Sunday, January 13, 2019

Lackey's 46 save performance stymies Quinnipiac in 2-1 Harvard win

Quinnipiac fell 2-1 to Harvard on Saturday night

The second half of the season has not been kind to Quinnipiac so far. A night after pumping five goals in a win against Dartmouth, Saturday night saw the Bobcats wrap up a four game ECAC home stand with a 2-1 loss to the Harvard Crimson behind a stellar 46 save performance by Crimson senior goaltender Michael Lackey. The loss gave Quinnipiac a 1-2-1 record on its four game home stand which hurt their chances to extend their ECAC lead as they head into non-conference games for the next two weeks.

The first period saw the teams play mostly even with each other until the Crimson got on the board first by way of the nation's top ranked power play when John Marino ripped a one-timer past a shielded Andrew Shortridge for the games first goal. This was the first back to back start for Shortridge (25 saves) this season and despite the outcome he was excellent once in goal for Quinnipiac.
The Bobcats finish the home stand 1-2-1

The second and third period saw the Bobcats pound Lackey for 34 shots on goal. Alex Whelan was stoned in the second period while Quinnipiac hit a post in third period. It looked liked the game would end in a shutout after Jack Drury's empty net goal but Ethan de Jong put Quinnipiac on the board with 27 seconds left. They had a late chance when a one-timer by Wyatt Bongiovanni was pushed by Lackey before the puck was tied up along the boards and time ran out.

Clearly the star of the game was Michael Lackey who dominated a good Quinnipiac offense with several big times and saves at key moments. Quinnipiac now heads out of conference the next two weeks for single games against a surging Boston University team who are unbeaten in their game five games (4-0-1) and Atlantic Hockey bottom feeder Holy Cross. They do not get back into ECAC conference play until February 1st and its likely by that team they will not be in first place with many teams below them with multiple games in hand.

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Quinnipiac returns favor, beats Dartmouth 5-1

Quinnipiac beat Dartmouth 5-1 in Hamden on Friday night

Two months ago, Quinnipiac suffered their first loss of the season 5-1 at the hands of the Dartmouth Big Green. Fast forward to tonight and the Bobcats returned the favor on home ice beating the visitors 5-1 to pick up two huge ECAC points after the struggles of a weekend ago. Despite being out shot on the night and losing the face-off dot battle, the Bobcats improved their record to 16-4-1 (7-3-1 ECAC).

The two teams played to a pretty even first period until Daniel Warpecha scored a weird angle goal with twenty seconds left in the period. With Quinnipiac still struggling a bit in the second period, it took the sloppy play of Dartmouth to wake the Bobcats up. Back to back Dartmouth penalties lead to consecutive power play goals from Chase Priskie and Peter Diliberatore. Ethan de Jong scored late second period back breaking goal on a dish from Odeen Tufto.

With the Bobcats fully in command now heading into the third, they quickly extended the lead just 1:24 into the period on Alex Whelan's 7th goal of the season. Craig Martin capped the scoring on the night with his 8th goal of the season. While it wasn't the most crisp performance, Quinnipiac still got a needed win. Andrew Shortridge (24 saves) picked up his 8th win of the season as he could be edging closer to the starting job down the stretch.

Quinnipiac moves to 16-4-1 overall (7-3-1 ECAC)

Three Bobcats had multi point games in Craig Martin (1 goal, 2 assists) while Chase Priskie and Alex Whelan each had a goal and an assist apiece. For Priskie it was his 27th point which is a career high for him in a season. Quinnipiac wraps up the weekend at home on Saturday night against Harvard who dropped a 4-2 game to Princeton Friday night.

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Friday, January 11, 2019

Weekend Preview: Dartmouth/Harvard

After an 0-1-1 weekend, captain Chase Priskie looks to get Quinnipiac back on track

Dartmouth Head Coach: Bob Gaudet (22nd Season) 310-316-75 with Dartmouth. 403-458-106 overall

2018-2019 Dartmouth record: 5-7-2 (4-2-1 ECAC)

All-time vs. Dartmouth: Quinnipiac leads 20-10-2

Dartmouth Key Players: Will Graber (F), Drew O'Connor (F), Quin Foreman (F), Alex Jasiek (F), Carl Hesler (F), Connor Yau (D), Joey Matthews (D), Adrian Clark (G)

Dartmouth has been a very Jekyll and Hyde team so far this season. While they sit in fourth place in the ECAC standings with a 4-2-1 record, overall they are 5-7-2 with a minus eight goal differential. They are a very weird team to figure out because they blasted Quinnipiac in Hanover in early November and put up seven goals on Harvard yet they have lost to the likes of UNH, Vermont and they tied Bentley.

The Big Green offense tore through the Quinnipiac defense in their last meeting. Underclassmen Quin Foreman and Drew O'Connor have been key for them with seven goals apiece. Both of those players scored against Quinnipiac in the first meeting. Keying on those two players will be a must along with Will Graber and Carl Hesler. While Dartmouth got two power play goals against Quinnipiac in that previous meeting, the unit has not been good this season converting at just 13.5%.

Dartmouth's defense which was solid at times in November started to show some cracks in losses against UNH, Boston University and Providence. In their last meeting they blew a 2-0 lead and a late 3-2 lead against Bentley which ended in a tie. This is an area Quinnipiac needs to exploit especially when they get on special teams.

While Adrian Clark was good against Quinnipiac with 24 saves, he wasn't really tested all that much in that game as Dartmouth controlled most of the play. He has struggled since then and has a sub .900 save percentage with a 2.78 goals against average. For Dartmouth to win he will need to play well like he did in the first meeting against the Bobcats.

This is a game Quinnipiac really needs to have especially after the results of last weekend. Overall they are a better team than Dartmouth as they just need to show it on the ice. Special teams will be a factor in this game as the Bobcats have superior special teams than the Big Green and need to use that to their advantage.

Harvard Head Coach: Ted Donato (15th Season) 225-204-55

2018-2019 Harvard record: 6-4-3 (3-3-2 ECAC)

All-time vs. Harvard: Series tied 14-14-5

Harvard Key Players: Lewis Zerter-Gossage (F), Casey Dornbach (F), Jack Badini (F), Jack Drury (F), Adam Fox (D), John Marino (D), Reilly Walsh (D), Jack Rathbone (D)

This is a different Harvard team than the one Quinnipiac saw back in early November. After starting the season 0-2-2 with the some shaky defensive performances, the Crimson have stabilized the back end and found some young forwards who have stepped up.

The Harvard offense has found a rhythm. In its last nine games they have scored 29 goals an average of 3.2 per game. While Lewis Zerter-Gossage leads the team with 10 goals, it has been two freshman forwards in Casey Dornbach (19 points) and Jack Drury (13 points) have been catalysts for the Crimson up front while Jack Badini and Henry Bowlby provide good support as well. This is an offense that features the nations top power play at 36%. They are the only team in the country that is over 30% in that category. It is essential Quinnipiac stays out of the box and in five on five situations against them.

The Crimson defense got off to a shaky start this season but you knew that was not going to last as they are too talented on the back end for those struggles to continue. They have an elite talent in Adam Fox who is averaging 1.62 points per game. Despite only having just a single goal in the last four games, he is the player Quinnipiac needs to key on as he brings so much offense from the back end. Marino, Walsh and Rathbone make up the rest of the top four of their defensive core and they are all really talent players. Walsh and Rathbone bring a good amount of offense from the blue line as well making them ever more dangerous. John Marino is a steady blue liner though his numbers are down from a season ago. For a defense as talented as Harvard they have struggled on the penalty kill at just 75%, so that is an area Quinnipiac may be able to exploit.

Michael Lackey has stabilized play in net for the Crimson after a shaky start. In his last six starts he has given up a total of nine goals. He has a 2.36 goals against average and a .914 save percentage which are career highs for him. Quinnipiac didn't see him the last time as they saw Cameron Gornet and put five past him. Expect Lackey to be in between the pipes tonight for Harvard and he brings the most consistency in net for the Crimson.

Expect this game to be a back and forth affair as these are both very good teams. Both these teams are expected to be in contention for the ECAC crown by the end of the season so this game could have a lot of meaning of possible tie-breaker situations.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

In the Pipeline: 1/8/2019

The second half has officially begun and the Bobcats have gotten off to a bit of a rocky start going 1-1-1 in three games. They were stunned 5-4 in overtime on Friday by Colgate a team they destroyed 6-0, six days prior on Long Island. They rebounded to tie #20 Cornell 2-2 on Saturday. This weekend they welcome Dartmouth and Harvard to Hamden in key ECAC games. Lets take a look at how some future Bobcats did this past week.

Jayden Lee is riding a 6 game point streak

BCHL commits

Jayden Lee was strong again this past weekend for the Powell River Kings. He had three assists in two games and is riding a three game point streak (1 goal, 5 assists). On the season he has 32 points (5 goals, 27 assists) in 37 games played.

Skyler Brind'Amour picked up a goal in a lone game for the Chilliwack Chiefs. He is riding a four game point streak with two goals and four assists. In 36 games played this season he has 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists).

The newest commit Ethan Leyh picked up two assists in three games played for the Langley Rivermen. The team scoring leader has 34 points (15 goals, 19 assists) in 34 games played.

Corey Clifton played in his first two games since November 18th and picked a goal this past weekend. He has 19 points (5 goals, 14 assists) in 31 games played.

Tyler Ghirardosi had a four point weekend for the Trail Smoke Eaters with two goals and two assists. In 40 games played he has 23 points (7 goals, 16 assists).

Christophe Fillion had a goal and an assist in three games this weekend for the Wenatchee Wild. He now has 29 points (15 goals, 14 assists) in 40 games played.

Christophe Tellier had a lone assist in three games this weekend for the Wenatchee Wild. He now has 26 points (9 goals, 17 assists) in 36 games played.

USHL commits

Evan Fear gave up 4 goals on 18 shots in a loss to Fargo over the weekend for the Green Bay Gamblers. On the season, Fear is 8-9-2-0 with a 3.42 goals against and an .899 save percentage.

Logan Britt picked up an assist in one game played for the Lincoln Stars. He now has 13 points (3 goals, 10 assists) in 28 games played.

Nick Kent has moved to the Green Bay Gamblers from the Buffalo Jr. Sabres of the OJHL. So far he has played two games with no points and is a -2.

Connor Tait is another Bobcat commit riding a 6 game point streak

NCDC commits

Connor Tait had a goal and two assists in three games for the Jersey Hitmen. He is riding a six game point streak with two goals and four assists.

Yaniv Perets picked up two wins for the Jr. Bruins this past weekend giving up five goals in two games making 75 saves. On the season he is 17-6-0-1 with a 2.29 goals against and a .933 save percentage with three shutouts.

Midget, Prep & High School commits

Jack Silich had two goals and two assists in two games this past weekend for the Chicago Mission U15 team. In 60 games played he has 87 points (37 goals, 50 assists).

Liam McLinskey had three goals and an assist for the Jersey Hitmen 18U team this weekend. In 24 games for them he has 25 points (14 goals, 11 assists). He also had a two goal, one assist game for Don Bosco Prep on January 2nd. He has 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) in 10 games for them this season.

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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Quinnipiac and Cornell skate to a 2-2 tie

Quinnipiac and Cornell played to a 2-2 draw on Saturday night

A night after a stunning overtime loss to Colgate, Quinnipiac ended the weekend with a 2-2 tie against rival Cornell. For the second straight game the Bobcats raced out to a multi goal lead only to see the opponent make a comeback. This time though, Quinnipiac found a way to snatch a point from what should be deemed a disappointing weekend in ECAC play.

Freshman Ethan de Jong got the Bobcats on the board just over eight and a half minutes into the game off a rebound from Cornell net-minder Austin McGrath. Quinnipiac found the back of the net again just under six minutes later when fellow freshman Peter Diliberatore hard wrist shot from the almost the edge of the blue line found the back of the net.

The two goal lead was short lived as a Nick Jermain penalty led to a power play goal from Cornell sophomore Cam Donaldson whose strong effort in front of the goal pushed the puck past Andrew Shortridge (30 saves). Cornell tied the game when Morgan Barron raced into the zone on a two-on-one and ripped a shot high past Shortridge.

Odeen Tufto was a force on the face-off tonight against Cornell

Neither team mustered much in overtime with only three shots on goal between the teams. Andrew Shortridge made some key saves in both the third period and one late in overtime. If their is one positive in this game it was Quinnipiac on the face-off dot as they won 50 of 81 face-offs against the Big Red.

Quinnipiac ended the weekend in a first play tie with Yale but their Whitney Avenue rivals have a game in hand. The Bobcats now welcome in Dartmouth and Harvard next weekend to Hamden.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Colgate stuns #5 Quinnipiac 5-4 in overtime

Colgate stunned #5 Quinnipiac 5-4 in overtime

Sixty minutes. That is the number of minutes you are required to play in order to win a hockey game. Tonight the Quinnipiac Bobcats played probably about fifteen minutes of good hockey in this game and even against a team that on paper is not as good as them in Colgate, fifteen minutes is just not enough to win you a game even against teams lesser than them. The Raiders shocked the #5 Quinnipiac Bobcats 5-4 in overtime at the People's United Bank Center on Friday night in the teams return to ECAC conference play.

What started out as a possible blowout in favor of Quinnipiac turned into one of the most shocking losses that the Bobcats have suffered in a long time. Colgate came into this game one of the worst offensive teams in the country and a team that Quinnipiac easily dispatched on Long Island 6-0. In fact they had beaten Colgate twice by a combined score of 11-0. Games are not won on paper and you need to bring the effort to the rink every night if you expect to win. In this one you have to give Colgate a lot of credit for winning battles to pucks, fore-checking and just being the better team tonight in almost sixty three minutes of hockey.

Things looked promising for Quinnipiac early as they scored just 1:06 into the game by William Fallstrom. They added two more goals by Wyatt Bongiovanni and Scott Davidson and looked to be on their way to another easy win. Colgate found life after Quinnipiac took a too many men on the ice penalty resulted in a Trevor Cosgrove goal. Colgate trimmed the lead to just one goal almost four and a half minutes into the second period when Hunter Racine scored his first of the year.

Quinnipiac had a golden chance to blow this game wide open late in the second period when Colgate took back to back penalties with one being a five minute boarding major on Ken Citron. Just forty-two seconds into the third period saw Quinnipiac extend the lead back to two on Odeen Tufto's 11th goal of the season. The power play ended when Brogan Rafferty took a holding call in front of the Quinnipiac net putting the teams skating four aside. Colgate got a shorten power play and capitalize on a Nick Austin goal to trim the lead back to a lone goal.

Colgate outplayed Quinnipiac for the majority of this game

After Willie Brooks tied the game, Rand Pecknold replaced Keith Petruzzelli (17 saves) with Andrew Shortridge. The newly minted ECAC goaltender of the month for December saved Quinnipiac a few times late in the third period when Colgate sustained a magnitude of pressure in the Bobcats zone. The teams headed to overtime where just over halfway in Ben Sharf fed Jeff Stewart who blew past Brogan Rafferty and put the puck under Shortridge for the game winner. The hard luck loss was the first suffered by Shortridge (7 saves) on the season as he previously had been 7-0.

Brandon Fortunato had three assists while Chase Priskie had two assists as the Bobcats suffered their first ECAC loss since a 5-1 loss to Union back on November 10th. Quinnipiac returns to action tomorrow night for a big showdown with #20 Cornell at the People's United Bank Center.

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Two Bobcats take home ECAC Hockey monthly awards

Peter Diliberatore has a 1-7-8 line his freshman season so far

Fresh off winning the ECAC rookie of the week on Monday, Peter Diliberatore was today name the ECAC rookie of the month for December. He averaged a point-per-game during the month of December, scoring a goal and adding three assists. The 2018 6th round draft pick of the Vegas Golden Knights has a 1-7-8 stat line in 18 game played this season for Quinnipiac with a plus 12 rating.

Andrew Shortridge has a .970 save percentage this season for Quinnipiac

Junior goaltender Andrew Shortridge has been named the ECAC goaltender of the month after allowing a single goal in two games in the month of December. He shut out then #1 UMass 4-0 in Hamden on December 7th with multiple spectacular saves and he gave up no goals in a 6-0 win against Colgate but was pulled for sophomore Josh Mayanja before he could record his 4th shutout of the season. This season he is 7-0 with a .72 goals against average and a .970 save percentage in seven games played with three shutouts. This is the second award for Shortridge as he was named the ECAC goaltender of the week award for the week of December 10th.

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