Friday, December 28, 2018

Weekend Preview: Colgate Raiders

Rand Pecknold, center seeks his 500th win Saturday against Colgate

Colgate Head Coach: 
Don Vaughan (26th Season) 411-429-100

2018-2019 Colgate record: 4-9-2 (1-3-2 ECAC)

All-time vs. Colgate : Quinnipiac leads 22-15-2

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

The Raiders ended the first half of the season on a winning note shutting out Niagara 2-0. However the rest of the first half was not memorable as Colgate stumbled to a 4-9-2 record. The highlight was an opening weekend sweep over New Hampshire. But not much went right for Colgate and I cannot imagine it will get better either. The only positive for Colgate is they lead the country in face-off percentage at 58.1%

Colgate is an offensively challenged team. They are averaging 1.26 goals per game this season. They have been shutout four times already this season. Not one player is averaging a point per game and their top scorer has eight points this year which is Bobby McMann who has four goals and four assists. No one else on the roster has more than two goals. The Raiders power play is also poor as well connecting at 12.7% which is tied for ninth worst in the Division I ranks. I don't see anywhere we this improves this season as there just is not a lot of talent up front for Colgate.

Colgate's defense has given up a shade over three goals per game this season. Nine different defenseman have played for the Raiders this season as they have struggled to find consistency on the back end. Its an area where a talented team like Quinnipiac can exploit and punch in goals on them. The Raiders penalty kill is the worst in college hockey at 69.4%, the only program in the country that is sub 70%. Quinnipiac needs to force penalties to exploit the biggest weakness that Colgate has on the ice with their penalty kill. If they can do that this game could be a one-sided affair.

The Raiders are not going to be able to fill Colton Point's play in net and frankly no one expected them to. Freshman Mitch Benson has done all he can to keep Colgate in games and has a 2.94 goals against average and a .909 save percentage to show for it. He is going to have to stand tall for this team to have a chance this weekend against Quinnipiac.

This is game Quinnipiac cannot afford to lose even though it is considered a non-conference game. Colgate just is not a very good team and it would be a negative impact to the Bobcats pairwise if they were to lose this game. They need to take it to this team early and often and get out healthy and give Rand Pecknold his 500th career victory.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.


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