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Quinnipiac wins UConn Hockey Classic with shutout win over Sacred Heart

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Five different Bobcats found the back of the net, and goaltender Michael Garteig was perfect between the pipes as Quinnipiac blanked in-state rival Sacred Heart, 5-0, before 2,362 fans at the XL Center on Monday night. Freshman defenseman Zack Tolkinen and West Hartford native Jordan Samuels-Thomas eached picked up two helpers for the No. 8 ranked Bobcats, who improved to 14-3-4. The Pioneers, representing Atlantic Hockey, fell to 5-13-0.

The Bobcats totally dominated play from start to finish, out-shooting the Pioneers 54-12. It was Quinnipiac's highest single-game shot total of the season. In picking up his fourth shutout of the season, Garteig turned aside all 12 Sacred Heart shots he faced. It was also the Prince George, British Columbia native's 14th win of the season, tying him for the national lead.

The Bobcats broke the ice when Bryce Van Brabant scored on the power play just shy of eight minutes into the contest. Zach Tokinen of Lino Lakes, Minn., and Samuels-Thomas both picked up helpers on Van Brabant's sixth marker of the season.

Quinnipiac doubled its advantage 2:38 into the second stanza when Tim Clifton of Matawan, N.J., picked up his second goal in as many nights, banging home a rebound past Sacred Heart netminder Alex Vazzano, giving the Bobcats a 2-0 lead. Sam Anas of Potomac, Md., and Dan Federico (Acton, Mass.) registered helpers on the play.

The Bobcats lead grew to 3-0 midway through the period when Montrose, BC native Connor Jones scored Quinnipiac's second power play goal of the game—a one-timer past that beat Vazzano top shelf. Samuels-Thomas was credited with an assist—his second of the game—and Kellen Jones also picked up a helper on the play.

The Bobcats added two more "garbage time" goals at the end of the game when Travis St. Denis scored Quinnipiac's third power play goal 16:19 into the third period (Tolkinen assisting), and Sorren Jonzzon found the back of the net with just 1:21 remaining in the contest, with Jones and Joe Fiala picking up helpers.

The Bobcats had three players named to the all-tournament—freshman Tim Clifton of Matawan, N.J., the only player in the Classic to score in both games, Jones and Samuels-Thomas.

Quinnipiac returns to action on Friday, Jan. 3 when they entertain Maine in a non-conference match-up. First puck drops at 7 p.m. at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, and the game will be televised throughout New England on the New England Sports Network (NESN).

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