|Evan Tironese (photo by Grand Forks Herald)|
While RPI has struggled defensively this season to a tune of 3.65 goals against per game which ranks them 56th in the country, over their last eight games they are giving up only 2.25 goals per game which shows how much they have improved and along with giving a good effort on the blue line. Every single RPI defenseman is a minus player but a lot of that has to do with how poorly they played over the first half of the season. Juniors Jared Wilson (13 points) and Mike Prapavessis (12 points) are the teams 5th and 6th leading scorers respectively. Both are threats to score on the power play as well. Freshman defenseman Will Reilly has also shown some promise from the blue line contributing with 10 points (1 goal and 9 assists). The RPI defense bring very good size and they will need to play physical with the Bobcats smaller forwards yet they need to avoid the penalty box like they did in their previous match-up when they took 14 penalties for 28 minutes. The Bobcats scored three power play goals in the last meeting and RPI doesn't have the best penalty kill either at 79.8% (130-of-163) good for 46th in the country.
|Chase Perry (photo by Nicholas R. Markham)|
Expect this game to be very competitive between these two teams as the previous meeting was a very physical affair. RPI is playing quality hockey at this point in the season and giving a much better effort than we saw in the first half of the season. Quinnipiac has been inconsistent since returning from Belfast and really hasn't found its groove yet at this point in the season. While this is a very winnable game for Quinnipiac, it would not be shocking at all if RPI came away with a win as they have shown a lot of fight when they could have mailed it in after the new year.
Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.