SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Travis St. Denis scored the game-winning power-play goal with 51.7 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the No. 20 Quinnipiac Bobcats (6-2-1, 3-0-0 ECAC Hockey) against the defending national champion No. 12 Union Dutchmen (5-5-1, 0-4-1 ECAC Hockey) 4-3 on Friday night at Messa Rink.
The Bobcats extended their winning streak to five games and have outscored opponents 16-8 during the stretch.
With the win, Quinnipiac opens its conference schedule 3-0-0 for the second consecutive year.
St. Denis’ power play goal was his third goal of the season and the first game-winning goal in the final minute of regulation for Quinnipiac since Yuri Bouharevich scored the game-winning goal with two seconds left in a 3-2 win against Rensselaer on Dec. 3, 2011.
Sam Anas scored his NCAA-best fifth power play goal of the season and also assisted Quinnipiac’s three other goals for his second career four-point game. Anas took over the NCAA points lead with 15 on the season.
Landon Smith scored his NCAA rookie-leading sixth goal of the season with his tally in the second period and Tim Clifton also notched a power-play goal in the third period for the Bobcats to extend his goal-scoring streak to three consecutive games.
Quinnipiac scored three goals on the power play for the second time this season with the first coming against Bentley on Oct. 11.
Quinnipiac goaltender Michael Garteig racked up 28 saves in the victory for the Bobcats, stopping 13 shots in the third period.
The Bobcats dominated much of the play throughout the game, outshooting the Dutchman 35-31, including 11-6 in the first period.
Union took the first lead of the game in the first period when Daniel Ciampini put the Dutchmen up 1-0 5:13 into the period with Union on the power play. Ciampini camped in front of the net and re-directed Spencer Foo’s shot from the top of the slot past Garteig.
Anas reclaimed momentum for Quinnipiac late in the first period with a power play goal of his own. Justin Agosta worked the puck around the blue line to Devon Toews who found Anas in the left faceoff circle where he ripped a shot top shelf past Union goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos to tie the game 1-1 with just 7.4 seconds remaining in the first period.
Smith took the lead for the Bobcats goal 3:54 into the second period when he skated in behind the Union defense and collected a huge outlet pass from Sam Anas in the defensive zone. Smith skated in one-on-one with Sakellaropoulos and wristed a shot off the bottom of the crossbar and into the goal to take a 2-1 lead.
Union tied the game early in the third period with its second power-play goal of the game as Foo worked the puck in the offensive zone to Jeff Taylor who was wide open on the left side of the zone to tuck the shot past Garteig for his second goal of the season.
Four minutes later, Quinnipiac took the lead back 3-2 when Clifton scored Quinnipiac’s second power-play goal of the night after a great play made by Anas to skate the puck in the offensive zone and hold on to it until Clifton could get into the slot and fire the puck home with 10:37 remaining in the third period.
Union responded just 1:33 after Clifton’s goal when Matt Wilkins skated the puck up the right boards and centered a pass to Max Novak who was waiting on the weak side to tie the game 3-3.
The Bobcats went on the power play with 1:21 remaining in regulation. Devon Toews gathered the puck and sent it to Anas before passing it up to St. Denis who was skating into the offensive zone. St. Denis shifted the puck to his backhand where he lifted it past Sakellaropoulos for the game-winning goal with 51.7 seconds remaining in regulation.