The third period started with the Stags trailing by one goal, and putting the pressure on the Bobcats. Both of the teams put on the pressure but neither goaltender would bend. It was not until the Stags pulled their goalie Junior Craig Schnappinger for the extra attacker and leaving an empty net that the Bobcats Herbert would score his third goal of the game for the hat trick.
The Bobcats were 0 of 1 on the power play, had 5 penalties for 10 minutes, and Junior Justin Eddy stopped 29 of 32 Stags shots to improve his record to 2-0-0. The Stags were 0 of 5 on the power play, had 1 penalty for 2 minutes, and Schnappinger stopped 19 of 24 Bobcats shots to drop his record to 0-3-1.
Wade Winkler – 4 (PP) (Unassisted), 11:09, 1st period
Bill Cass – 1 (Unassisted), 12:53, 1st period
Brian Herbert – 3 (Aaron Ludwig, Ryan Morton), 19:09, 1st period
Brian Herbert X2 – 4 (SH) (Michael Bordieri), 12:49, 2nd period
Brian Herbert X3 – 5 (EN) (Dan Ennis, Aaron Ludwig), 19:37, 3rd period
Ryan Tormey – 1 (PP) (Eamon Delgiacco, Rae Metz), 17:07, 1st period
Jack Devaney – 4 (Ryan Murphy), 4:50, 2nd period
Ryan Tormey X2 – 2 (Unassisted), 18:37, 2nd period
The first part of the MAAC Hockey Challenge seemed to be a success with the fans and players alike. “It feels great to play at home in a big rink with fans,” stated SHU Captain Martin Paquet “you feel a little better about yourself.” The second part of the MAAC Challenge does not take part until Thursday, March 6, 2002. In Part two the Gaels of Iona will go against the Bobcats of Quinnipiac, and in game two the Pioneers of Sacred Heart will take on the Stags of Fairfield.