Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Quinnipiac falls 5-3 to Princeton

Quinnipiac vs Princeton (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

The Quinnipiac Bobcats were outworked on Tuesday night as they fell 5-3 in ECAC action to the Princeton Tigers at the Frank Perrotti, Jr. Arena. Returning home for their first home game since December 9th against Maine, Quinnipiac started the second half of the season 3-2-2 as they looked to gain position in the ECAC standings with a key game against a Princeton team one point behind them in the standings. The Bobcats were done in by three power play goals by Princeton who have one of the better power plays in the ECAC and the country. "Princeton has a good power play, said Rand Pecknold. But they should not go three for three against us as we have had a good year on the penalty kill as always."

Just under six minutes into the opening period, Princeton's David Hallisey scored on the power play after a Brogan Rafferty cross checking penalty. Quinnipiac responded just under the ten minute mark when Tanner MacMaster fed Nick Jermain cross crease who buried home an open look past Princeton's Ryan Ferland. In the later stages of the period Luke Shiplo corralled the puck off a rebound from Scott Davidson's shot and backhanded it high past Ferland for his first goal of the season.

Quinnipiac vs. Princeton (photo copyright BobcatsHockeyBlog)

Princeton then responded with three straight goals with two by way of the power play. Josh Teves tied the score in the second period on back handed power play goal that fooled Quinnipiac goaltender Keith Petruzzelli (34 saves) while David Hallisey scored his 8th power play goal and 13th of the season just 2:15 into the third period. Not even a minute later Ryan Kuffner scored giving the Tigers a 4-2 lead which proved to be the game winning goal. "I didn't think our compete was very good tonight, said Pecknold and that's a trademark of us. We should be ready to go and hungry. The coach-ability for a bunch our guys was poor. Guys just are not buying in. Some of these juniors and seniors have been here before and been on the Frozen Four team and they don't care as much as they used to." 

Quinnipiac got within 4-3 after Alex Whelan tipped one in past Ferland for the goal. Ryan Kuffner had the empty net goal for Princeton which improved to 8-10-3 (5-8-1 ECAC) and jumped ahead of Quinnipiac in the conference standings. The Tigers top four scorers of Max Veronneau, Kuffner, Hallisey and Teves combined for 11 points on the night. Tanner MacMaster had two assists for the Bobcats while Odeen Tufto added another assist as Quinnipiac dropped to 9-13-4 (4-8-2 ECAC) and sits in 10th place in the ECAC standings.

This Quinnipiac team reminds me a bit of the 2009 New England Patriots in which head coach Bill Belichick couldn't get the team to play the way he wanted them to play. While Tom Brady ultimately carried them to a division title they were blown out in the playoffs because they lacked talent in many areas much like Quinnipiac does. Rand Pecknold just can't get this team to play the way he wants it to and doesn't have a Tom Brady type player to carry this team when they need it. 

Quinnipiac returns to action this weekend when they welcome Clarkson and St. Lawrence to Frank Perotti, Jr. Arena. 

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