Sunday, November 18, 2018

Quinnipiac sweeps weekend slate, moves to 9-2

Keith Petruzzelli made 21 saves for his second shutout of the season

For the first time since February 3rd and 4th of 2017 when they beat Brown and Yale, Quinnipiac swept an ECAC regular season road weekend series. A night after an impressive 4-2 win over Cornell, the Bobcats scored three power play goals in the second period to run away from the Colgate Raiders in a 5-0 win at the Class of 1965 Arena in Hamilton, New York.

Four different Bobcats scored goals along with three having multi point games. A night after watching Andrew Shortridge have a strong effort against Cornell, Quinnipiac sophomore goaltender Keith Petruzzelli was a rock in between the pipes for the Bobcats with 21 saves for his second shutout of the season. 

Quinnipiac in early in the first didn't get on the score sheet but they showed they were a step ahead of Colgate in this game with their speed and talent. Late in the first period, Quinnipiac forced a turnover by Wyatt Bongiovanni in the offensive zone who fed a cross ice pass for a one-timer by Luke Shiplo that found the web past Colgate goalie Mitch Benson.

In the second period after Colgate's Evan Tschumi was assessed a roughing call, Quinnipiac found the back of the net again when Bongiovanni put home a rebound from an Odeen Tufto shot past Benson as he crashed the net. Less than two minutes later Quinnipiac found themselves back on the power play after Josh McKechney was given a five minute major and a game misconduct for hitting from behind.

Quinnipiac wasted no time going to work as Brandon Fortunato found a hard charging Bongiovanni who slipped a shot short side past Benson from a tough angle to push the Bobcats lead to 3-0. Just over minute later on the same power play Craig Martin batted a puck out of the air into the goal for his third tally of the season. In the third period freshman Daniel Winslow took a quick pass from Odeen Tufto and put a quick wrist shot past Benson for the Bobcats final tally of the night.

Bongiovanni with two goals and an assist led the way offensively while both Chase Priskie and Odeen Tufto had two assists apiece. With the win Quinnipiac moves to 9-2-0 (4-2-0 ECAC) which is good for first place currently in the conference standings. They will return to the ice next weekend when they travel to Orono, Maine for a non conference series against the Maine Black Bears.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Puck luck key in Quinnipiac 4-2 win over Cornell

The Quinnipiac Bobcats scored another impressive road win beating Cornell 4-2

They say puck luck is a staple of what makes great teams. We don't know for sure if Quinnipiac is a great team yet as this season is just ten games young, but a 4-2 win tonight at Lynah Rink against Cornell gave the Bobcats another signature road win against the defending ECAC regular season champions and the team that swept them out of the ECAC playoffs eight months ago.

A bizarre bounce off the back wall from a harmless Chase Priskie shot from the just inside the red line deflected off the back of Cornell goaltender Matthew Galajda for what turned out to be the game winning goal at the 10:18 mark of the third period. The game didn't start out on Quinnipiac's terms as just forty-seven seconds into the game William Fallstrom took a hooking penalty only to see Cornell's Morgan Barron blast one past Andrew Shortridge (21 saves) for the games first goal and the only scoring in the first period.

Cornell's Beau Starrett was called for a five minute interference major against Desi Burgart which gave the Bobcats a golden opportunity. They capitalized not even a minute into it when Brogan Rafferty bombed a shot from the point past Galajda to even the score at one apiece. The momentum was short lived after Karlis Cukste took an interference call on the power play giving some four on four action. Cornell responded when Yanni Kaldis split the Quinnipiac defense and put one past Shortridge with a wrist shot in the slot to give the Big Red a 2-1 lead.

Hamden native Joe O'Connor a natural defenseman converted to forward snipe a goal high past Galajda just 4:50 into the third period. That gave Quinnipiac the momentum until they got the Priskie goal. Alex Whelan's empty net goal capped the scoring to give the Bobcats their first win at Lynah Rink in two years. Andrew Shortridge played strong with some key saves at the right time as he picked up his third win of the season. Brandon Fortunato had two assists giving him ten on the season already.

Quinnipiac (8-2-0, 3-2-0 ECAC) now travels to Hamilton, New York to face the Colgate Raiders on Saturday night as they look to go into the Thanksgiving on a high note.

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Weekend Preview: Cornell/Colgate

Craig Martin and the Quinnipiac Bobcats head to Cornell & Colgate this weekend

Cornell Head Coach: Mike Schaefer (24th Season) 441-250-91

2018-2019 Cornell record: 4-2 (2-0 ECAC)

All-time vs. Cornell: Cornell leads 22-16-3

Cornell Key Players: Mitch Vanderlaan (F), Morgan Barron (F), Cam Donaldson (F), Max Andreev (F), Michael Regush (F), Yanni Kaldis (D), Alec McCrea (D),

Headline: How Sweep It Is. That was the Cornell Daily Sun on Monday March 12, 2018 two days after Cornell dispatched Quinnipiac with ease in the ECAC Quarterfinals headlined by a 9-1 thrashing in Game 1. That headline has been in the Quinnipiac locker room all summer from all reports and now the time has come for redemption up in Ithaca, NY this weekend when Quinnipiac takes on Cornell at Lynah Rink in a matchup of ranked teams. Fast forward 8 months and the undermanned Quinnipiac team that got beat up has completely changed with 12 new faces that have helped Quinnipic off to a 7-2 start. After dropping its first two games to Michigan State, Cornell has bounced back and won four straight to come into this match-up at 4-2. Per the Cornell Daily Sun, the Big Red will be without junior forward Jeff Malott, Sophomore defenseman Alex Green while Brenden Locke and Brendan Smith are both questionable for the game.

Despite losing three of their top four scorers and no one that scored more than 10 goals, Cornell still possesses some good talent up front. Mitch Vanderlaan and Morgan Barron are two talented players up front along with sophomore Cam Donaldson. A pair of freshman in Max Andreev and Michael Regush have impressed for the Big Red. The Cornell power play has been solid this season at 20%.

Cornell had some early defensive issues in the series against Michigan State that they looked to have corrected in the last four games only allowed seven goals in those four wins. With Alex Green sidelined and Brendan Smith questionable to play, the Big Red defense will get challenged a bit this weekend and will rely a lot on Alec McCrea and Yanni Kaldis to keep things together. The teams penalty kill has been a weakness so far only killing 70.8% of opposing teams power plays. That will need to improve as Quinnipiac possesses a solid power play at 24.4% and will look to add to that this weekend.

Matthew Galajda was the goaltender and rookie of the year in the ECAC and a first team All-American a season ago and was a big part of the Cornell success a year ago. This season he had a sub .900 save percentage (.880) and a 2.71 goals against but that was due to two poor games against Michigan State. Since those two losses he has a goals against of 1.75 more in line of what we all know Galajda is as a player. Expect him to be on his game this weekend and for those Michigan State games to be just a blip on the radar this season.

Colgate Head Coach: Don Vaughan (26th Season) 409-426-99

2018-2019 Colgate record: 2-6-1 (0-1-1 ECAC)

All-time vs. Colgate : Quinnipiac leads 21-15-2

Colgate Key Players: Bobby McMann (F), Adam Dauda (F), Josh McKechney (F), Jared Cockrell (F), Nick Austin (D), Trevor Cosgrove (D), Mitch Benson (G)

Don Vaughan's team is coming off a respectable 17-17-6 campaign one year after bottoming out at 9-22-6. With the team is expected to improve they got the surprise news that star goaltender Colton Point was leaving after his sophomore season to turn professional with the Dallas Stars organization. Without Point in net that left a huge void that was expected to be a strength for the Raiders this season. The team has gotten off to a slow start at 2-6-1 but that is more because the offense has really struggled this season.

Offensively this team has been challenged this year to score goals. In nine games played this season they have only scored ten goals. That just is not going to cut it if they want to have success this season. They need more scoring from the likes of McMann, Dauda, McKechney, Cockrell among others if they want to start winning games. The power play for Colgate has been dismal as well at 11.8%. If the offense doesn't turn it around soon it could be a long season in Hamilton, NY for the Raiders.

Colgate's defense has been up and down this season. They have had games where they have looked solid and games where they have looked very poor. As a team they are giving up over three goals per game which is not a recipe for success. The defense played solid against Ohio State last weekend only really giving up three goals in two games. The fourth goal was an empty net goal. That should give them some confidence heading into a tough weekend series against Princeton/Quinnipiac who are sure to have an onslaught of shots. The penalty kill also needs to show improvement as its sub 80% at 75.9

Filling Colton Points shoes is a major task and not one that Colgate likely expected after last year. Freshman Mitch Benson has gotten the majority of the time in goal and has a .919 save percentage and 2.59 goals against average in eight games played. He's one of three freshman goaltenders on the roster for the Raiders this season and the one that is expected to get the start in goal for this weekends games.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Q&A with Quinnipiac commit Evan Fear

Evan Fear with Green Bay (photo by Green Bay Gamblers)

A month ago started a flurry of new Quinnipiac commits with six committing in the last thirty plus days alone. The first of those players was goaltender Evan Fear of the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL. Fear is a native of Winnetka, Illinois which is north of Chicago on Lake Michigan. He has an extensive junior history playing in both the NAHL & USHL over the past two plus seasons. Fear was gracious enough to give us some time for a Q&A to discuss his hockey upbringing, his current developmental path and about his overall recruitment over the past year. Thanks again for Evan and welcome to Bobcat Nation.

@QHockeyBlog: First off congratulations. What are you emotions like after making this decision to commit to Quinnipiac?

Evan Fear: Thank you! I’m extremely excited about committing to Quinnipiac University. Being a college athlete has always been a dream of mine and Quinnipiac has an amazing program and tradition that I hope to add to.

@QHockeyBlog: Tell us about your overall recruiting experience? When did you first have contact with Quinnipiac?

Evan Fear: I first spoke to Quinnipiac this past summer. They had watched me when I was in Springfield last season and were reaching out, expressing their potential interest. I took an official visit late in the summer before leaving for Green Bay. I had a great experience and stayed in touch with the staff. Head coach Rand Pecknold came to one of our preseason games and after that I then spoke with associate coach Joe Dumais after our games at the USHL showcase in Pittsburgh which kicked off the start of our regular season. It was after that I received my offer from them.

@QHockeyBlog: Were there a lot of other NCAA schools showing interest in you prior to you committing to Quinnipiac?

Evan Fear: I had conversations with a couple other schools leading into the season. Every school attends the showcase and I had a very good game so I spoke with a lot more teams that following week before I made my decision. For me Quinnipiac was always a front runner and I had an established relationship with the staff already, whereas I was only beginning the process with other schools.

@QHockeyBlog: You came through some pretty good programs in youth hockey in the Chicago area with the Chicago Young Americans, Team Illinois and the Chicago Mission. How did these programs shape you to this point where you are now heading to a division one program?

Evan Fear: I was fortunate to grow up in an area with such good hockey programs and to have had the opportunity to play with and against some really elite players. For me as a goaltender, I had great coaching at all three programs which really helped shaped my game to where it is today.

@QHockeyBlog: After playing with the Mission you moved to the Springfield Jr. Blues in the Tier II North American Hockey League (NAHL) at the age of 17 along with playing with Dubuque in the United States Hockey League (USHL). What was that experience like and the jump to both Tier I and II hockey from the midget level?

Evan Fear:  The year prior I decided to move up to U-18 hockey even though I was still eligible for U-16. I think moving up and playing with an older and stronger age group helped prepare me for the move to Springfield. Additionally starting in the NAHL was really beneficial. That league has produced a lot of good goalies because they give the opportunity to young goalies. The biggest change I had to make in my game really was just adapting to the schedule and the higher workload. I always split time at the AAA level so this was the first time I experienced more game time and had more responsibility for the teams success. Around Thanksgiving of last year, I accepted a trade to Dubuque. The jump to the USHL was a hard one. There is a reason it’s considered the best junior league in the country for college development. I had some very good games but I came into a backup role and I struggled at times with that. I was extremely happy with my time there and that was one of the closest teams I’ve ever been apart of. Our goal-tending coach at Dubuque, Matt Millar has made a lasting impact on my game and does a really good job there.

@QHockeyBlog: What went into the decision to play last season with Springfield again as opposed to remaining with Dubuque?

Evan Fear: The coaching staff that recruited me to Dubuque had moved to the college level and my goal-tending partner from the past season was returning. In preseason I lost a goalie battle for the second spot and was cut from the roster. Originally Dubuque kept me on the affiliate list so I couldn’t attempt to go to other teams in the USHL. I returned to Springfield as the coaching staff there knew me from my time with the team. It ended up being exactly what I needed. I grew as a player and had a starting role for the majority of the season as well as getting playoff experience. When I had decided to go to Dubuque I was really eager to work with Coach Millar and believed that there may not be an opportunity like this one at the Tier I level in the future but I think I lacked the starting experience I needed to thrive at the USHL level, which I gained back in Springfield.

@QHockeyBlog: This past off-season you were drafted by Green Bay and are the starter there. How has your time been going there in terms of your development?

Evan Fear: I think I needed to prove that I could play at the Tier I level to be ready for college and I want to continue proving that in Green Bay. I’ve really enjoyed my time and have laid down good ground work that I’d like to improve on. Ryan Honick worked with Springfield on a limited basis as the goal-tending coach and he works more intensively with Green Bay so that area has been great. I’ve been really fortunate to have great goal-tending coaching throughout my career, in Chicago, Coach Naumenko and Coach Rutledge really helped me while I was at the Young Americans. And Tim Anderson was my goal-tending coach with the Mission and he’s helped me throughout the summers and is someone I’ve stayed close with.

@QHockeyBlog: What would you say your strengths are as a goaltender?

Evan Fear: I play a really simple game. I believe I’m a good athlete and my off-season has helped me get stronger and faster but my game is centered around calm and positioning. So much of modern goal-tending is playing the percentage and taking up room. I believe I’m more loose than that blocking stereotype but I think it’s the direction the game has and will continue to head. I have put an importance on my feet and I like my speed. With my junior experience I think I read the game really well and have good game management.

@QHockeyBlog: Your set to enroll in the 2019-2020 season with Quinnipiac. What are some of the areas in your game that you want to improve upon before you take the next step to the division one level?

Evan Fear: I need to be stronger and more explosive for the college game. My footwork needs to improve, especially laterally. I think time at the college level will adjust me to the shots and patterns of play.

@QHockeyBlog: To this point in your life who has been your biggest influence or role model to help you get this opportunity to play division 1 hockey?

Evan Fear: All four goal-tending coaches that I referenced have helped me immensely. Aside from that, my brother plays college hockey for the University of Denver. He’s given me a lot of guidance and advice throughout my life.

@QHockeyBlog: Tell us what type of person the Quinnipiac community will get on and off the ice?

Evan Fear: I’m an extremely hard worker and passionate about hockey. I always give my best effort and love the game. I’m a very good student and a good person.

@QHockeyBlog: What does Evan Fear like to do when he is not on the ice playing hockey?

Evan Fear: I love Premier League soccer. I am a big alternative music and electronic dance music fan. I also love movies especially with the amount of down time in junior hockey. I also love Game of Thrones as I am currently reading the books.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Monday, November 12, 2018

In the Pipeline: 11/12/2018

Another weekend split saw Quinnipiac have a shutout win over RPI on Friday night followed up by another poor performance in a 5-1 loss to Union its 5th straight loss to the Dutchmen. Despite the split on the weekend, Quinnipiac dropped only one spot in the poll to 14th. They now head to Cornell next week for a rematch against the team that swept them out of the ECAC Quarterfinals a year ago. But before we get into next week let's take a look at how some of the future Bobcats did over the past week.

Quinnipiac's newest commits in Christophe Tellier and Fillion

BCHL commits

Quinnipiac picked up two more commits in the BCHL this time in a pair of Quebec born players in Christophe Fillion and Christophe Tellier  of the Wenatchee Wild. Fillion in 23 games played has 19 points (11 goals, 8 assists) while Tellier in 21 games played has 18 points (7 goals, 11 assists). They are both committed for the 2020-2021 season. Stay tuned for a Q&A with the both of them coming up later this week or early next week with a lot of good stuff they had to say.

Jayden Lee picked up two more assists this past week for the Powell River Kings. He has 7 assists in his last four games played. On the season, Lee has 13 points (1 goal, 12 assists) in 21 games played.

PJ Fletcher picked up three assists in two games played for the Wenatchee Wild and has started to settle in the BCHL. In 23 games played he has 8 points (1 goal, 7 assists).

Austin Spiridakis picked up his third goal of the season for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. The 16 year old has 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) in 21 games played and is tied for 9th on the team in scoring despite being the youngest player on the team.

USHL commits

Logan Britt picked up one assist this past week for the Lincoln Stars. In 13 games played, Britt had 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists).

Evan Fear lost a hard fought 3-2 overtime game on Saturday against the Waterloo Black Hawks. Fear made 48 saves in a losing effort for Green Bay. On the season he is 5-3-2-0 with a 2.87 goals against average and a .917 save percentage with one shutout. Stay tuned for a Q&A with Evan Fear coming out this week.

Justin Robbins had his best start of the season for the Chicago Steel when he made 28 saves in a 3-1 win over the Madison Capitols. Robbins is 5-5-1-0 with a 3.83 goals against average and an .870 save percentage.

Oscar Plandowski continues to put up big numbers in midget hockey

NCDC commits

Yaniv Perets took a hard fought 1-0 loss for the Junior Bruins in between the pipes on Saturday. He made 24 saves in the loss. In 16 games played he is 13-2-0-1 with a 1.78 goals against average and a .948 save percentage.

John Campomenosi picked up his first career junior hockey goal for the Jersey Hitmen. In 21 games played he has 6 points this season on a goal and five assists.

Connor Tait picked up a goal and an assist in two games played for the Jersey Hitmen. In 16 games played this season he has 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists).

Midget Commits

Oscar Plandowski picked four more points in five games this past week. He now has 38 points (7 goals, 31 assists) in 30 games from the blue line.

Jack Silich had two goals and one assist in three games played for the Chicago Mission U-15 team over the weekend. On the season he has 57 points (24 goals, 33 assists) in 38 games played.

Victor Czerneckianair had a six point weekend in four games for the Selects U-16 team at the South Kent School with two goals and four assists. In 31 games played he has 45 points (21 goals, 24 assists).

Liam McLinskey picked up another goal and an assist for the Jersey Hitmen U-18 team. The Pearl River, NY native is now riding a five game point and on the season has 18 points (9 goals, 9 assists) in 16 games played.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

For second weekend in a row Quinnipiac gets a split

Quinnipiac shutouts RPI 3-0 on Friday

Its been two weekends of ECAC Hockey play for the Quinnipiac Bobcats and after two weekends of play they are a .500 team in conference play. A week after splitting at Harvard and Dartmouth, the Bobcats once again split the weekend slate after beating RPI 3-0 on Friday night before dropping a 5-1 game to the Union Dutchmen on Saturday. Who are these Bobcats right now? Are they team that went 5-0 in early non-conference play or the team of the last two weekends? That question will be determined as the season continues on.

Friday saw the Quinnipiac defensive stifle RPI into only twelve shots the entire game along with blocking another eight. Freshman Daniel Winslow scored his first collegiate goal while Chase Priskie had two more points including a power play goal in the third period. Odeen Tufto had the other goal for Quinnipiac another one by way of the power play. The Bobcats finished 2 of 9 on the man advantage while holding RPI to 0 for 6 on their power plays. Andrew Shortridge recorded his 7th career shutout in the victory.

Saturday saw a match-up of two top 15 ranked teams between Quinnipiac and Union. A close game for two periods saw the Dutchmen blow it open in the third period in just a six and half minute span to run away with a 5-1 win. Union wasted no time getting on the board early in the game as Ryan Walker scored short side past Keith Petruzzelli (18 saves) right off a clean face-off win by Cole Maier just 3:12 into the opening frame.

On Saturday Quinnipiac fell 5-1 in for their 5th straight loss to Union

In the second period, Union doubled its lead when Josh Kosack crashed the net with a shot and banged home his own rebound past Petruzzelli for the goal. Quinnipiac's Michael Lombardi answered that goal with his first collegiate goal and point giving some momentum for the Bobcats. After an early power play in the third period that went nowhere for Quinnipiac, the teams battled for half the period with nothing to show until an odd man rush by Union led to a rebound goal by Anthony Rinaldi.

Three minutes later Rinaldi again found the back of the net again off a rebound from Petruzzelli pushing the Union lead to 4-1 before Josh Kosack capped the scoring three and a half minutes later on a nifty back-hand past Petruzzelli. Quinnipiac lost their second game of the season despite out-shooting Union 35-23 and beating them 36-26 on face-offs. Union won key face-offs twice in the Quinnipiac zone leading to goals twice and had more quality chances on net than the Bobcats. Union goaltender Darion Hanson was strong with 34 saves in the victory as the Dutchmen improve to 7-3-1 (3-3-0 ECAC) while Quinnipiac falls to 7-2-0 (2-2-0 ECAC). This was the fifth consecutive win for Union against Quinnipiac with the Bobcats not having won a game against them since January 7, 2016.

Next week Quinnipiac heads to Cornell and Colgate for a pair of ECAC games. The Bobcats return to Lynah Rink where they were swept out of the ECAC Quarterfinals a season ago.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Pair of French Canadian born players commit to Quinnipiac

Christophe Tellier, left and Christophe Fillion, right

Quinnipiac has stayed pretty active on the recruiting despite being full blown into their season. Two more players have committed to the Bobcats as Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) teammates Christophe Tellier and Christophe Fillion committed today to the program for the 2020-2021 season. Both are 2000 born forwards and are natives of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. The pair become the second and third Quebec born players to commit to Quinnipiac in the last two and half weeks following the commitment of goaltender Yaniv Perets.

Both players have gotten off to strong starts in their rookie season in the British Columbia Hockey League with Fillion leading Wenatchee with 11 goals and Tellier 4th in the team in scoring with 18 points. Fillion is a 5'10, 175 pound that shoots left and plays right wing while Tellier is a 6'0, 160 pound left shot center.

The two most recently were teammates with the Iowa Wild AAA U-16 & U-18 teams in the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons. Last season Fillion also played 18 games for the Janesville Jets (NAHL) and two games for the Chicago Steel (USHL) while Tellier played one game for the Minot Minotauros (NAHL). They also played together at Bishops College M15 major team in the 2013-2014 season. 

They are currently teammates in Wenatchee with fellow Bobcat commit PJ Fletcher. Congrats to both on your commitment and welcome to Bobcat Nation. 


You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.