Its been a rough season for St. Lawrence in the second season of the Mark Morris era. The Saints are on pace for the worst season in program history. It has been a struggle for Morris with a lot of young players along with an inexperienced defense that only worsened when Ben Finkelstein transferred to Boston College. Prior to the season star goaltender Kyle Hayton transferred to Wisconsin. St. Lawrence had a weekend sweep last week against Brown and Yale only their second of the season.
This is an offense that has really struggled this season to a tune of 2.26 goals per game which is 52nd in the country. Two upperclassmen have 8 goals apiece in Jacob Pritchard and Joe Sullivan. Mike Marnell is another veteran contributor who has 9 goals and 16 points. Not a ton of freshman have stepped up to help the offense which has hurt them. At times they have lacked depth and even had to dip into the club roster for players due to injuries. The power play is just below the middle of the pack at 17% (17-of-100) good for is 40th in the country. Quinnipiac needs to make sure this game is played five on five because they don't need to give a team that struggles at scoring any man advantages where they could pot some goals.
Defensively it has been a rough go of it for St. Lawrence. It only got worse with the transfer of Ben Finkelstein. Senior Nolan Gluchowksi is the teams best defender with 16 points and is a minus six. Other than senior Matt Purmal the rest of the defensive core that plays is all freshman. Inexperience is a major issue back there and it has shown this season. They give up 3.44 goals per game which is 54th nationally. Freshman Jake Stevens (11 points) has been a solid find for them and probably has been one of their better defenseman. The St. Lawrence penalty kill is one of the worst in college hockey at 74.42% (96-of-129) good for 59th in the country. While Quinnipiac isn't very good on the power play getting on the man advantage would be a big help to winning this game.
Goaltender Arthur Brey has struggled this season with a 3.71 goals against average a sub .900 save percentage (.899). Last season he only played four games but was solid with a 2.08 goals against and a .935 save percentage. St. Lawrence was expecting more from Brey but he hasn't delivered this year. He was strong against Brown and Yale last weekend shutting out the Bulldogs on Saturday which was the first of his career. I wouldn't put all the blame on Brey as he has one of the youngest defenses in the ECAC in front of him taking their lumps.
This is a game Quinnipiac needs to pick up two points in because they clearly have the better team than St. Lawrence. If Brey plays like he did last weekend then it could give Quinnipiac some problems because the Bobcats have run into many hot goaltenders this season that have played above and beyond.
You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.