Friday, January 18, 2019

Weekend Preview: Boston University Terriers

Peter Diliberatore has 3 goals in his last 5 games and takes a plus 10 rating in against BU

Boston University Head Coach: Albie O'Connell (1st Season) 8-8-3

2018-2019 Boston University record: 8-8-3 (7-5-2 Hockey East)

All-time vs. Boston Unversity: Boston University leads series 3-0

Boston University Key Players: Bobo Carpenter (F), Shane Bowers (F), Joel Farabee (F), Patrick Harper (F), Logan Cockerill (F), Dante Fabbro (D), David Farrance (D), Chad Krys (D), Jake Oettinger (G)

The Terriers are a team that is starting to get hot again. After starting the season 4-8-2, Boston University is 4-0-1 in their last five games dating back to mid-December. In those four wins they are averaging 4.5 goals per game as this talented roster is beginning to finally come together for another possible second half run. Quinnipiac has yet to beat Boston University in three previous meetings and this is likely to be a very challenging game with how Quinnipiac has played recently and the improvement of Boston University in the last month.

While the Terriers average 2.63 goals per game don't let that number fool you. The talent is better than that and they are finally starting to show it with the 4.5 goals per game in their last four wins. Bobo Carpenter leads them with 10 goals and he has been one of the Terriers most consistent players in the past four years on Commonwealth Avenue. Joel Farabee has shown why he was selected in the first round by the Philadelphia Flyers with 16 points in 19 games. Fellow first round pick Shane Bowers is second on the team with 7 goals and is starting to get hot with points in four of his last five games played. While Patrick Harper has been a bit of a disappointment on the stat sheet, he is still a player to watch as he can score at any time. The Terriers power play has also disappointed a bit as they are a middle of the pack team at 17.7% given the talent they have up front.

The Terriers are loaded with talent on the back end with five NHL draft picks all picked in the first three rounds, led by captain Dante Fabbro who leads the team in scoring with 17 points. For all the talent they have they are still a middle of the pack team in terms of goals allowed at 2.84 per game. That number in the last five games during their unbeaten streak is down to two goals per game so they have improved in the past month to where they are talent wise. Penalty kill wise they are a shade under 80% at 79.5% so this is a possible area where the 4th best power play in the country could do some damage.

Junior goaltender Jake Oettinger is likely in his final season with the Terriers and is having a solid season with a 2.54 goals against and a .924 save percentage. He takes up a lot of space in the crease with his 6'5 inch frame and has had good success against Quinnipiac going 2-0 with a shutout as well to boot. It will definitely be a challenge to get shots by him on Saturday.

This is the second to last non-conference game for Quinnipiac and important for pairwise implications as Boston University is a team primed to make a second half run and move up in the pairwise as well. A win against the Terriers coupled with them going on a big run down the stretch would make a potential win like this look much better come March.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

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.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

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.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

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.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

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.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

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.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

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.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Weekend Preview: Colgate/#20 Cornell

Chase Priskie and the Bobcats head back into ECAC play this weekend

Colgate Head Coach: Don Vaughan (26th Season) 411-430-100

2018-2019 Colgate record: 4-10-2 (1-3-2 ECAC)

All-time vs. Colgate : Quinnipiac leads 23-15-2

Colgate Key Players: Bobby McMann (F), Adam Dauda (F), Josh McKechney (F), Nick Austin (D), Trevor Cosgrove (D), Mitch Benson (G)

The Raiders started the second half with a blowout loss to Quinnipiac on Long Island losing 6-0 and giving Rand Pecknold his 500th career victory. Its the second time this season that Colgate has gotten beaten up by Quinnipiac and its possible it could happen again this weekend when the teams meet up in ECAC play in Hamden.

Colgate has yet to score against the Bobcats this season. They are the worst offensive team in the of any team in the east this year and only trail bottom feeders Alaska Anchorage and Alabama Huntsville in goals for with 1.19 this season. Expecting to put up much against the #1 defensive team in the country is a lot to ask and not expected this weekend.

Colgate's defense is going up against the third ranked offense in the country and an offense that has blasted them 11-0 in two wins this season. This is a daunting task for them especially when they have the worst penalty kill of any team in the country at 70%. The only thing that is going for Colgate as Quinnipiac won't likely have a full student section with students still on break so the crowd effect won't be as daunting.

Neither Mitch Benson or Andrew Farrier has done much against Quinnipiac this season as both have gotten shelled in each game they have played. Neither goaltender has been great all season either but its been Benson who has seen the majority of the starts and with Farrier getting lit up in net last Saturday I could see them turning back to Benson for this one.

Quinnipiac needs this game for ECAC positioning along with the fact they can't afford to lose to bad teams and Colgate is a bad team not likely to get better this season. At this point in the season its about getting wins and staying high in the pairwise rankings.

Cornell Head Coach: Mike Schaefer (24th Season) 443-253-91

2018-2019 Cornell record: 6-5-0 (4-2-0 ECAC)

All-time vs. Cornell: Cornell leads 22-17-3

Cornell Key Players: Mitch Vanderlaan (F), Morgan Barron (F), Cam Donaldson (F), Max Andreev (F), Michael Regush (F), Yanni Kaldis (D), Alec McCrea (D),

Cornell has not played a game since December 1st. So they are over a month without a real game. That ends this weekend when they face Princeton Friday followed by a match up with Quinnipiac Saturday night in Hamden. Its been an up and down season so far for the Big Red. Cornell lost its opening two games of the season to Michigan State but won four straight games before going 2-3 to close out 2018 with a home loss to the Bobcats in that stretch. Health has been an issue and Cornell should get healthy in the second half.

The Cornell offense has struggled this season. A year ago they were top 15 in scoring and now they are middle of the pack. They have one player in Mitch Vanderlaan who averages a point per game and he only has one goal. Sophomore forwards Morgan Barron and Cam Donaldson each have five goals apiece. Two players that were expected to carry more offensive load in Jeff Malott and Brenden Locke have struggled and have four points combined. They have been decent on the power play at just a shade under 20% but they need to find more offense if they are going to make a second half run.

Associate head coach Ben Syer confirmed that Brendan Smith is expected to play this weekend while Alex Green is not expected to play. Both have been dealing with injuries. The Big Red have had consistency issues with their defense this season and injuries have played a role in that. The team that was the #1 ranked defense a season ago when they gave up 1.58 goals per game has jumped to 2.64 this season. They have really struggled on the penalty kill as they are sub 80% in that category at 76.4%. Quinnipiac has the type of offense to make an average defense pay and at this point the Big Red have been just that.

Goaltender Matthew Galajda who was the goaltender and rookie of the year in the ECAC has not repeated his success of a year ago. He has turned a .939 save percentage in his rookie season to a sub .900 save percentage at .885%. His goals against has gone from 1.51 to 2.59 this season. Cornell will not make a run this season if those numbers don't improve. Goal-tending was a major factor on why the Big Red were so good a season ago.

This game has turned into a rivalry game of sorts as both teams really don't like each other. For Quinnipiac they need to continue to put together a strong second half as they make a push for the ECAC crown and the NCAA tournament. This might be the time to face Cornell who have struggled of late and are coming off a long layoff.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Q&A with Quinnipiac commit Ethan Leyh

Ethan Leyh with the Langley Rivermen (photo by Langley Rivermen)
It was an early Christmas present for Quinnipiac fans when the Bobcats picked up a big commitment when former Wisconsin commit Ethan Leyh announced he would attend Quinnipiac for the fall of 2019. Rated on the NHL Central Scouting watch list, Leyh is someone that should be drafted come June when the draft commences on his hometown of Vancouver. The BobcatsHockeyBlog caught up with Ethan for a Q&A about his commitment, hockey and more. Thanks for Ethan for taking the time to do this out of his busy schedule.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: First off congratulations on your commitment. What are your emotions like after making this decision to commit to Quinnipiac for next fall?

Ethan Leyh: Obviously, I’m super excited to get the opportunity to come to such an amazing school like Quinnipiac and I can’t wait to get going with all the coaches and players next year. My family and I can’t wait for this opportunity.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: This isn’t your first time committing to a school as you previously had committed to Wisconsin in November of 2016. You were quoted on as you thought that Quinnipiac would be a better place for you and that you cited four 2001 forwards that were already going to Wisconsin as a factor. Was this a decision you were thinking of for awhile or was this a more recent decision due to possible over commitments on the Wisconsin end?

Ethan Leyh: I just felt like Quinnipiac was the right place for me as a hockey player moving forward in my hockey career.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: When did Quinnipiac first reach out to you to show their interest in you as a player. The article also says you visited Quinnipiac recently. What was your impression of the school and the hockey facilities after your visit?

Ethan Leyh: They first reached out to me after I decommitted from my previous school and my first impression of the school was very good as I really like the area and how the school was laid out and everything. As well I was really impressed with the hockey rink and the facilities inside the rink and really got me excited for the future.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: You recently played in the World Junior A Challenge representing Canada West and had a strong tournament with 3 goals and 2 assists along with winning a bronze medal. What was that experience like for you as a player and what can you take away from a tournament going against some really good talent on the ice?

Ethan Leyh: It was a huge honor to be able to wear the Canadian jersey and it was an amazing experience for me to be able to play against some of the worlds best players while learning from some of my teammates. It was an overall amazing experience for me.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: This is your second season in the BCHL with Langley and you are the teams leading scorer this season with 32 points in 31 games played. How has the coaching staff helped you with your development over the past year and a half so far, especially with making the jump to the Junior A level as a 16 year old player?

Ethan Leyh: They have helped me become a faster and smarter player which has really helped me late last year and as well as this year.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us about your overall game as a player. What would you say are some of your strengths?

Ethan Leyh: I would say my strengths as a player are my smarts along with playing below the dots and my shot as well.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: This is your last year of juniors prior to enrolling at Quinnipiac next fall. What are some of the areas of your game you want to improve upon in order to be prepared for the jump to NCAA hockey?

Ethan Leyh: I would like to improve my neutral zone play, as well as my first three steps as the game gets faster and faster as you move up levels in hockey.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: What type of role does the Quinnipiac coaching envision you in next season and was that something you discussed when you made your commitment to the program?

Ethan Leyh: We didn’t really talk about where I would be in the lineup while making this decision. I will have to earn my spot just like everyone else.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Quinnipiac has 11 future commitments including yourself playing in the BCHL. What does it say about the league when Quinnipiac continues to recruit hard in Western Canada?

Ethan Leyh: It’s a very good look on the league as a whole and really shows that development is a very big part of the BCHL and something that this league takes very seriously.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: You are rated a C prospect on the NHL Central scouting watch list which is a potential 4th, 5th and 6th round pick. At this point in the season have you had any contact with NHL scouts?

Ethan Leyh: At this point in the season, I have had some contact with some of these NHL teams.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: You were selected to play in the Canadian Junior Hockey League all-star game. How excited are you to play in that game in January?

Ethan Leyh: I’m super excited to get the opportunity to play in that game and showcase my talents.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Is there any player in the game today that you try to model your game after?

Ethan Leyh: Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks and Kyle Connor of the Winnipeg Jets are two that come to mind.

 Are you a big fan of the Canucks being from Port Moody, B.C. which is just east of Vancouver?

Ethan Leyh: No. I’m a fan of the San Jose Sharks actually.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: How did you become a Sharks fan being despite growing up so close to Vancouver?

Ethan Leyh: I always was a huge fan of Joe Thornton and I met him at a young age and that made me a fan of them.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Who to this point in your life has been your biggest influence to get you to this point in getting an opportunity to play NCAA Division I hockey?

Ethan Leyh: I would have to say both my mother and father.

 What type of person is the Quinnipiac community going to get in you on and off the ice?

Ethan Leyh: They will be getting a very energetic, competitive person who is very responsible and respectful who always has a smile on his face.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Off the ice what are some of things that Evan Leyh enjoys doing?

Ethan Leyh: I enjoy football and basketball along with watching any type of sport basically.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.