Chase Pearson Credit: UMaine athletics

ORONO, Maine — Quinnipiac University sophomore center Odeen Tufto showed why he was a finalist for national and ECAC Rookie of the Year last season and junior goalie Andrew Shortridge earned a healthy measure of atonement as No. 10 Quinnipiac University cruised to a comfortable 7-2 victory over the University of Maine at Alfond Arena Friday night.

Tufto registered his first career hat trick and added two assists and Shortridge, who allowed 11 goals on just 55 shots in 7-4 and 5-3 losses to UMaine a year ago, made 33 saves as the Bobcats improved to 10-2 while UMaine fell to 4-6-1 and is now 2-6-1 over its last nine games.

The offensively-challenged Black Bears have scored two goals or fewer seven times over the last nine games.

The teams will play again Saturday night at 7:30.

Hockey East defensive player of the week Jeremy Swayman made 22 saves and allowed all seven goals.

It took the opportunistic Bobcats just 30 seconds to build a lead they would never relinquish.

Even though the Black Bears carried the play in the first period and had 10 Grade-A scoring chances to Quinnipiac’s five as well as a 16-11 edge in shots on goal, the Bobcats carried a 2-0 lead into the intermission as Tufto scored again at the 12:25 mark.

Alex Whelan extended the lead to 3-0 just 2:55 into the second period before Chase Pearson cut the lead to 3-1 with his sixth goal over the last six games.

But Tufto completed his hat trick on the power play with 6.2 seconds left in the middle period to restore the three-goal cushion and deflate the Black Bears.

The lead was never threatened in the third period and Ethan de Jong and Wyatt Bongiovanni added insurance goals off Tufto feeds before Cam Spicer scored a consolation goal for the Black Bears and Joe O’Connor capped the scoring for the Bobcats.

Seconds after the opening whistle, Chase Priskie took a pass from de Jong at the right point and wristed the puck on goal.

Swayman got his stick on the shot but the puck popped in the air and Tufto got a piece of it and it tumbled over Swayman’s shoulder into the net.

Tufto expanded the lead off a 2-on-2.

Michael Lombardi jumped into the play as the trailer and one-timed a Brandon Fortunato pass on net. Swayman made the save but the puck popped in the air and Tufto swatted it in.

Whelan made it 3-0 when he pounced on a loose puck after Craig Martin had fought his way to the near post from behind the net. The puck squirted across the middle of the slot and Whelan pumped it past the helpless Swayman.

Fossier gave the Black Bears some life when he skated down the right wing and one-timed a nice pass from Fossier into the short-side corner.

But Tufto ended UMaine’s comeback bid when he was positioned alone in the right circle and one-timed a Fortunato cross-ice pass into the half-empty net.