Quinnipiac heads on the road again this time to upstate New York for the Colgate/Cornell swing starting with #17 Colgate on Friday night. The Bobcats are coming off a 3-0 win over UConn in Hartford on Tuesday night which was their first win since November 28th when they beat Princeton 6-2. Colgate is slumping a bit going 2-4 in their last six games after a 6-2-4 start. Complicating things for the Raiders will be the fact that their most important player, Colton Point, will not be available as he is playing for Canada in the 2018 World Junior Championships. Quinnipiac lost last time to Colgate, 4-1 back in early November which was the start of their downward spiral in the first half. With the way Colgate has played lately and no Colton Point this game would seem to favor Quinnipiac even if its on the road.
Colgate has struggled a bit offensively this season to a tune of 2.44 goals per game (48th nationally). It's obvious the defense and Colton Point have covered up for the offense which has gotten this team to a solid start this year. Bobby McMann had a really good first half of the season with 17 points with John Snodgrass (11 points) being the next best scorer for the Raiders. Adam Dauda (10 points) and Jared Cockrell (9 points) also pace the Colgate offense. The power play has improved a bit since the last time these teams met but its still not very good at 13.7% (10-of-73) which is 52nd nationally. Quinnipiac has a much improved penalty kill at 84.2% (64-of-76) good for 14th nationally. The Bobcats did take too many penalties (7) against UConn on Tuesday so that will need to cleaned up before Friday's game.
The Colgate defense has been a strength this season yielding 2.28 goals per games (tied for 7th nationally with Northeastern). However without Colton Point behind them have given up 10 goals in two games played. That will happen again on Friday with Point in Buffalo for the World Juniors. in the game's that Colton Point has started yielding just 8 goals in 7 games. Willie Brooks and Nick Austin have played well on defense and they are getting great freshman play from Trevor Cosgrove (4 points, plus 7). The key is how this defense is going to fare without Colton Point protecting them at times. They have a solid penalty kill at 80.26% (61-of-76) good for 34th nationally. Quinnipiac's power play has been non existent this year so this should favor the Raiders in this category.
As we said earlier, Quinnipiac catches a huge break with Colton Point playing for Team Canada at the 2018 World Junior Championships. He was a strong in the November 4th, 4-1 win at Quinnipiac with 33 saves. With their most important player unavailable, the Raiders will have to turn to either seniors Bruce Racine or Zac Hamilton neither who have fared well in either of their one game played each this year against the University of New Hampshire when Colgate gave up 10 goals on the weekend.
This is a great opportunity for Quinnipiac to continue to build momentum from Tuesday's win over UConn and get some much needed ECAC points over a solid team. The Bobcats have played better on the road this season with four of their seven wins coming away from Hamden so a little road bonding might be good for this team as they try to flip the script in the second half of the season.
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