RPI men’s hockey blanks No. 16 Quinnipiac

Local Sports

TROY, N.Y. – Sophomore Owen Savory stopped all 37 shots he faced to lead the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men’s hockey team to a 4-0 victory over No. 14/16 Quinnipiac University, on Friday night at the Houston Field House. With the win, the Engineers improve to 14-15-2 ovrall (10-8-1 ECAC Hockey), while the Bobcats drop to 18-11-2 (11-6-2 ECAC Hockey).

Savory (Cambridge, ON/St. Catharines Falcons) became the first netminder in school history to shut out Quinnipiac, stopping nine shots in the first, 11 in the second and 17 in the third to help preserve the victory. RPI’s four shutouts this season are the most since 2011-12 and Savory’s four individually are the most since Nathan Marsters ’04 had five during the 2003-04 season.

RPI broke on the board at 16:31 of the first period, when senior captain Will Reilly (Toronto, ON/Nanaimo Clippers) picked out the top right corner of the net from the right circle, after deking past a defender. The power play tally, which was his eighth of the season, drew assists from classmate Chase Zieky (Avon, CT/Salmon Arm Silverbacks) and Shane Bear (Calgary, AB/Brooks Bandits).

After a scoreless second period, the Engineers doubled their lead at 13:00 of the third on the fifth goal in the last seven games by senior Todd Burgess (Phoenix, AZ/Fairbanks Ice Dogs). Once again on the man advantage, RPI worked the puck to the right point for Reilly, who dodged to his right, before sending a pass into the slot for Burgess, who beat Quinnipiac junior goaltender Keith Petruzzelli (Wilbraham, MA/Muskegon Lumberjacks) for his ninth goal of the season.

The Bobcats elected to pull Petruzzelli for an extra skater with over four minutes to play and RPI capitalized immediately, as senior Jake Marrello (Slingerlands, NY/PAL Jr. Islanders) softy placed his fifth goal of the season into the empty cage from close range.

Freshman Tristan Ashbrook (Mantistique, MI/Lincoln Stars) capped the scoring at 19:31 with his eighth goal of the year. Sophomore Ottoville Leppanen (Espoo, Finland/Espoo Blues U20) found senior Mike Gornall (Irwin, PA/Topeka Roadrunners) cutting to the net, but the puck caromed off his stick and right to Ashbrook, who easily backhanded home a shot from just outside the crease.

Savory is now 7-2-1 in 10 starts since January 1, posting a 1.29 goals against average and a nation-leading .960 save percentage and four shutouts. Petruzzelli (18-10-2) made 21 saves, before giving way to freshman Evan Fear (Winnetka, IL/Waterloo Black Hawks).

With his goal, Burgess now has seven points (4 goals, 3 assists) on his current five-game point streak, while Bear posted a pair of assists and Reilly had a goal and an assist for his fourth multi-point effort of the season.

The Engineers are back in action tomorrow night, when they host Princeton University (7pm) for Senior Night. Quinnipiac travels to Union College tomorrow (7pm).

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