Quinnipiac is coming off a 6-2 blowout home loss to Harvard on Friday night while Dartmouth is coming off a blowout 9-2 road loss to Princeton. With just three games left until the first semester concludes, Quinnipiac is 6-8-1 (3-5 ECAC) with the possibly they finish the first half of the season under .500. When the schedule came out along with the preseason rankings I am not sure anyone thought that it was possible but here were are with that possibly staring Quinnipiac right in the eye.
Dartmouth Key Players: Corey Kalk (F), Alex Jasiek (F), Kevan Kilistoff (F), Daniel Warpecha (F), Connor Yau (D), Devin Buffalo (G)
The Big Green have the third worst offense in college hockey at 1.88 goals per gamejust ahead of fellow ECAC member St. Lawrence. They lack talent up front as they have had for many years along with the fact that they are just so young with 10 of their 16 forwards either freshman or sophomores. Corey Kalk was their leading returning point scorer from a season ago and currently he has 6 points. The teams leading scorer is Kevan Kilistoff with 6 points while sophomore Daniel Warpecha has 6 points. Junior Alex Jasiek is second on the team in shots with 19 while having 5 points. Dartmouth averages only 24 shots on game which favors Quinnipiac with the talent they have on the defensive end. Special teams is also a struggle for Dartmouth as their power play is 13.33% (4-of-30) which is 52nd in the country.
Dartmouth isn't much better on defense giving up 3.88 goals per game which is third worst in all of college hockey ahead of only Sacred Heart and St. Lawrence which is dead last. They got lit up against Princeton Friday night 9-2. Connor Yau is one of the Big Green's better defenders but the defense as a whole just cannot find any consistency with the rotations they have been putting out there. Every one of the Dartmouth defenders has been a minus player this year, just showing you how much they have struggled. The penalty kill is pretty average as well at just 78.1% (25-of-32). While Quinnipiac lacks elite fire power they still should be able to do some damage against a poor Dartmouth defense.
Devin Buffalo gets the majority of the time in net for the Big Green but did not play in the blowout loss to Princeton. That was started by sophomore Dean Shatzer who then gave way to fellow sophomore Adrian Clark. Expect Buffalo to be back in between the pipes for the Big Green after Friday's disaster. While he hasn't been great this season (.875 save %, 3.56 goals against) he is the most experienced goal-tender on the roster and probably is the one who gives Dartmouth the best chance to win.
Quinnipiac needs to salvage a split of the weekend slate as they head into the final weekend of the first semester next weekend against Maine. Quinnipiac should win this game as they have the better talent but they need to execute offensively, not turn the puck over and avoid defensive lapses and just play a completed 60 minute and buy into what the coaching staff preaches. Even a win over Dartmouth shouldn't get people excited until they can be a team that can win consistently this season.
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