Thursday, February 22, 2018

Scouting the Enemy: St. Lawrence Saints

The final weekend of the ECAC regular season is upon us. Quinnipiac now heads to North Country to take on St. Lawrence Friday and Clarkson Saturday. Playoff implications ride on the results for this weekend's games as Quinnipiac could finish anywhere from 5th (unlikely) to 9th (more probable than not). The Bobcats most recently played St. Lawrence three weeks ago beating them at home 5-2. The Saints ever since winning back to back games have lost five of six and have the most losses in program history with 23. Quinnipiac's last visit to Appleton Arena saw them come away with a three game win in the 2017 ECAC Quarterfinals. 

St. Lawrence Key Players: Jacob Pritchard (F), Mike Marnell (F), Joe Sullivan (F), Carson Gicewicz (F), Alex Gilmour (F), Nolan Gluchowksi (D), Jake Stevens (D),  Arthur Brey (G)

The St. Lawrence offense in the last three games has put up only one goal total. On the season they are averaging 2.16 goals per game which is 5th worst in college hockey and only the 3rd worst in the ECAC with RPI and Brown only worse in the conference. Jacob Pritchard (19 points) and Mike Marnell (18 points) along with sophomore Carson Gicewicz (18 points) fuel the limited offense for the Saints. Sophomore Alex Gilmour's 10 goals tie him for the team lead with Marnell. Senior Joe Sullivan has 14 points. The Saints power played is in the bottom third at just over 15% (18-of-118). This team is so starved for goals that three goals a game is an accomplishment.

It's been a tough year defensively for St. Lawrence. At 3.41 goals allowed per game they rank 51st in the country in that category and really haven't made a huge improvement. Freshman Jake Stevens has probably been the teams best defender to this point with 12 points along with being a plus 2. Senior Nolan Gluchowksi has 18 points and is a minus seven. Inexperience is a major issue back there and it has shown this season. The St. Lawrence penalty kill is dead last in college hockey at 74.32% (110-of-148). With Quinnipiac's power play showing signs of life in the second half of the season drawing penalties against the Saints will be key.

Goaltender Arthur Brey has shown slight improvement from the last time these two teams played. His goals against average has dropped to 3.50 while his save percentage has risen to .902. His win/loss record is not very good at 4-21-1 but not all the blame can go on Brey. They can't score goals and the inexperience on defense has played a large role. Brey and the rest of the team are still playing hard and that is all you can ask for at this point if you are fan of St. Lawrence hockey.

Quinnipiac needs this game if it has any chance of getting a home playoff series. Lose this one and while they aren't officially eliminated from home ice they would need to win against Clarkson along with getting some serious help from other ECAC teams.

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