Thursday, November 30, 2017

Scouting the Enemy: Harvard Crimson

As we head into the first few days of December, I am not sure any follower of ECAC Hockey or college hockey for that matter would have thought that when Quinnipiac and Harvard met on December 1st, that both programs which were picked 1-2 in the league would be sitting below .500. Well here we are and that is the case as the 2-5-1 Harvard Crimson travel to Quinnipiac to face the 6-7-1 Bobcats. Both teams have had rough starts to the season as they look to climb a bit in the standings before the first semester ends in the next few weeks. Quinnipiac is coming off a strong 6-2 win over Princeton Tuesday night after getting swept by UMass over the past weekend while Harvard is 0-4-1 in its last five games though all have been on the road. 

Harvard Key Players: Ryan Donato (F), Jack Badini (F), Lewis Zerter-Gossage (F), Nathan Krusko (F), Adam Fox (D), John Marino (D), Rielly Walsh (F), Merrick Madsen (G)

The surprise is how much Harvard has slipped offensively as they still have some good talent on the roster. However, they did lose their top three scorers in Tyler Moy (45 points), Alex Kerfoot (45 points) and Sean Malone (42 points) along with Luke Esposito (36 points) so a drop off was expected but not to this degree. As a team they are averaging 2.50 goals per game which ties them for 48th nationally down significantly from a year ago when they averaged 4.06 goals per game and were second nationally behind Penn State. Ryan Donato leads this team up front with 10 points while freshman Jack Badini has 5 points. Other key contributors are Lewis Zerter-Gossage (5 points) and Nathan Krusko (5 points) along with freshman Henry Bowlby (4 points). Harvard needs more from senior Jake Horton who is second on the team with 27 shots only behind Donato with 37. Harvard's lethal power play from a year ago which was almost 26% is down to just a shade over 17%. The loss of talent up front has been greater than probably many people thought it was going to be. The key for Quinnipiac needs to be shutting down Donato. They need to play physical with him and not give him the time and space that he needs to work with. He is by far their best offensive player and the one who makes the Crimson offense go so keying on him is a pretty good start if you want to beat Harvard.

Defensively Harvard is still pretty good as they give up 2.50 goals per game which is tied for 10th nationally. A year ago they gave up 2.14 goals per game so they are too are from where they were a season ago. The Crimson have impressive puck movers on the blue line most notably Adam Fox the reining ECAC rookie of the year who has 7 assists and his fellow sophomore John Marino who has 3 assists. They are getting good production from freshman Reilly Walsh who has a lot of talent and they get experienced play from Wiley Sherman and Jacob Olson two of the upperclassmen on the blue line. The Crimson are strong on the penalty kill at 88.6% which is 4th in the country nationally and Quinnipiac probably would be better scoring on five vs five against Harvard than on the power play. The Bobcats need to avoid strong transition passes by Fox and Marino which could lead to easy offense for the crimson and play a strong neutral zone game these strong defensive players.

Merrick Madsen played in every game this season and while he does have two shutouts, he has also struggled in losses to Yale and Minnesota and gave up four goals in a tie with Boston College. Madsen has been average for the Crimson this year with a .906 save percentage and a 2.49 goals against average numbers that are not as good as his previous two seasons. For the Harvard to get back on the right track they are going to need Madsen to play like he did the past two seasons because his play has hurt them at times this year. Quinnipiac could be catching Madsen in a rough stretch which could be good for them.

This is an important game for Quinnipiac as they need to start to build some momentum along with some wins as they head into the first semester break within the next couple of weeks. Despite the Crimson's record they should still be treated as a formidable opponent with the talent they still have on this roster and I would look for a really hard fought game tomorrow night that could go either way.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Quinnipiac rebounds with strong 6-2 road win over Princeton

Quinnipiac at Princeton (photo by Paul Pacelli, WQUN)
The Quinnipiac Bobcats men's ice hockey team rebounded in a big way after its struggles this past weekend as they blasted Princeton 6-2 at Hobey Baker Rink on Tuesday night. Six different players scored for Quinnipiac as they improved to 6-7-1 (3-4 ECAC) on the season. With the victory the Bobcats now are in 5th place in the ECAC standings with 6 points, 3 points behind Colgate for a top 4 spot. They also had five different players with multi point games on the night. 

Quinnipiac started the scoring 5:02 into the opening frame when Tanner MacMaster took a turnover in the neutral zone, raced into the offensive zone and buried one from the slot past Ryan Ferland. Eleven and a half minutes later Logan Mick found a loose puck in front of the net and scored top shelf on Ferland. It was a strong period for Quinnipiac that saw them out shot Princeton 12-3. 

Princeton got on the board seven and half minutes into the second period on Max Veronneau's 6th goal of the season. Quinnipiac found themselves on the power play five minutes later and made the Tigers pay when Brogan Rafferty's slap shot was re-directed by Bo Pieper past Ferland. Six and a half minutes later Quinnipiac again found the back of the net when the two teams skated four aside as Chase Priskie found Alex Whelan sitting uncovered in front of the net where he snapped a quick shot past Ferland. Quinnipiac after two periods had 28 shots compared to only 8 for Princeton.

Quinnipiac had to fight off a Princeton push in the third period where they out shot the Bobcats 15-8 in the final frame. Nick Jermain sent a dagger through the Tigers with a wrap around goal for his first of the season with less than seven minutes left to play. Princeton quickly responded on a David Hallisey goal but it was a too little too late for the Tigers with Quinnipiac's Kevin McKernan sealing a happy bus trip home to Hamden with the empty net goal. 

It was possibly Quinnipiac's best effort of the season against a quality opponent. 13 different players picked up points while the Bobcats received multi point games from Odeen Tufto (2 assists), Brogan Rafferty (2 assists), Kevin McKernan (1 goal, 1 assist), Karlis Cukste (2 assists) and a strong game from Bo Pieper (1 goal, 1 assist) who also won 10 of 16 face-offs on the night. Andrew Shortridge made 21 saves for his 5th win of the season as its looking more and more like he should see the majority of the starts the rest of the way.

Quinnipiac now heads home for two crucial ECAC games against Harvard and Dartmouth this weekend as both teams have two games in hand on Quinnipiac are right behind them in the standings. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

In the Pipeline 11/27/2017

A week after sweeping a home slate and looking like the team was going to get back on track, Quinnipiac was swept in a home and home series with UMass Amherst sending the Bobcats to a 5-7-1 record and putting this season on the verge of sputtering out of control after 6 losses in their last 8 games. Quinnipiac has an early week game against Princeton followed by a weekend home slate against Harvard and Dartmouth. A lot of the future Bobcats played over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend so let's take a look at how some of them did.

Wyatt Bongiovanni (photo via
USHL commits

Wyatt Bongiovanni had two more points in Saturday's 3-2 win for Muskegon over Lincoln. He has a a goal and an assist with the goal coming way of the power play. It was a strong month of November for Bongiovaani with 5 goals and 5 assists. On the season he has 11 points (6 goals, 5 assists) and is tied for third on the team in scoring.

Zach Metsa is on a hot streak. He has recorded a point in his 5th straight game with a pair of assists in two games over the weekend and now has points in 7 of his last 8 games for the Youngstown Phantoms. In 17 games played, Metsa has 9 points (1 goal, 8 assists).

William Fällström returned from a minor injury with the Fargo Force to record an assist this past week. In 17 games played the Stockholm, Sweden native has 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists).

Domenick Fensore had an assist in two games played over the weekend as the U-17 US Developmental team played Sioux Falls and Omaha in USHL play. In 7 USHL games he has 1 assist.

Justin Robbins got his third start of the season for the Chicago Steel. He played in Friday's shootout loss to Lincoln. He gave up 4 goals in the game for the Steel. On the season the New Jersey native has an 0-1 record with a 6.00 goals against average and an .824 save percentage.

AJHL Commits

Matt Cassidy had one assist in three games played over the past week for the Brooks Bandits. In 20 games played, the New Jersey native has 14 points (6 goals, 8 assists).
Ethan de Jong (photo by James Doyle, Prince George Citizen)

BCHL Commits

Ethan de Jong of the Prince George Spruce Kings continues to rack up the points. He had another 4 this past weekend in two games played (2 goals, 2 assists). He is also riding a 5 game point streak along with points in 9 of his last 10 games played. On the season he has 35 points (11 goals, 24 assists) in 29 games played and is tied for 6th in the BCHL in scoring.

Michael Lombardi picked up his 7th goal of the season in Friday's 7-2 win for West Kelowna. The Rhode Island native now has 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) in 27 games played.

Midget Commits

Jacob Quillan added three more assists this past week in three games played for the Steele Subaru Major Midgets. On the season Quillan now has 24 points (8 goals, 16 assists) in 21 games played.

Austin Spiridakis picked up another an assist this past weekend for the St. Albert Tire Warehouse Raiders AAA team. In 17 games played, Spiridakis has 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists).

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Scouting the Enemy: Princeton Tigers

Quinnipiac is officially in a slump. For the third time in the last four weeks they finished a weekend getting swept. They have lost 6 of 8 games in November to fall to 5-7-1 on the season. The Bobcats have a short turnaround with an early week game against a talented Princeton team on Tuesday night at Hobey Baker Rink in Princeton, New Jersey. A year ago it was the Tigers who dominated in Quinnipiac in a sweep that essentially helped keep the Bobcats out of the NCAA tournament. Right now Quinnipiac is just fighting to possibly save its season from taking a down turn.

Princeton Key Players: Max Veronneau (F), Ryan Kuffner (F), Jackson Cressey (F), Eric Robinson (F), David Hallisey (F), Josh Teves (D), Reid Yochim (D), Ryan Ferland (G)

Princeton has one of the better offense's that Quinnipiac will see this year in the ECAC. They are averaging 3.22 goals per game and have some impressive forwards that can consistently find the back of the net. Quinnipiac will need to be able to contain the top line of Ryan Kuffner (10 points), Alex Riche (6 points) and Max Veronneau (11 points) in order to slow down the Tigers strength on offense. They also get strong production from Jackson Cressey (8 points) and Eric Robinson (8 points) along with senior David Hallisey (7 points). Special teams for Princeton are a strength with their power play second strongest among ECAC teams at 21.88% (7-of-32). Quinnipiac has had some defensive lapses recently that it must get cleaned up or Princeton is the type of team that will make them pay with the talent they have up front.

Defensively Princeton is ranked tied for 31st at 2.89 goals per game but that number is high due to a couple of bad games against good ECAC teams (Cornell and Union). Princeton's senior defensive pair of Matt Nelson and Joe Grabowski are the most experienced defenseman for the Tigers but so far a combined minus six. Josh Teves (8 points) and Matthew Thom form the second pair and combined they are a plus five on the season so far. Reid Yochim and Derek Topatigh make up the third pair and they have provided some offense to the Tigers from the blue line with 9 points combined. As I said earlier, Princeton has good special teams and that includes their penalty kill which is 8th best in the country at 87.5% (28-of-32). Quinnipiac has been struggling on offense only mustering 4 goals this past weekend against a young but talented UMass squad.

After seeing Colton Phinney man the pipes for the past four seasons, the Bobcats will see a new face in goal with freshman Ryan Ferland expected to get the nod for the Tigers. The 6'0 175 pound Franklin, Massachusetts native is off to a solid start with a 2.84 goals against average and a .918 save percentage along with a 4-3-1 record. He struggled a bit against two of the better teams in the ECAC (Cornell and Union) but has given the Tigers some stability back there in goal.

I think Princeton is going to give Quinnipiac everything they can handle tomorrow night. With the season sputtering on the verge of getting out of control, Quinnipiac needs a character win to build something off of because if the losses continue to mount up, the frustration possibly could start to set in up on York Hill in the second half of the season.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Quinnipiac falls 6-3, gets swept by UMass

BobcatsHockeyBlog file photo
For the third time in the last four weeks Quinnipiac has ended a weekend getting swept as they fell 6-3 to UMass Amherst in at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Massachusetts on the back leg of a home and home series. The Bobcats now have dropped 6 out of 8 games in November, tying a stretch when they lost 6 of 8 games last season.  It's not going to get any easier with a short turnaround for a Tuesday game on the road at Princeton followed by Harvard coming to Hamden next Friday.

While UMass got a hat trick from senior Niko Rufo, it was the young kids making sure that it was the Minutemen who got the last laugh on the weekend. UMass got the scoring started when Rufo took a feed from Cale Makar at the point and sent a wrist shot past Keith Petruzzelli. A little over a minute later Oliver Chau scoring on back handed five hole goal through Petruzzelli. Quinnipiac on the board when Logan Mick scored his first collegiate goal after redirecting Luke Shiplo's shot past UMass goaltender Ryan Wischow.

That was as close as Quinnipiac would come in this game as UMass scored 51 seconds into the second period by Mitchell Chaffee and then 12 minutes later Niko Rufo potted his second of the game. The Minutemen went into the second intermission up 4-1 despite being out shot 35-12. Oliver Chau sent an early dagger through Quinnipiac with a power play goal to make it 5-1, a score that essentially made it impossible for the Bobcats to mount a comeback.

Quinnipiac found a bit of life when Alex Whelan blew past the Minutemen's Jack Suter and rifled a shot high past Wischow. The Bobcats inched a bit closer when they scored immediately after Bo Pieper won a face-off back to Craig Martin who dished it over to Brandon Fortunato who blasted home his first goal and point as a Bobcat. Niko Rufo's empty net goal capped the scoring and the win for the Minutemen who improve to 7-6 on the season while Quinnipiac drops to 5-7-1.

It was a rough home coming for Keith Petruzzelli a resident of nearby Wilbraham, Massachusetts as he was tagged for 5 goals on 18 shots. The slumping Bobcats now head back into ECAC play on Tuesday when they travel to Princeton before returning home for Harvard and Dartmouth next weekend.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Quinnipiac's offensive struggles return in 2-1 loss to UMass

Quinnipiac vs. UMass (copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)
Just a week ago the Quinnipiac Bobcats men's ice hockey team scored 8 goals and won two games. It looked as if they might have turned a corner. Fast forward one week and the inconsistencies on offense have returned as Quinnipiac fell 2-1 to UMass Amherst in the first leg of a home and home series at Frank Perrotti Jr. Arena on Friday night. This is the 5th time this season that Quinnipiac has failed to score more than one goal in a game. Four of those games were losses with the other being a tie against Boston College. One thing is certain is that the offensive issues of this team are very real.

The visitors from Amherst brought a slew of talented freshman into Hamden and they did not disappoint accounting for both goals and the lone assists on each goal. Mitchell Chaffee scored his 4th goal of the season 11:46 into the opening frame on a feed from leading point scorer Oliver Chau. Quinnipiac had its opportunities with 16 shots on goal in the opening frame. 
Quinnipiac vs. UMass (copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)
The Bobcats got its lone goal 1:51 into the second period when some slick passing by Tanner MacMaster and Odeen Tufto set up John Furgele for his first goal as a Bobcat since transferring from the University of New Hampshire. However that lead was short lived when just over two minutes later San Jose second round draft pick Mario Ferraro sniped a tough angled shot that got by Quinnipiac goaltender Andrew Shortridge for the goal. Quinnipiac had some opportunities in the third period but could not capitalize. Kevin Duane was given 5 minute major for a contact to the head and a game misconduct on a hit that looked like a good hockey hit. The lone bright spots were Andrew Shortridge who made 23 saves and the Quinnipiac penalty kill which was a perfect 5 for 5 on the night. 

The home and home series wraps up tomorrow night in Amherst where Quinnipiac needs to avoid being swept for the third time in the past four weeks. With the losses piling up the Bobcats chances of getting an at-large bid down the road are starting to dwindle as the pairwise rankings are starting to matter along with the fact they are losing to teams below them in the rankings.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Scouting the Enemy: UMass Minutemen

Coming off their first two conference wins, Quinnipiac now heads back into out of conference play with a home and home series with UMass Amherst that begins Friday night in Hamden and wraps up the next night up in Amherst at the Mullins Center. Quinnipiac is going to see a UMass team that turned over half the roster from a year ago. The Minutemen have 13 freshman with many of them seeing serious playing time for Greg Carvel's team as he looks to make them much more competitive than they have been in the past. They are off to a decent start this season at 5-6 with wins over Union on the road and Providence at home. With so much youth on the UMass roster, there have been good nights and some bad nights but the pieces are in place to be a very respectable team this year and pretty good in the years to come. All time Quinnipiac is 7-2-2 against the Minutemen.

UMass Key Players: Oliver Chau (F), John Leonard (F), Niko Rufo (F), Mitchell Chaffee (F), Cale Makar (D), Mario Ferraro (D), John McLaughlin (D)

The UMass offense is very young but has some intriguing talent. They only average 2.78 goals per game but 10 of the forwards who have seen a bunch of game action are either freshman or sophomores so you can expect growing pains. Four of their top five scorers are freshman with the lone senior forward being Niko Rufo (8 points). Two freshman in Oliver Chau (10 points) and Amherst native John Leonard (9 points) are the two top scorers for the Minutemen followed by Rufo. Freshman forward Mitchell Chaffee has 6 points while they are getting some contribution from two of the freshman defenseman in Cale Makar (6 points) who was the 4th overall pick by Colorado in the 2017 draft along with Mario Ferraro (5 points) who was drafted in the second round by San Jose in the same draft. UMass has a power play that has struggled to a clip of 14.29% (7-of-49) while the Quinnipiac penalty kill has improved to 80.4% (37-of-46). The Bobcats need to use their experience on defense to force the young Minutemen forwards into mistakes in order to generate turnovers which can lead to quality opportunities for Quinnipiac.

UMass has struggled on defense this season giving up 3.18 goals per game. They have some high end talent with Makar and Ferraro that can provide offense as well as be consistent on the blue line. However this defense is just so young with freshman and sophomores manning the blue line that their lack of experience is hurting them. The lone senior back there is Jake Horton while sophomores Jake McLaughlin and Josh Couturier see a lot of minutes on the blue line. While Quinnipiac hasn't been lighting up the scoreboard offensively like they have in the past they have some experience up front along with some talent to make UMass pay if it struggles on defense. The Minutemen have been average on the penalty kill at 79% (49-of-62) while Quinnipiac has seen some improvement on the power play recently outside of the Yale game at 17.50% (7-of-40).

The Minutemen have gotten really poor goal-tending from both freshman Matt Murray (3.16 GAA, .894 save %) and sophomore Ryan Wischow (3.04 GAA, .895 save %). Murray has seen the majority of the starts with 8 but Wischow has the two best wins of the season for UMass beating Union and Providence. With the way these goaltenders have both struggled they probably will each get a game in goal. Either way Quinnipiac must capitalize on how inconsistent they have been and just shoot the puck consistently

Quinnipiac needs to build off last weekend's sweep and has to come away with two victories over this holiday weekend because at this point they can not afford many more pairwise slip ups especially with a loss to RPI on the season. They need to get strong goal-tending, the defense to play well, have a strong fore-check, hunt the puck and get some timely goal scoring in order for the results to go in their direction.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ethan de Jong signs National Letter of Intent with Quinnipiac

Ethan de Jong signing his NLI (photo by Prince George Spruce Kings)

Ethan de Jong has signed his National Letter of Intent with the Quinnipiac Bobcats men's ice hockey team. He is the fourth future commit to sign his letter of intent in November following William Fällström, Wyatt Bongiovanni and Peter Diliberatore. The 1999 born forward from North Vancouver, British Columbia is in his second full season in the British Columbia Hockey League, leads the Prince George Spruce Kings in scoring with 31 points (9 goals, 22 assists) and is tied for 5th in scoring in BCHL. He has already surpassed his production from the 2016-2017 season when he had 30 points (5 goals, 25 assists) in 43 games played.

He recently was invited to the Hockey Canada World Junior A Challenge Canada West Selection Camp from December 2nd to 5th in Calgary in order to earn a spot for the tournament that will commence December 10th to 16th in Truro, Nova Scotia. The 5'10 175 pound de Jong originally committed to Quinnipiac back on September 25th. He is projected to arrive in Hamden for 2019-2020 season. 

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Andrew Shortridge named ECAC goaltender of the week

Andrew Shortridge vs. Yale (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

ECAC Hockey in a press release has named Andrew Shortridge as its goaltender of the week after posting back to back shutouts this past weekend against Brown and Yale. The sophomore from Anchorage, Alaska made 52 saves over two games as Quinnipiac picked up its first two conference wins of the season.

This was the third shutout of Shortridge's career as he posted a 1-0 shutout back on February 3, 2017 on the road against Brown. In 9 games played this season, Shortridge is 4-4-1 with a 1.85 goals against average and a .925 save percentage. This is the first career ECAC goaltender of the week award for Shortridge who last season won back to back ECAC rookie of the week awards for the weeks of February 28th and March 8th.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Monday, November 20, 2017

In the Pipeline: 11/20/17 edition

It was a good weekend to be a Bobcat as the Quinnipiac men's ice hockey team swept a weekend home slate against Brown and Yale both via shutout wins. Andrew Shortridge picked up his second and third career shutouts and the Bobcats got timely goal scoring throughout the weekend and capped the weekend winning the Heroes Hat once again with their home win over Yale. There was some future Bobcats that had a very good past week of action so without further adieu lets take a look at how the future of Quinnipiac hockey did.
Jacob Quillan, sitting bottom left (photo by John Moore)

Midget Commits

Nova Scotia 2002 born forward Jacob Quillan was named the most valuable player of the 2017 Monctonian Major Midget tournament that concluded on Sunday. Quillan scored the overtime winning goal in a 4-3 win over Halifax McDonalds. Scroll to the 3:35 minute mark of this Youtube clip for his overtime winning goal. In 6 games played between the round robin and playoff format, Quillan had 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists)

Austin Spiridakis picked up another goal this past weekend for the St Albert Tire Warehouse Raiders (AMHL) in a 3-1 win over the Calgary Royals . On the season he has 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists) in 15 games played.

USHL commits

Wyatt Bongiovanni had another 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist) in two games played for the Muskegon Lumberjacks. On the season the Michigan native has 9 points (5 goals, 4 assists) in 14 games played. He had an impressive back handed goal on Saturday in Muskegon's game against Sioux Falls. Here is the clip.

Zach Metsa had two assists this past week for the Youngstown Phantoms. The Delafield, Wisconsin native now has points in four of his last five games (1 goal, 3 assists). He is averaging over two shots per game on goal for the season has 6 points (1 goal, 5 assists) in 14 games played.

We missed this last week but Corey Clifton made his USHL debut with the Muskegon Lumberjacks. He had two assists in his first two games but was kept off the score sheet this past weekend. He had previously been with the North Jersey Avalanche U-18 team. Its unknown if Clifton will remain with Muskegon the rest of the season but he is off to a good start for the Lumberjacks.

Guus van Nes (picture via van Nes twitter)

NCDC Commits

Gus van Nes is starting to look like a nice late bloomer pickup for Quinnipiac. The Netherlands born forward has been on fire since making his commitment to Quinnipiac. This past weekend he six assists including four in Sunday's win against the New Jersey Rockets. He is on a five game point streak (3 goals, 9 assists) and for the season he has 29 points (8 goals, 21 assists) in 29 games played. van Nes will bring size and some scoring ability up front to the Bobcats next season.

AJHL Commits

Matt Cassidy continues to put up points for the Brooks Bandits in the AJHL. The Medford, New Jersey native had two more points this past weekend (1 goal, 1 assist) as Brooks split a pair of games with Canmore. In 17 games with the Bandits, Cassidy has 13 points (6 goals, 7 assists).

BCHL Commits

Ethan De Jong of the Prince George Spruce Kings has surpassed his 2016-2017 season of 30 points before Thanksgiving. He had three more assists this past weekend in two game played. He now has 31 points (9 goals, 22 assists) in 27 games played this year averaging 1.15 points per game. He had 30 points in 43 games last season.

It was another good week for 1998 forward Michael Lombardi as he had three more assists for the West Kelowna Warriors. He now has points in seven of his last eight games for West Kelowna. The first year BCHL player now has 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists) in 25 games combined between the Chilliwack Chiefs and West Kelowna.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Quinnipiac shuts out Yale 3-0, wins Heroes Hat

Quinnipiac vs. Yale (photo copyright BobcatHockeyBlog)
Once again the Heroes Hat is remaining in Hamden for another season. The Quinnipiac Bobcats made sure that happened with a strong defensive effort along with some timely goals to shutout the Yale Bulldogs 3-0 Saturday night at the Frank Perrotti Jr. Arena. It was a return to what Quinnipiac does well with strong defensive hockey and excellent goal-tending that help lead to a weekend sweep after back to back weekends of being swept themselves. Quinnipiac is now 9-0-1 against the Yale Bulldogs since losing the 2013 National Championship game to them in Pittsburgh.

Early on this game a defensive struggle with a lot of physical play between the two schools separated by less than 8 miles. Both teams also got strong goaltending from both Quinnipiac's Andrew Shortridge and Yale's Sam Tucker. Quinnipiac had multiple opportunities in the opening period to get on the scoreboard for multiple goals but Tucker was brick wall bringing memories back of the performance that Yale goaltender Jeff Malcolm had back in the 2013 National Championship game. The best chance in the opening frame for Quinnipiac came on a Tanner MacMaster penalty shot but he was denied by Tucker.

Quinnipiac opened the scoring 2:22 into the second period when Chase Priskie fed Brogan Rafferty at the point where his bomb made it through traffic and a screened Sam Tucker for the goal. The Bobcats continued to pound Tucker in the second putting 19 shots on goal. With a power play that has been improving, Quinnipiac had six power play opportunities through two periods but didn't convert a single one.
Quinnipiac vs. Yale (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)
Quinnipiac's defining moment of the game wasn't any goal but the 5 minute major penalty that they killed off when Tanner MacMaster took a slew footing penalty and was ejected from the game. It was an impressive stand as prior to the 5 minute penalty Quinnipiac had killed off two consecutive Yale power plays making the Bobcats having to kill off almost half the period via the penalty kill without even having to use their timeout. With momentum shifting back to Quinnipiac they scored an insurance goal on a redirect goal by Craig Martin off Kevin McKernan's initial shot at almost the 15 minute mark of the third period. Freshman Devin Moore picked up his first collegiate point with a secondary assist on the goal. Not even a minute later Quinnipiac put the game on ice when Thomas Aldworth blew past a Yale defenseman finishing cleanly past Tucker for his first goal of the season officially making sure the Heroes Hat remained in Hamden for another season.

Andrew Shortridge continued with his strong play with 30 saves for his second consecutive shutout and third of his career. The teams combined for 16 penalties in a very chippy game. Quinnipiac now heads into the Thanksgiving holiday on a positive note winning two straight conference games to improve to 5-5-1 overall (2-4 ECAC). The Bobcats next play UMass Amhert in a home and home series next Friday and Saturday night with the first leg of the series in Hamden followed by a short I-91 trip up to Amherst the next night.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Scouting the Enemy: Yale Bulldogs

Quinnipiac got back into the win column with their first conference win of the season in a 5-0 win Friday night against the Brown Bears. Now comes the Heroes Hat game against their Whitney Avenue rival, the Yale Bulldogs who are 3-4 on the season. Quinnipiac moved up to 11th place in the ECAC with its win Friday night. The hope is that the Bobcats can build off of what they accomplished against Brown and use to going into the Yale game and beyond. With students on Thanksgiving break it might not have the buzz of previous past Yale games due to the holiday break and for the fact that both teams are having poor starts the season. It is still an important game and one that Quinnipiac always circles on its calendar. 

Yale Key Players: Joe Snively (F), Dante Palecco (F), Ryan Hitchcock (F), Mitchell Smith (F), Evan Smith (F), Ted Hart (F), Billy Sweezey (D), Phil Kemp (D), Sam Tucker (D)

The Yale offense has been Jekyll and Hyde so far this season looking great in three wins but non existent in three losses this season until Friday's night 5-4 loss to Princeton. Averaging 3.29 goals per game they are led by junior Joe Snively who is off to a hot start with 5 goals in seven games and senior Ryan Hitchcock who has 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists). Freshman Dante Palecco has begun his collegiate career strong with 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists) in 7 games while the Smith twins of Evan and Mitchell have 5 points apiece. Junior Ted Hart and Yale's lone forward draft pick Luke Stevens are both off to slow starts with 3 points apiece. The Yale power play has been by far the worst in the country this season at 5.88% (2-of-34) while the Quinnipiac penalty kill is starting to show improvement at 78% (32-of-41) along with going 4 for 4 against Brown on Friday night. The key for Quinnipiac is shutting down the Snively-Hitchcock-Palecco line as they have been Yale's three best players this season. Having the last change against those three will give the Quinnipiac coaching staff the ability to match up defensively against that line in critical situations and defensive zone draws.

Yale's defense also has been a bit Jekyll and Hyde this season as it has struggled in its losses giving up 16 goals. For the season they are giving up 3 goals per game. The Bulldogs have some really solid players on the blue line in freshman Phil Kemp (3 points, plus 5) and sophomore Billy Sweezey (5 assists, plus 1). Anthony Walsh (plus 4) and Adam Larkin (plus 3) have also looked solid at times on the blue line. They have definitely improved from where they were a season ago when they vastly struggled on the blue line. How far they will go will rest on if the defense can play a lot better than it has so far this season but the talent is there for improvement. Yale's penalty kill is a shade better than Quinnipiac's at 78.8% (26-of-33) while Quinnipiac power play has seen much improvement up to 21.21% (7-of-33).

Junior goaltender Sam Tucker has a sub .900 save percentage at .896 in 7 games played with a 2.74 goals against average. His best game was a 5-2 win over Harvard and he also beat both Brown and St. Lawrence. He has struggled in back to back games giving up 9 goals in total to Clarkson and Princeton though both of those teams have some of the best offensive talent in the ECAC this season. We will see if Quinnipiac can translate last's nights offensive success into a big night against Tucker.

A win over Yale will give the Quinnipiac some solid confidence as they head into Thanksgiving along with heading back into non conference play with a home and home series with UMass Amherst next weekend.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Friday, November 17, 2017

What can Brown do for you? A 5-0 Quinnipiac win

BobcatsHockeyBlog stock photo
Five games into their ECAC slate, the Quinnipiac Bobcats have recorded their first conference win with a resounding 5-0 win over the Brown Bears. Coming off back to back weekends of being swept in conference play, Quinnipiac was in desperate need of a victory. It was a good night for Quinnipiac to bring out the UPS slogan "What can Brown do for you" because that is exactly what happened tonight as the Bobcats got in the win column and looked strong in doing so. They moved the puck well with crisp passes, good forecheck and and all around solid game from their defense and goaltending.

It was the Landon Smith show tonight for Quinnipiac as he scored a natural hat trick scoring the teams first three goals of the game. His first came just over 12 minutes into the first period on the power play when he scored off a rebound from John Furgele's initial shot. Less than two minutes later Smith again found the back of the net when he redirected Brogan Rafferty's shot past Luke Kania.

Landon Smith found the back of the net for a third time just 2:27 into the second period when Smith cleaned up yet another rebound this time off the stick of Tanner MacMaster whose initial shot was saved by Kania. Quinnipiac scored a second power play goal when Bo Pieper fed Chase Priskie in the slot where he ripped a wrist shot home past Kania. Quinnipiac capped the scoring on the night when Landon Smith skated the puck freely into the zone before finding Tanner MacMaster on the doorstep where he put it home for the goal.

Quinnipiac out shot Brown 36-22 for the game. Four players has multi point games led by Smith (3 goals, 1 assist), Chase Priskie (1 goal, 1 assist), Tanner MacMaster (1 goal, 1 assist) and Odeen Tufto (2 assists). Quinnipiac finished a strong night on special teams going 50% (2-of-4) on the power play and finishing 100% on the penalty kill (4 for 4). Andrew Shortridge made 22 saves for his second career shutout. This is a step in the right direction for the Bobcats as they now turn there attend to the Yale Bulldogs tomorrow night for the annual Heroes Hat game.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Scouting the Enemy: Brown Bears

With the 4th consecutive conference loss to open a season for the first time in the Rand Pecknold era, Quinnipiac finds itself in unfamiliar territory being at the bottom of the ECAC standings. With a team that was picked second in the league by many this start by the Bobcats is unexpected to say the least. They return back to Hamden looking for their first conference win when they take on the Brown Bears Friday night at Frank Perrotti Arena. Brown is 2-4 on the season having a nice win over Yale to start the year and playing well against Clarkson last weekend in a loss before winning against St. Lawrence on Saturday. The Bears have the ability to give Quinnipiac all they can handle Friday night especially with the way the Bobcats have been playing as of late and it will take a total team effort for Quinnipiac to start the turnaround of their season.

Brown Key Players: Sam Lafferty (F), Max Willman (F), Charlie Corcoran (F), Tyler Bird (F), Brent Beaudoin (F), Alec Mehr (F), Tony Stillwell (D), Joe Maguire (D), Zach Giuttari (D), Gavin Nieto (G)

Bruno is only averaging 2.50 goals per game but they have players that can hurt you in a handful of seniors including Sam Lafferty, Max Willman, Charlie Corcoran and Tyler Bird. Sophomore Brent Beaudoin (5 points) is leading the team in scoring and they are getting early contribution from freshman Alec Mehr (4 points). Brown is only converting on 16.13% (5-of-31) of their power plays while the Quinnipiac penalty kill is 50th in the country at 75.7% (28-of-27). Quinnipiac has really struggled recently on defense giving up three goals per game which is very unlike a Quinnipiac team in that regard. I think some of Quinnipiac's struggles on the defensive end are due in part by their scoring woes. The defense is trying to make up for some of the lack of scoring up front and it is effecting them defensively which in turn has hurt the goal-tending as well.

Brown's defense is giving up 3.17 goals per game but have played much better this season that they did a year ago. Coupled with the fact that Quinnipiac's offense is struggling mightily to a tune of 2.33 goals per game that has to make Brown feel a bit better about themselves on the defensive end. Some of Brown's younger defenseman have played well in Tony Stillwell, Joe Maguire and Zach Giuttari which have made things much easier than they did a season ago. The penalty kill for Brown has been solid as well at 83.3% (30-of-36). With the Bobcats power play struggling at only 17.24% (5-of-29) this should favor Brown in that category.

Sophomore Gavin Nieto has gotten the majority of the starts in goal with 4 but freshman Luke Kania started against St. Lawrence and only gave up one goal. His only other start was against Dartmouth when he gave up four goals in a loss to the Big Green. Nieto has the experience from playing the majority for Brown and has the better save percentage this season a .910%. It remains to be seen who will get the start in net as I could see Brown coach Brendan Whittet starting either of these goaltenders Friday night.

Quinnipiac cannot afford to look past Brown to the Yale game for a second. Bruno has looked like a much improved team that has some talent and is playing hard. An early lead for Quinnipiac is a must in order to start to build confidence that they need to carry with them for the rest of the their schedule.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Monday, November 13, 2017

In the Pipeline: 11/13/17 edition

It was another lost weekend for Quinnipiac as they were swept in the New York capital district region to lose their 4th consecutive ECAC game. At this point in the season I don't think anyone predicted or expected Quinnipiac to be sitting at 12th in the ECAC with no wins in the conference to boot especially for a team picked second in the league. There is still time for a turnaround but the team has to take it game by game at this point and focus on the task in hand in front of them. With that said lets take a look at what some of the future Bobcats did over the past week as many had some great accomplishments.

U-17 World Hockey Challenge Champions (photo by USA Hockey)

National Developmental Progam commits

Defenseman Domenick Fensore won a gold medal with the United States U-17 team at World Hockey Challenge in British Columbia, Canada. He finished the tournament with 4 assists in 6 games played as the United States did not drop a game in the tournament.

South Kent U16 New England Tier I Champions (photo by South Kent)
Prep School Commits

Four Quinnipiac commits won New England Regional Tier I championships this past weekend. Ethan Phillips and P.J. Fletcher were part of the South Kent U16 team that won the title over Yale Hockey Academy getting redemption from a season ago when they were knocked out by Yale at the U-15 level with many of these same players. Phillips had 3 goals and 6 assists while Fletcher had 4 goals and 3 assists. The two really put those numbers up in 3 games as they really only played 2-3 shifts in the third game as they were resting for the championship game.

Victor Czerneckianair was part of the South Kent School U-15 team that also won the New England Tier I regional championship. Both of these teams now will head later on this year to the USA Hockey National Championships in Philadelphia, PA.

Peter Diliberatore fresh off signing his national letter of intent was part of the Yale Midget program that won the U-18 New England Regional Tier I championship.

USHL commits

It was a strong week for some of Quinnipiac's incoming players for next season with two of them signing national letters of intent with the program. Wyatt Bongiovanni had a 5 point week (3 goals, 2 assists) for the Muskegon Lumberjacks headlined by a hat trick last Wednesday. He now has 7 points in 12 games after getting off to a slow start in October.

One of the Bobcats newest commits, William Fällström committed last week to Quinnipiac had two goals in his past two game since making his college commit. In 14 games for the Fargo Force he has 9 points (3 goals, 6 assists). The native of Stockholm, Sweden was formally verbally committed to the University of Minnesota.

Zach Metsa had the overtime winning goal for the Youngstown Phantoms over the Muskegon Lumberjacks this past Saturday. In 12 games this season he has 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) from the blue line.

AJHL Commits

Matt Cassidy had a three point week for the Brooks Bandits (1 goal, 2 assists). He has 11 points in 15 games played for Brooks playing on the Bandits top line.

BCHL Commits

Ethan De Jong of the Prince George Spruce Kings had a strong week with a goal and five assists for the Prince George Spruce Kings. De Jong in 25 games this season, has 30 points (9 goals, 21 assists). This past Sunday he had 3 primary assists in his game against West Kelowna.

Michael Lombardi had a 4 point week for the West Kelowna Warriors and has points in his last 5 games. In 22 games played this season, Lombardi has 13 points (6 goals, 7 assists) but is starting to find his groove with his trade to West Kelowna.

Midget Commits

Jacob Quillan had a three point game (1 goal, 2 assists) on Sunday to take the team scoring lead. In 18 games played, Quillan has 21 points (8 goals, 13 assists).

Austin Spiridakis picked a goal this past weekend for the St Albert Tire Warehouse Raiders (AMHL). On the season he has 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) in 13 games played.

NCDC Commits

Connor Tait had a three point weekend for the New Jersey Hitmen NCDC team. The Boyd, MD native is starting to settle in within the past few weeks. In 21 games played he has 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists).

Quinnipiac's newest commit Gus van Nes who committed on Friday had a strong weekend with 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) including a hat trick on Saturday. A native of the Netherlands, van Nes becomes the second Dutch born player to play for Quinnipiac following Mike Dalhuisen. In 21 games played this season, he has 23 points (8 goals, 15 assists).

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Quinnipiac struggles continue with 4-1 loss to Union

Quinnipiac at Union (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)
For the first time in the Rand Pecknold era, Quinnipiac has begun the season 0-4 in conference play. This includes ECAC play and their two former conferences, Atlantic Hockey and the MAAC. A night after coughing up a two goal lead at RPI, #16 Quinnipiac fell behind early and never recovered losing 4-1 to the Union Dutchmen. The lack of discipline by the Bobcats hurt once again with the team taking six penalties highlighted by the second period 10 minute misconduct penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct by Kevin McKernan.

Union opened the scoring just over five minutes into the game on Ryan Scarfo's sixth goal of the season coming off a juicy rebound from Andrew Shortridge off Cole Maier's initial shot ripping home a wrist shot past a diving Quinnipiac goaltender. The Dutchmen made it 2-0 towards the end of the first period on Anthony Rinaldi's 8th goal of the season. 

Quinnipiac's frustrations continued in the second period taking a penalty less than four minutes in followed by the misconduct by McKernan which was then followed by a Union power play goal from Luc Brown. The Bobcats took two more penalties in the period and midway through the period, Quinnipiac made a goaltending change when Keith Petruzzelli relieved Shortridge. 
Quinnipiac at Union (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)
In the third Quinnipiac avoided being shutout when Chase Priskie scored on the power play for his 4th goal of the season. Karlis Cukste and Scott Davidson assisted on the goal. That was as close as Quinnipiac got for the rest of the game as Luc Brown scored a late power play goal for the Dutchmen to close the scoring. 

Quinnipiac will fall out of the top 20 poll come Monday after being swept yet again this weekend. Quinnipiac will be searching for answers this week as they welcome Brown next Friday to Perrotti Arena along with rival Yale on Saturday as Thanksgiving break commences on the Quinnipiac campus.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Scouting the Enemy: Union Dutchmen

The #16 Quinnipiac Bobcats coming off a 5-3 loss against RPI after having a two goal lead have lost their first three conference games of the season. The Bobcats now head to Union as the Dutchmen are coming off six wins in their last seven games after starting the season with five straight losses. Rick Bennett's team has righted the ship with their play recently. Quinnipiac is looking to right the ship after a disastrous start to ECAC play and can ill afford to fall behind the eight ball anymore in conference play. Currently Union is in first place in the ECAC standings with a 4-1 record.

Union Key Players: Brett Supinski (F), Ryan Scarfo (F), Anthony Rinaldi (F), Cole Maier (F), Sebastian Vidmar (F), Jack Adams (F), Parker Foo (F), Vas Kolias (D), J.C. Brassard (D),  Darion Hanson (G)

Mike Vecchione and Spencer Foo are gone so there is expected to be a drop-off offensively for the Dutchmen. Currently they are averaging 3.17 goals per game and that is without their two best freshman Jack Adams and Parker Foo doing much as of now. Sebastian Vidmar (8 points) who was the third leading scorer last year is tied for 4th in the team in scoring behind Brett Supinski (14 points), Ryan Scarfo (12 points) and Anthony Rinaldi (11 points). Union still has shown it can put the puck in the net though a lot of the offense came against the likes of RIT, Niagara, RPI and St. Lawrence in their recent winning streak. Still with the way Quinnipiac has struggled paying attention to details on defense this is still a good enough Union offense that can cause Quinnipiac problems.The Dutchmen power play is not as good as a season ago at just 17.86% but the Quinnipiac penalty kill has struggled to a 78.1% clip. However they went 6 for 6 last night against RPI.

The Union defense which a strength a season ago took a bit of a hit with the graduation of Jeff Taylor and the early departure of Nick DeSimone to a pro contract. Union still has Vas Kolias and J.C. Brassard along with junior Greg Campbell but it has a lot of youth with freshman and sophomore's manning the blue line which is somewhere that Quinnipiac possibly could exploit. Union has struggled on the penalty kill at just 76% this season while Quinnipiac has struggled on the power play at just 16% but scored two power plays goals Friday night against RPI in the loss.

Union started its turnaround due in part to a goaltending change after five games. Junior Jake Kupsky started the first five games of the season and didn't record a victory while struggling with a 3.18 goals against average and an .891 save percentage but got the start and picked up the win Friday against Princeton. Freshman Darion Hanson has stabilized the position for Union, going 5-1 with a 1.84 goals against average and a .920 save percentage in the last six games to turn around the season for the Dutchmen. The Minnesota native has good size in between the pipes at 6'3 but the Dutchmen as a team played much better in front of Hanson than they did with Kupsky.

Quinnipiac is absolutely desperate for a conference win after blowing a two goal lead on Friday night against RPI when they made countless mistakes. Another weekend with no points could lead this team going in the wrong direction this season.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Quinnipiac coughs up 2 goal lead, falls 5-3 to RPI

Quinnipiac at RPI (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)
A week after being swept at home, #16 Quinnipiac raced out a 2-0 lead less than three and a half minutes into the game and look primed to put last weeks poor performance in the rear view mirror. Except for the fact that Quinnipiac played poorly for the final 40 minutes of the game in which they were outworked by the RPI Engineers who came back from a 3-1 deficit to win 5-3 on Friday night at Houston Field House in Troy, NY dropping Quinnipiac to 3-4-1 (0-3 ECAC).

Senior Landon Smith scored just 1:32 into the game with his line-mates Tanner MacMaster and Odeen Tufto picking up the assists. A slashing call on RPI led the Bobcats to their first power play of the game which they immediately capitalized on with a Chase Priskie goal with Tufto and Craig Martin picking up the assists. RPI cut the lead to 2-1 when Will Reilly went five hole past Keith Petruzzelli. Quinnipiac got a late power play goal by Craig Martin towards the end of the period to extend the lead once again.
Quinnipiac at RPI (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)
The tide turned in the second period with RPI showing much more energy along with Quinnipiac making self inflicted mistakes with failing to clear pucks in their own zone and careless penalties that luckily didn't hurt them. Give RPI a lot of credit for scoring two greasy goals two minutes apart by Jacob Hayhurst and Viktor Liljegren. Once RPI tied the score, Keith Petruzzelli was pulled for Andrew Shortridge after giving up 3 goals on 11 shots.

Quinnipiac continued to play with fire in the third period with two more penalties before finally being burned on an outstanding individual effort by Liljegren who beat Shortridge at a tough angle fighting off a defender to give the Engineers the lead for good. Liljegren capped the scoring with a natural hat trick with the empty net goal with nine seconds left in the game sending Quinnipiac to their third consecutive ECAC loss extending the worst conference start since moving to the ECAC in program history. The Bobcats now head to Union who are coming off a 4-3 overtime win over Princeton desperately seeking a conference win.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Guus van Nes commits to Quinnipiac

Guus Van Nes (photo by Eliteprospects)
The Quinnipiac Bobcats men's ice hockey team picked up its second commitment of the week for the 2018-2019 season, this time in 1997 Dutch born forward Guus van Nes who is currently playing for the Boston Jr. Bruins of the NCDC. Listed at 6'3, 190 pounds, the left shot van Nes is the first Dutch born player to play for Quinnipiac since former Bobcats defenseman Mike Dalhuisen who played for Quinnipiac from the 2009-2010 season to the 2012-2013 season when he was part of the first Frozen Four team in school history.

In 19 games played this season, van Nes has 18 points (5 goals, 13 assists) with 24 penalty minutes. van Nes has been with the Jr. Bruins program for the previous three seasons prior to this one as he was a member of the U-18 team in 2014-15 and the Premier team in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. He has international experience with the Netherlands U-18 and U-20 national teams in the past. He brings size up front for the Bobcats along with some skill as well. Below is a link to some youtube highlights of van Nes. Congrats to Guus and welcome to BobcatNation.


Elite Prospects Page
NCDC Profile Page
Youtube Highlights

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Three Quinnipiac commits sign National Letter of Intent

Three future Quinnipiac Bobcats have signed their national letter of intent to play hockey for the Bobcats in the near future. 1998 forward William Fällström of the Fargo Force (USHL), 1999 forward Wyatt Bongiovanni of the Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) and 2000 defenseman Peter Diliberatore of the Salisbury School (CT) all put the pen to the paper and signed with Quinnipiac in the last two days during the early NCAA signing period.

Two of the players in Fällström and Bongiovaani are coming to Quinnipiac for the fall of 2018 while Diliberatore a native of Nova Scotia and a potential 2018 NHL draft prospect is expected to play a season of junior hockey before heading to Hamden. Fällström is most recent player to commit to Quinnipiac having done so this past Tuesday before officially signing the next day with the Bobcats. Both Fällström and Bongiovaani are expected to boost the Quinnipiac offense for next season when they arrive on campus. These three players join three other Bobcats commits who have signed their national letter of intent in Zach Metsa, Corey Clifton and Michael Lombardi. Congrats to the three newest signees and welcome to BobcatNation.

William Fallstrom signs his NLI (photo by the Fargo Force)
Wyatt Bongiovanni signs his NLI (photo by the Muskegon Lumberjacks) 
Peter Diliberatore signs his NLI (photo by the Salisbury School)
Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Scouting the Enemy: RPI Engineers

The #16 Quinnipiac Bobcats fresh off being swept at home in back to back conference games for the first time since February of 2014 now head to the New York capital district region sporting an 0-2 record in ECAC play for the first time since entering the league in 2005. The Bobcats now head to RPI where its a new era in Troy, New York with first year head coach Dave Smith behind the bench in his first season after spending the past 12 seasons at Canisius. Smith built a very respectable program up in Buffalo despite not having great facilities until the past few years. He took Canisius to one NCAA tournament appearance back in 2013 where they put a major scare into top seeded Quinnipiac. While RPI isn't a very talented team right now, they have been playing hard for Smith with a 1-4-3 record and have been in every game they have played except for the Clarkson game they lost 6-0. It will take time but Smith is starting to build a culture at RPI that will see results in the next few seasons. Quinnipiac is 8-3-3 all time at RPI's Houston Field House and 14-5-9 all time against RPI. 

RPI Key Players: Jacob Hayhurst (F), Evan Tironese (F), Todd Burgess (F), Troy York (F), Viktor Liljegren (F), Mike Prapavessis (D), Will Reilly (D), Chase Perry (G)

The Engineer offense has struggled at times getting going early in the season. While they have scored 22 goals in 8 games, 8 of them in came in their only win of the season against RIT. They are averaging 2.75 goals per game but if you take out the one explosion of a game, they are only averaging 2 goals per game. Jacob Hayhurt and Evan Tironese are the Engineers leading scorers with 7 points. Sophomore defenseman Will Reilly has 4 goals while sophomore forward Todd Burgess has 5 assists. RPI lacks elite fire power up front which will likely hurt them this season. The RPI power play has struggled at 16.67% which hurts their offensive production as well but Quinnipiac has been poor on the penalty kill at 73.1%. While Quinnipiac has a talented defense and goaltending they have made mistakes this year which have kept teams without great offenses in games so that would concern me against a team that has played hard like RPI has.

The first two games of the season, RPI's defense was good giving up 1 goal in each of the first two games. Since then RPI has given up 4.16 goals per game in the their last six games. While defense has not been the strength of the Engineers this season, the team has two seniors on the blue line in Mike Prapavessis and Jared Wilson who are also the captains along with a pair of juniors in Tommy Grant and Meirs Moore while the rest of the defense is made of up of sophomores and freshman. Will Reilly is the best of the young defenseman and is also tied for the team lead in goals with 4. The RPI penalty kill has been average this season at 79.5% while the Quinnipiac power play has been very poor at 10%. However that is only the 4th worst among ECAC teams as Colgate, Brown and Yale all have worse power plays than Quinnipiac.

RPI has given the majority of the starts to junior Chase Perry who has been average in the early part of the season with a 2.82 goals against average and a .917 save percentage in 6 games played. He has not won a game for the Engineers yet as the lone win went to freshman Linden Marshall. Perry had a 56 save performance in a 1-1 tie to open the season against Ohio State. Expect Smith to tab Perry to start and if he plays like he did against Ohio State in the opening game he will give a Quinnipiac team struggling to score goals problems.

This is a big weekend for Quinnipiac as they do not want to further fall behind the eight ball in the ECAC standings. They need to start buildings wins in order to gain confidence and position themselves accordingly down the road and that needs to start with playing well against an RPI team that has been very competitive this season.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

William Fällström commits to Quinnipiac

William Fallstrom
The Quinnipiac Bobcats men's ice hockey team picked up a verbal commitment from 1998 Swedish born William Fällström for the 2018-2019 season. He is currently playing for the Fargo Force in the USHL where in 11 games played, Fällström has 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists). A native of Stockholm, Sweden, Fällström is in his third season in the USHL after playing 44 games in 2015-16 with the Omaha Lancers and only 4 games a season ago with the Bloomington Thunder before going back to Sweden to play for Djurgårdens IF J20 in the SuperElit League where he had 12 points (2 goals, 10 assists) in 19 games played. The 5'11, 179 pound right shot forward has experience playing both center and left wing.

Here is what the scouting service Neutral Zone said about Fallstrom.

3.75⭐️ prospect has good vision and quick & smooth hands. He plays a poised game with skill. Former Minnesota commit.

He had previously committed to the University of Minnesota back in June of 2014. Fällström is the younger brother of former Harvard University forward Alexander Fällström who saw time with the Providence Bruins before returning to Sweden to play hockey. He has played for the Swedish National team for the U-16, U-17, U-18 in multiple international tournaments. Fällström becomes the first Swedish born commit in Quinnipiac as the Bobcats look to expand their reach over the globe at finding talent to come to Hamden.

William Fällström Links


Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.