Friday, March 16, 2018

Tanner MacMaster signs with AHL Utica Comets

Tanner MacMaster, left in game against Maine earlier this season

Quinnipiac University Men's Ice Hockey senior forward Tanner MacMaster has signed an amateur tryout contract with the Utica Comets of the AHL, as announced by the club in a press release. The Comets are the minor league affiliate of the NHL Vancouver Canucks. MacMaster completed the best season of his four-year collegiate career with 33 points (13 goals, 20 assists) and his 13 goals tied him for second on the team behind Alex Whelan's 16. He finished his career in Hamden with 84 points (30 goals, 54 assists) in 150 games played.

He was part of two Quinnipiac teams that won the Cleary Cup for the ECAC regular season champion in 2015 and 2016 along with winning the schools first ever Whitelaw Cup in 2016 as the champions of the ECAC tournament. He also played in the NCAA Tournament twice in 2015 and 2016 with the latter year making it all the way to the National Championship game in Tampa, FL before falling to North Dakota.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Chase Priskie & Odeen Tufto make All-ECAC teams

Chase Priskie, 2nd team All ECAC selection (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

Junior defenseman Chase Priskie and freshman forward Odeen Tufto both made All-ECAC teams today as was announced by the league office. Priskie, Quinnipiac's captain made the Second Team All-ECAC after posting 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) in 37 games played with a team leading 8 power play goals. His 25 points were good for third on the team in scoring behind freshman Odeen Tufto (41) and senior Tanner MacMaster (33). This is the third consecutive season that Priskie has amassed 25 or more points in a season. Priskie was a third team All-ECAC selection a season ago and as a freshman made the ECAC All-Rookie team.

Odeen Tufto's 41 points (9 goals, 32 assists) in 38 games played were the most points for a freshman in the country. His 32 assists tied him for third overall in that category but most for a freshman in the country and it broke the Quinnipiac Division I freshman record for assists which was 31 set by Brian Hebert back in the 1999-2000 season . He is the first Quinnipiac freshman to amass 40 plus points or more in a season since Sam Anas did it with 43 (20 goals, 23 assists) back in the 2013-2014. He also had 15 multi point games for the Bobcats this season.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Monday, March 12, 2018

In the Pipeline: 3/12/2018

The 2017-2018 Quinnipiac season came to a conclusion on Saturday night. A night after getting blown out 9-1, the Bobcats showed a lot of character battling is strong Cornell team before falling short and losing 2-0. The team finished 16-18-4 which was its worst record since the 1995-1996 season when the school was still playing at the Division II level. While the season may be over that doesn't mean the content here at the blog stops. There is still recruits playing in junior leagues or below, some of the seniors may sign pro contracts or there could be an early departure to the pros from the Quinnipiac roster. We will cover it all and thank everyone that followed this season for the BobcatsHockeyBlog and hope you all continue reading. With that said there was a lot of great play by some of the Quinnipiac commits so lets get to that below.

Desi Burgart, center (photo by the Surrey Now-Leader)

BCHL commits

There isn't a hotter player in the BCHL right now than Desi Burgart over the last week. In 4 games played he had 7 goals and that was only in two of the four games. In Game 4 he had four goals while in the clinching Game 6 for Surrey he had a hat trick. He is third in the BCHL in playoff scoring with 9 points (8 goals, 1 assist). His 8 goals are the most in the BCHL playoffs to this point. Surrey now will have a second round series beginning at Prince George.

St. Louis, Missouri native T.J. Friedmann missed some time in the BCHL playoffs with a lower body injury but returned for the Victoria Grizzlies Game 7 win. He finished the first round series with 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in the four playoff games. Despite his team in an 0-2 hole he has been one of the bright spots early in the playoffs. Victoria begins the second round at home against Powell River.

Ethan De Jong had three goals in four games played with week for the Prince George Spruce Kings as they won a Game 7 at home to move into the second round. De Jong has 4 points (3 goals, 1 assist) in 7 playoff games. His team now will host fellow commit Desi Burgart and the Surrey Eagles in the second round.

Michael Lombardi had his first BCHL season come to an end. He had a goal in Game 4 as West Kelowna was swept out of the playoffs. He finished the postseason with two goals in four games. He's projected for the 2018-2019 recruiting class but also could be pushed a season for the 2019-2020 class.

Nick Kent and the Wenatchee Wild have moved into the second round against the Vernon Vipers. Kent played in 3 games in the first series but did not record a point.

Wyatt Bongiovanni (photo by

USHL commits

William Fallstrom had a pair of assists in two games played this weekend for the Fargo Force. In 47 games, the Sweden native has 34 points (10 goals, 24 assists). His team is currently 4th in the USHL Western Conference and fighting to stay in a playoff spot.

Wyatt Bongiovanni had a five point weekend (2 goals and 3 assists) in two games played for the Muskegon Lumberjacks over the weekend. The Michigan native has 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists) in 33 games played and averaging almost a point per game. He missed six weeks of the season with an undisclosed injury.

Zach Metsa had a pair of assists two games played for the Central Illinois Flying Aces. In 51 games played between Central Illinois and Youngstown, Metsa has 20 points (2 goals, 18 assists). Since his trade to Central Illinois he has 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists) in 14 games played.

NCDC commits

Cameron Boudreau had one goal in Saturday's 6-1 Jr. Bruins win over the South Shore Kings. The late 1999 born defenseman finished the regular season with 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists) in 42 games played on the blue line. The left shot defenseman is steady in his own zone, plays with physicality, retrieves pucks well and is solid at moving the puck. He is currently number 117 on the NHL Central Scouting mid term rankings.

NAHL commits

Marcus Chorney of the Amarillo Bulls had one assist in three games played this past weekend. In 52 games played, Chorney has 23 points (5 goals, 18 assists) with a minus 7 rating. He also recently took part in the NAHL Top Prospects game for Team South where in 2 games he had one assist. As a 1997 born player he is part of the 2018-2019 recruiting class.

AJHL commits

Matt Cassidy had a goal in 3 playoff games so far for the Brooks Bandits as they swept their best-of-five first round series with the Canmore Eagles. They now await their second round opponent. 

Prep Schools/High Schools commits

John Campomenosi's Don Bosco Prep team fell in the New Jersey Non-Public State Championship 4-2 to the Delbarton School who won their third straight title. Campomenosi will now head to juniors before attending Quinnipiac.

Jack Silich, left, celebrating his accomplishment with his family

Midget Commits

Jack Silich had one assist and dished out 7 hits as the Chicago Mission won the Illinois Bantam AAA Major State Championship. Silich was also invited to participate in the 2018 AHAI player development camp for midget and bantam players on March 23-25 of this year. The Mission will head to regionals this weekend followed by Nationals on April 5th.

Jacob Quillan of the Steele Subaru Major Midgets had two goals in yesterday's 5-3 win over the Cape Breton West Islanders. In 9 playoffs games, Quillan has 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists).

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Quinnipiac season ends with 2-0 loss to Cornell

Quinnipiac at Cornell, ECAC QF Game 2 (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

For the first time in the Division I history of the Quinnipiac Bobcats a season will end under .500. The 2017-2018 season came to a conclusion on Saturday night with 2-0 loss to the ECAC top seed and #2 ranked Cornell Big Red in Game Two of the best-of-three ECAC Quarterfinal series before a raucous crowd at Lynah Rink in Ithaca, NY. Quinnipiac finished the season 16-18-4 to finish with its first losing season since the 1995-1996 season when they finished 11-12-4 in the second season of the Rand Pecknold era when the program was still in Division II. “It’s disappointing, said Rand Pecknold. It’s been 22 years since we’ve had a losing season. It’s a pretty good streak that came to an end.”

A night after getting their doors blown off in a 9-1 rout, Quinnipiac was much more competitive in this game and showed a lot more fight than they did in Game One but fell short of forcing a decisive Game Three on Sunday. Keith Petruzzelli (13 saves) once again started for Quinnipiac. Sophomore goaltender Andrew Shortridge was sidelined due to an injury which forced him to miss the last two series against Yale and Cornell.

Quinnipiac had 60 shot attempts in the game but what has been the story of this season they really struggled to find the back of the net. Cornell had 23 shot blocks which thwarted a lot of Quinnipiac chances. The Bobcats in the first period really tightened up on defense and out shot the Big Red 8-1 which was a big contrast from the night before when they were thoroughly dominated throughout the majority of the first period.

Just 2:01 into the second period Alex Rauter's (11th goal) hard work effort gave the Big Red the lead which they would relinquish. He took a rebound in the offensive fired a shot which was blocked and he took the loose puck and put the puck past a sliding Petruzzelli. In the third, Cornell's Anthony Angello got a five minute major and a game misconduct for a hit from behind on Scott Davidson. The Bobcats had a golden chance with a wide open net but the puck hit iron.

Quinnipiac at Cornell, ECAC QF Game 2 (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

A turnover in the Quinnipiac defensive zone gave Cornell the insurance goal by Mitch Vanderlaan (7th goal) at the 8:46 mark of the third period. Quinnipiac had another late five minute major that they could not convert on after a Mitch Vanderlaan contact to the head penalty gave him a game misconduct as well. Matthew Galajda (22 saves) recorded his 9th shutout of the season as Cornell moves on to Lake Placid for the second consecutive season while Quinnipiac's streak of five consecutive ECAC championship weekend appearances comes to an end.

Seniors Kevin McKernan, Kevin Duane, Bo Pieper, Tanner MacMaster and Landon Smith (who was injured) helped lead the program to 94 wins and two trips to the NCAA tournament and a Frozen Four berth in their time in Hamden. Quinnipiac now has seven months to prepare for the next season as they try to get back to the NCAA tournament after now having missed it in consecutive seasons after a string of four straight appearances from 2013-2016.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Quinnipiac blown out in Game One by Cornell 9-1

Quinnipiac at Cornell in Game 1 of the ECAC QF (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

The Quinnipiac Bobcats men's ice hockey season is officially on the brink of extinction. The Bobcats suffered their second worst ECAC playoff loss since entering the league in the 2005-2006 season with a 9-1 loss at the hands of the top seed and #2 ranked Cornell Big Red at Lynah Rink on Friday night in Game One of the best-of-three ECAC Quarterfinal series. The only worse loss suffered by Quinnipiac was in the 2008 ECAC Quarterfinals when they lost 11-0 in Game One to Harvard before winning 7-4 the following night.

This game was a bit of a reminiscent of Game Two of the 2013 ECAC Quarterfinals when Quinnipiac blew out Cornell 10-0 on its home ice. Cornell clearly returned the favor tonight and they didn't let up trying to score either until into the third period. I wouldn't have expected anything less after the beating that Mike Schafer and his program took five years ago at the hands of Quinnipiac. After the game it was reported that head coach Rand Pecknold nor any of the players were made available for comment to the media in Ithaca.

Cornell got on the board not even two minutes into the game. After an interference penalty by sophomore Alex Whelan, Cornell's Alec McCrea blasted a one-timer from the point from a feed by Brendan Locke. Quinnipiac goaltender Keith Petruzzelli (18 saves) was screened on the shot and had zero chance to save it. Cornell continued to dominate the first 10 plus minutes of the game.

Quinnipiac at Cornell in Game 1 of the ECAC QF (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

Quinnipiac evened the score on the power play when a Karlis Cukste shot was tipped in past Cornell's Matthew Galajda (12 saves) by Tanner MacMaster (13th goal). Late in the period Cornell grabbed the momentum and the lead for good when the puck after coming off the end wall bounced off Keith Petruzzelli's stick and right to Alex Rauter who put it in on an empty net. A little more than a minute later Jeff Malott gave the Big Red a 3-1 lead and from there the flood gates opened.

Petruzzelli gave up three more goals including a pair to Mitch Vanderlaan and one to Beau Starrett before being pulled in favor of fellow freshman Josh Mayanja (5 saves) who was making his collegiate debut. He proceeded to give up three more goals to Alex Rauter, Starrett and Cody Haiskanen before Rand Pecknold turned back to Petruzzelli for the third period. 

Quinnipiac will look to rebound on Saturday night at Lynah Rink in order to force a Game Three on Sunday afternoon.

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Odeen Tufto named finalist for ECAC Rookie of the Year

Odeen Tufto, bottom left (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

Quinnipiac men's ice hockey freshman Odeen Tufto has been named a finalist for ECAC Rookie of the Year as announced by the league office in a press release. The other finalists are Cornell goaltender Matthew Galajda and Clarkson forward Jack Jacome. The award will be announced next week prior to the start of championship weekend in Lake Placid

The Chaska, Minnesota native has exploded onto the scene in Hamden with a team leading 41 points (9 goals, 32 assists) in 36 games played. His 32 assists lead Quinnipiac and are most among freshman in NCAA Division I play. He has 15 multi point games which includes last week's Game 2 victory against Yale. He is the 11th Quinnipiac freshman to reach 30 or more points as a freshman and the first Quinnipiac freshman to reach the 40 point plateau since Sam Anas had 43 points back in the 2013-2014 season.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Playoff Preview: Quinnipiac Bobcats at Cornell Big Red

Quinnipiac vs Cornell in match up earlier this season (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

A week after dispatching their Whitney Avenue rival in the Yale Bulldogs, Quinnipiac faces another familiar foe in the #2 ranked Cornell Big Red a team that Quinnipiac has faced more than any other team in the ECAC playoffs since moving to the conference back in the 2005-2006 season. This will be the teams 5th meeting in the quarterfinals with Quinnipiac winning three of the prior four meetings with the last three series going to a decisive Game 3. It's a bit of a role reversal as back in 2013 and 2016 Cornell was the #9 and #8 seeds in the ECAC tournament while Quinnipiac was the #1 seed both times and got pushed to the distance. Now with Cornell as the #1 seed and Quinnipiac the #9 seed will we see history repeat itself?

Broadcast Information: Via Cornell Athletics

Tale of the Tape:

#9 Quinnipiac Bobcats 16-16-4 (9-11-12 ECAC)
2.89 Goals scored per game (22nd nationally)
2.64 Goals allowed per game (17th nationally)
18.18% Power Play (30th nationally)
83.94% Penalty Kill (10th nationally)
Cleary Cup Championships: (3) 2016, 2015, 2013
Whitelaw Cup Championships: (1) 2016
NCAA Tournament Appearances: (5) 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2002
NCAA Frozen Four Appearances: (2) 2016, 2013

#1 Cornell Big Red (#2 ranked) 23-4-2 (17-3-2 ECAC)
3.07 Goals scored per game (18th nationally)
1.51 Goals allowed per game (1st nationally)
16.81% Power Play (40th nationally)
82.35% Penalty Kill (17th nationally)
Cleary Cup Championships: (4) 2018, 2005, 2003, 2002
Whitelaw Cup Championships: (12) 2010, 2005, 2003, 1997, 1996, 1986, 1980, 1973, 1970, 1969, 1968, 1967
NCAA Tournament Appearances: (20) 2017, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2002, 1997, 1996, 1991, 1986, 1981, 1980, 1973, 1972, 1970, 1969, 1968, 1967
NCAA Frozen Four Appearances: (8) 2003, 1980, 1973, 1972, 1970, 1969, 1968, 1967
NCAA National Championships: (2) 1970, 1967

Key Players:

QuinnipiacOdeen Tufto, F (41 points), Tanner MacMaster, F (32 points), Chase Priskie, D (25 points, 8 PPG), Alex Whelan, F (19 points, team leading 16 goals), Bo Pieper, F (18 points), Brogan Rafferty, D (17 points), Nick Jermain, F (14 points), Karlis Cukste, D (12 points), Andrew Shortridge, G (2.36 GAA & .906 save %, 5 shutouts), Keith Petruzzelli, G (2-0, 1.01 GAA , .953 save % in 2 ECAC playoff games)

Cornell: Anthony Angello, F (25 points), Trevor Yates, F (24 points), Mitch Vanderlaan, F (17 points), Alex Rauter, F (16 points), Yanni Kaldis, D (15 points, +9), Matthew Nuttle, D (11 points, +19), Brendan Smith, D (10 points, +20), Alec McCrea, D (10 points, +20), Matthew Galajda, G (19-3-2, 1.49 GAA, .941 Save %, 8 Shutouts)

Playoff History:

2007 ECAC Quaterfinals - Quinnipiac won series 2-0 at Lynah Rink
2011 ECAC Quarterfinals - Cornell won series 2-1 at Lynah Rink
2013 ECAC Quarterfinals - Quinnipiac won series 2-1 at High Point Solutions Arena
2016 ECAC Quarterfinals - Quinnipiac won series 2-1 at High Point Solutions Arena

The Skinny:

Despite losing two games to Cornell this season, Quinnipiac played very well against the Big Red and could have won either games especially the one at Lynah. The Bobcats have played better at times on the road than they have at home this season so this might be a good thing for them to be away from home the rest of the way. While Cornell's record at 27-4-3 is very impressive along with their defense and goal-tending, I tend to think their record has been inflated a bit due to the down year of the ECAC and a soft as Charmin non-conference schedule. The best non-conference win is an average Boston University team that has underachieved massively. Their best conference win is probably against Union who is not even in the top 16 of the pairwise. While Quinnipiac isn't close to the top 16 of the pairwise they have three wins against the top 10 of the pairwise in Northeastern (2) and Clarkson.

By far this will be the toughest defensive team that Quinnipiac sees the rest of the way. Talent wise they don't match up with all the draft picks that a Boston University has on the blue line but as a collective group there has been no one better than Cornell which has been a trademark of great Cornell teams of the past. Throw in Matthew Galajda who likely will win the league goaltender of the year and possibly the rookie of the year (though I think Tufto should win ROY) and they are very strong in their own zone. Cornell has rarely blown a team out in a game this year and when they do its usually a team that isn't very good so expect this series to be low scoring and probably pretty close. While this isn't the Quinnipiac teams of the past half decade it's still a team that shouldn't be overlooked and is capable of playing with anyone on any given night.

If Quinnipiac plays to it's identity like it did last week it has a very good chance of winning this series. They are going to need to consistently hunt the puck which is a patented Rand Pecknold term. They need to bring a heavy fore-check in the neutral to force Cornell into bad decisions and turnovers which can create additional chances. Quinnipiac's depth is expected to be tested against a deeper Cornell team that is can be very physical at times. The Bobcats will need to be able to sustain that physicality along with keeping their emotions in check because these teams have a history of getting into scrums in the ECAC playoffs.

They will again need more than just the Tufto line to step up in this series if they are going to win. Contributions from up and down the roster are going to be a key. Quinnipiac will also need to play strong defense with excellent gap control in this series. Goal-tending for the Bobcats will be a key and its likely we will see Keith Petruzzelli back in between the pipes again this series. He needs to play as well as he did against Yale because if he does that will be huge for Quinnipiac in which they can maybe use the defense (Priskie, Rafferty and even Fortunato) in a more aggressive role offensively.

The Prediction:

This is a very interesting match-up because you can make a case Quinnipiac could have swept the Big Red this season and definitely should have won the game at Lynah this year. No team other than Union and Yale played the Big Red tougher without a win or tie to show for it. Quinnipiac has had a ton of past success at Lynah Rink especially in the past five plus years along with a lot of success against the Big Red in the ECAC Tournament. They also have a renewed confidence and have played well in the second half of the season and I think they will play really well against a good Cornell team on the road at hostile Lynah Rink which is a big home ice advantage for the Big Red. Its really hard to beat a team three to four times in a season especially if you have played them extremely close the prior two times. This was the best match up in my opinion for Quinnipiac more than any other higher seed remaining for them to play due to how well they play against them historically especially in the playoffs.

Qunnipiac in 3

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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Q&A with Quinnipiac commit Cameron Boudreau

Cameron Boudreau #22 during his time with Central Catholic (photo by Julie Malakie) 

Quinnipiac recently picked up a late 1999 born defense-man in New Hampshire native Cameron Boudreau who currently plays for the Junior Bruins in the USPHL NCDC division. Boudreau is expected to arrive in Hamden for the 2019-2020 season after one more year of junior hockey. The BobcatsHockeyBlog recently caught up with Cam to talk about his decision of choosing Quinnipiac along with hockey in general. Thanks to Cam for taking the time to do this.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: First off congratulations. What are your emotions like after making this decision?

Cam Boudreau: Thank you! And of course I was very excited to commit to Quinnipiac. It was also a huge relief to finally know where I'm going to be going to college. My parents and I couldn't be happier.

BobcatsHockeyBlogTell us about your overall recruiting process. When did Quinnipiac first start to show interest in you as a player?

Cam Boudreau: I had been in touch with colleges for a while but no serious interest came until this year. Coach Riga had been at a bunch of my games throughout this year, initially to watch Guus van Nes who has since previously committed to Quinnipiac, but then after the All-star game was my first time personally talking with the Quinnipiac coaches. They told me they wanted to come down for a visit and they would continue to watch my progress.

BobcatsHockeyBlog You said you went down for a visit. What were your thoughts on the campus, the facilities, the setting and did you know at that point, that Quinnipiac was where you wanted to go if and when they gave you an offer?

Cam Boudreau: I thought the campus was beautiful, and I absolutely loved the rink. I enjoyed the new feel that the facilities had. At that point I was keeping my options open but I remember really being able to see myself there. I didn't want to get my hopes too high because I didn't have an offer at that point.

BobcatsHockeyBlogWhat other schools showed interest in you?

Cam Boudreau: There were many who showed interest, but when it came down to seriously considering me as a player for their program, it was Quinnipiac, Vermont and Merrimack.

BobcatsHockeyBlogYou played the previous two seasons at The Governor's Academy and made the decision to go to the junior route with the Junior Bruins of the NCDC. What went into that process to leave the prep ranks before your senior year?

Cam Boudreau: I really loved everything about Governor's. The school was great but we had just been struggling as a hockey team. I was given a great opportunity to play for the Bruins and it definitely has worked out great for me.

BobcatsHockeyBlogTell us about your overall game. What are some of your strengths as a player? What are some of things you are looking to improve upon?

Cam Boudreau: I feel that I can skate with and without the puck really well. I can defend well with my stick and believe I can break out the puck well. I'm looking to improve as an all around player and my ability to make plays at the blue line.

BobcatsHockeyBlogDo you consider yourself more of a stay at home defense-man or one that can play two ways?

Cam Boudreau: Definitely two ways. I really enjoy shutting guys down but also love hopping in the rush as well.

BobcatsHockeyBlogYour currently ranked 117th for North American skaters on the NHL Central Scouting mid-term list. Have you had a lot of contact with NHL teams recently and what are your thoughts on the draft process as this is your first draft eligible year?

Cam Boudreau: I haven't had too much contact with NHL teams at this point but being drafted would really be a dream come true for me.

BobcatsHockeyBlogWhat are your plans for next season? Do you plan to return to the Junior Bruins at this point or will you try to make Dubuque (USHL) after being drafted by them in 2017?

Cam Boudreau: It really depends on what Quinnipiac wants me to do. I know they have a great relationship with the Junior Bruins, so as of now I think I'm going to stay where I am at.

BobcatsHockeyBlogIs there a player you try to model your game after?

Cam Boudreau: No not really. I try to play to my strengths and stick with what I do well, rather than what other players can do.

BobcatsHockeyBlogWho to this point has helped you the most to get you to this point in hockey career?

Cam Boudreau: I've always been lucky and had some of the best people to help me get better on and off the ice. Brian McGuirk, Cody Ferrio, Eddie Hill, and Jon Hutcheon are just a few of the guys that have helped me in the off-season with improving my game. My parents have supported me through every decision I've made from going to prep school and to juniors. They have always been there help in any way they can and still come to every single game that I have no matter how far.

BobcatsHockeyBlogTell us the type of person that the Quinnipiac community is getting in Cam Boudreau?

Cam Boudreau: I'm very excited to be an athlete at Quinnipiac as well as a student. I'm really looking forward to meeting some new people.

BobcatsHockeyBlogWhat are some of things that you enjoy to do off the ice?

Cam Boudreau: I really enjoy going to the beach and the lake. Some of my favorite things to do in the summer are paddle boarding, frisbee, and riding bicycles.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Monday, March 5, 2018

In the Pipeline: 3/5/2018

Quinnipiac is once again headed to the quarterfinals of the ECAC tournament. After going on the road 8 miles down Whitney Avenue to face Yale, Quinnipiac swept their rival out of the ECAC playoffs in convincing fashion winning 5-1 and 4-1. Next up for the Bobcats is top seed Cornell at Lynah Rink. Quinnipiac was swept by the Big Red this season losing 2-1 and 1-0 but this team has prior success in the postseason against Cornell and have played very well in the past five plus years at Lynah. Expect a hard fought series and this to possibly go the distance as three of the four playoff series prior between them have gone to a Game 3. Now lets take a look at how some of the future Bobcats did over the past week.

William Fallstrom (photo by USHL)

USHL commits

William Fallstrom had two goals and two assists in two games played this week for the Fargo Force. He was named the #1 star in an 8-0 win over Central Illinois. In 45 games, the Sweden native has 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists).

Justin Robbins made one start this past weekend and gave up 5 goals in a 6-4 loss to Omaha. He made 33 saves on 38 shot attempts. On the season, Robbins is 5-5-0-1 with a 3.67 goals against average and a .880 save percentage.

Wyatt Bongiovanni had a goal and one assist in three games played for the Muskegon Lumberjacks this past week. The Michigan native has 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in 31 games played. He missed six weeks of the season with an undisclosed injury.

Zach Metsa had one goal in two games played for the Central Illinois Flying Aces. In 49 games played between Central Illinois and Youngstown, Metsa has 18 points (2 goals, 16 assists).

Dom Fensore had one assist in two games played in USHL action this weekend. In 24 USHL games, Fensore has 12 points (1 goal, 11 assists).

T.J. Friedmann (photo by Darren Stone, Times Colonist)

BCHL commits

The BCHL playoffs are underway and there are five future Quinnipiac commits playing in the postseason and there will be playoff action all weekend and not just the weekends. 

St. Louis, Missouri native T.J. Friedmann had 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in the first two playoff games for the Victoria Grizzlies. Despite his team in an 0-2 hole he has been one of the bright spots early in the playoffs.

Ethan De Jong had one assist in the first two playoff games for the Prince George Spruce Kings in which they split for the Chilliwack Chiefs.

Michael Lombardi had just one goal as the West Kelowna Warriors fell into an 0-2 hole against the Trail Smoke Eaters. While Lombardi isn't happy with these results, he is likely happy this past weekend as high prep high school Kimball Union Academy won back-to-back NESPAC Elite Eight Championships.

Desi Burgart had a goal and an assist as the Surrey Eagles took a 2-0 series lead over the Langley Rivermen.

NCDC commits

Connor Tait has six assists in three wins for the Jersey Hitmen NCDC team. He is currently on a four game point streak with 9 points (1 goal, 8 assists) during this hot streak. In 41 games played this season he has 21 points (7 goals, 14 assists) with almost half of his production coming in these last four games.

NAHL commits

Quinnipiac picked up a recent commitment of 1997 born defenseman Marcus Chorney of the Amarillo Bulls. He picked up one assist over the weekend in two games played. In 49 games played, Chorney has 22 points (5 goals, 17 assists) with a minus 7 rating.

AJHL commits

Matt Cassidy had a goal and one assist in three games played for the Brooks Bandits. He finished the season with 42 points (17 goals, 25 assists) in 52 games. Brooks now heads to the playoffs as the second seed in the South Division.

Prep Schools/High Schools commits

Matthew Fawcett and Peter Diliberatore both fell short for NESPAC championships over the weekend as Fawcett's Winchendon School team fell in the small school semifinals 3-2 to the New Hampton School whiile Diliberatore's Salisbury team lost 3-2 to the Kimball Union Academy in the Elite Eight tournament.

John Campomenosi of Don Bosco Prep had  a goal and one assist in 7-0 win over Gloucester Catholic in the semifinals of the New Jersey non-public school state tournament. He has 28 points (8 goals, 20 assists) for a Don Bosco team that is will now play for a championship against #2 Delbarton on Monday night.

Midget Commits

Jack Silich had two goals and one assist this weekend for the Chicago Mission in two games played in a state tournament. He will play in the championship game on Tuesday. On the season he has 90points (34 goals, 56 assists).

Austin Spiridakis had one goal in three games in the AMHL best-of-5 division semifinals. His St. Albert Tire Warehouse Raiders team is trailing 2 games to 1 and needs to win a road game in Game 4 on Tuesday to force a deciding 5th game back on home on Friday.

Jacob Quillan of the Steele Subaru Major Midgets had one assist in three playoff games this past week. In seven playoff games he has 6 points (1 goal, 5 assists).

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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Quinnipiac wins 4-1, sweeps Yale out of playoffs

Quinnipiac and Yale shake hands (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

The No. 9-seeded Quinnipiac Bobcats scored the first three goals of the game en route to a 4-1 win and a sweep of the No. 8 seed Yale Bulldogs at Ingalls Rink on Saturday night in the best-of-three ECAC first round playoff series. Quinnipiac (16-16-4) outscored their Whitney Avenue rivals 9-2 over the two games. Since the 2013 season, Quinnipiac is now 5-0 in the ECAC playoffs against the Bulldogs. They will move on to the quarterfinals against an undetermined opponent. 

Quinnipiac played a complete sixty minute game tonight really taking it to Yale from the opening face-off and out-possessing Yale in the first period. "I was really happy with the effort tonight, Rand Pecknold said. Our battle level was great and our compete level was great. We really hunted the puck north, south, east, and west." Yale goaltender Corbin Kaczperski's play kept the Bulldogs in the game in the first period as Quinnipiac could have had at least two goals in the opening period but the game remained scoreless at the end of the first period.

Quinnipiac lit the lamp 4:41 into the second period with just a single second left on the power play when Odeen Tufto sent a no-look pass in front to a wide open Chase Priskie who buried it home past Kaczperski for his team leading 8th power play goal and 11th overall. With the assist Tufto is now tied with Brian Herbert (set in the 1999-2000 season) for the most assists by a Quinnipiac freshman with 32. He added a goal just under seven minutes later when Tanner MacMaster fed Tufto cross ice who buried a quick wrist shot past Kaczperski. With the goal, Tufto become the first Quinnipiac player to have 40 points in a season since Sam Anas in the 2013-2014 season. "We wanted to get a quick start, said Tufto. We wanted to jump on them right away. I think we did a good job of it. We got a lot of efforts up and down the lineup."

Craig Martin, right and JM Piotrowski, left (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

One of the biggest story lines of the series was Yale's Joe Snively, who was held to no shots tonight and had only two shots on goal the entire series. "We definitely were keying in on Snively, said Pecknold. We wanted to make sure we were gonna have layers with him. Every-time he beat a guy there would be a second guy and every-time he beat a second guy there would be a third guy. I thought we frustrated him and did a good job both nights. He’s a great player, one of the best in the country.”

Rand Pecknold turned once again to Keith Petruzzelli (20 saves) as Andrew Shortridge was not dressed for the game. “I thought he was great, Pecknold said. He was confident. He handled the puck well. He does a really good job with helping our breakouts. Sometimes that’s a little underrated in the game of hockey.”

Quinnipiac tacked on two more goals in the third, one on a nifty five-hole goal by Brogan Rafferty who worked around Billy Sweezey before sneaking a backhand shot through Kaczperski. “I made a risky move to the middle and it worked out,” Rafferty said. It was a good play by Kevin [Duane] in the neutral zone." Yale cut the lead to 3-1 on an unassisted goal by Kevin O'Neill but Alex Whelan (16th goal) potted his second empty net goal in as many nights to close out the win. 

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Saturday, March 3, 2018

Secondary scoring propels Quinnipiac to 5-1 Game 1 win over Yale

Quinnipiac at Yale, ECAC First Round Game 1 (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

The Quinnipiac Bobcats gave up a first period goal but took control in a dominant third period en route to a 5-1 in Game 1 of the ECAC first round playoff series between the Whitney Avenue rivals on Friday night at Ingalls Rink in New Haven, CT. This was only the third playoff meeting between the rivals in the ECAC tournament with Quinnipiac winning the 2013 ECAC consolation game and following that up with a sweep of the Bulldogs in the 2014 ECAC quarterfinals. Quinnipiac also was playing a road opening round playing series for the first time in 12 years since the 2005-2006 season.

It was the Quinnipiac secondary scoring that came through tonight for the Bobcats as Joe O'Connor, Kevin McKernan and Scott Davidson all scored goals tonight in the victory. One of the big keys coming into this series was finding other players outside of Odeen Tufto and Tanner MacMaster score goals and through one game that looks to be the case. Quinnipiac was sluggish a bit in the first period with Yale having some sustained pressure and finding breaking through when Tyler Welsh split the defense and found Ryan Hitchcock who put it past freshman goaltender Keith Petruzzelli (21 saves) making his first career postseason start.

Quinnipiac evened the score just 2:09 into the second period when Tanner MacMaster stole a pass just as it was heading out of the offensive and drove to the net before feeding to a charging Joe O'Connor who slid one past Sam Tucker as he was going to the ice. Just as they scored early in the second period, Quinnipiac took the lead early in the third when Scott Davidson fed Chase Priskie skating untouched through zone and sent a wrist shot five hole that trickled past Tucker which turned out to be the eventual game winning goal. "It left a sour taste in our mouth the last time we played here, said Priskie. We wanted to come back and get some redemption and we are glad we came out with the W."

Quinnipiac at Yale, ECAC First Round Game 1 (Photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

The lead was extended again when Matt Forchuk's tremendous vision found Kevin McKernan on the back door for a goal. McKernan returned to the lineup for the first time since the 3-2 loss to Yale on February 9th and he did so by playing a wing position instead of defense. "The first period was pretty tough playing forward, said McKernan. The legs felt a little heavy but once you I got into it, it wasn't bad. I don't mind it running around the ice a little bit with Davo [Davidson] and Chucker [Forchuk] as it made it easy."

Alex Whelan iced the game with his team leading 15th goal of the season by way of the empty and Scott Davidson added another one in the final minute five hole past Tucker. "I thought it was good win tonight, said Rand Pecknold. It was a good battle. We struggled a bit in the first and Yale was good. The message after the first was we need to play better and I thought we did that. we really battled. We played a good honest game tonight with good habits and kept it simple. The passion and care was there and if we are going to do that and play to our identity, we are going to win a lot of games."

Quinnipiac will go for the sweep tomorrow night at Ingalls Rink in New Haven as they look to close out the series and advance to the ECAC Quarterfinals.

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Playoff Preview: Quinnipiac Bobcats at Yale Bulldogs

Quinnipiac at Yale in early February (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

The Quinnipiac Bobcats and the Yale Bulldogs. The Battle of Whitney Part III. It's always fun when these two teams meet and its even better when it comes in the ECAC playoffs. The one negative is that this series will be played in Ingalls Rink instead of Quinnipiac's home fans at Perrotti Arena. Still this game should have a lot of Quinnipiac fan support with the short drive to New Haven. These two teams split the season series with Quinnipiac winning 3-0 in Hamden and Yale beating Quinnipiac 3-2 in New Haven for their first win in the series since the 2013 NCAA Championship game in Pittsburgh. Its the first regular season win since a 6-1 on February 18, 2011 and the Bulldogs last home win over Quinnipiac since October 6, 2010 when they beat Quinnipiac 5-1. 

For more in depth on this series check out the Q&A with @Yale_HockeyBlog

Tale of the Tape:

#9 Quinnipiac Bobcats 14-16-4 (9-11-12 ECAC)
2.79 Goals scored per game (Tied for 23rd nationally with UConn, Robert Morris & Holy Cross)
2.74 Goals allowed per game (22nd nationally)
18.52% Power Play (31st nationally)
83.08% Penalty Kill (17th nationally)
Cleary Cup Championships: 2016, 2015, 2013
Whitelaw Cup Championships: 2016
NCAA Tournament Appearances: (5) 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2002
NCAA Frozen Four Appearances: (2) 2016, 2013

#8 Yale Bulldogs 15-13-1 (10-11-1 ECAC)
2.93 Goals scored per game (20th nationally)
2.72 Goals allowed per game (20th nationally)
10.61% Power Play (dead last nationally)
82.95% Penalty Kill (19th nationally)
Cleary Cup Championships: 2010, 2009, 1998
Whitelaw Cup Championships: 2011, 2009
NCAA Tournament Appearances: (8) 2016, 2015, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, 1998, 1952
NCAA Frozen Four Appearances: (2) 2013, 1952
NCAA National Championships: (1) 2013

Key Players:

QuinnipiacOdeen Tufto, F (39 points), Tanner MacMaster, F (30 points), Chase Priskie, D (23 points, 7 PPG), Alex Whelan, F (17 points, team leading 14 goals), Bo Pieper, F (17 points), Brogan Rafferty, D (15 points), Nick Jermain, F (13 points), Karlis Cukste, D (12 points), Andrew Shortridge, G (2.36 GAA & .906 save %)

Yale: Joe Snively, F (36 points), Ryan Hitchcock, F (19 points), Evan Smith, F (17 points), Ted Hart, F (14 points), Dante Palecco, F (13 points), Robbie DeMontis, F (13 points, plus 10), Charlie Curti, D (11 points, plus 11), Billy Sweezey, D (10 points), Phil Kemp, D (8 points), Corbin Kaczperski, G (1.92 GAA, .936 Save %)

Playoff History:

2013 ECAC Consolation game - Quinnipiac won 3-0
2014 ECAC Quarterfinal - Quinnipiac wins series 2 games to 0

The Skinny:

Quinnipiac has had a ton of past success against Yale in the last seven plus years outside of the loss in the 2013 national championship and a loss at Ingalls this season. The Bobcats have had numerous depth issues especially at forward where they lack high end talent and it has shown on the ice for much of this season when they struggle to score goals. At times they have had to use natural defenseman at forward positions just to help with these issues. It will be interesting to see how the depth issues play out in this series. Both Quinnpiac and Yale feature a star player. For Quinnipiac its freshman Odeen Tufto who is likely the ECAC rookie of the year and may challenge for the National rookie of the year while Yale has Joe Snively'a 36 points including 19 goals helping to pace the Yale offense. Quinnipiac kept Snively pretty quiet in two games with him recording only a single assist in the 3-2 win against the Bobcats in early February. Tufto has 14 multi point games which ties him for the most for an NCAA freshman inn the last six years with Jack Eichel (Boston University). Tufto has a goal and an assist in two games against Yale this season and has points in 9 of his last 10 games and 11 of 13. His 39 points are the most for a Quinnipiac freshman since 43 by Sam Anas back in the 2013-2014 season. Secondary scoring for both teams will be a key as well as who will be in net for each team. Quinnipiac really needs to find scoring from more than just Tufto, MacMaster and a few others so they can rely less on the defense being forced to help offensively and focus more on defending their own end with strong puck movement and gap control. For Yale getting strong defense and timely scoring will go a long way for them if they want to win this series against Quinnipiac. All in all this should be a great weekend of hockey in New Haven.

The Prediction:

Both teams are 6-4 in their last 10 games and Yale picked up a win over Quinnipiac during that stretch along with a season ending win over Harvard which secured the site of this match-up. This is a pretty even match-up in terms of talent maybe Quinnipiac has just a tad more but its not much. The most underrated aspect in this series will be the last change that Yale has in which they can match-up with the Tufto line. While I think the talent level is pretty close between these two teams and the fact that Yale has the ever important final change I think this series should go the distance. Somehow I think Quinnipiac finds a way offensively to get some timely goals. I feel the crowd could help Quinnipiac out as well and the past success to me is a factor and that they just match up really well against the Bulldogs.  It won't be easy but nothing in the ECAC ever is.

Qunnipiac in 3

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