Sunday, February 3, 2019

Thoughts and observations from Quinnipiac's 7-2 win over St. Lawrence

Odeen Tufto had a four point game as he heads to another 40 point season

Quinnipiac swept its first North Country road trip since the 2012-2013 season after a 7-2 win over St. Lawrence on Saturday night just one night after downing #10 Clarkson 4-2. We all know that Quinnipiac ended that season with a Frozen Four trip to Pittsburgh before losing to Yale in the National Championship game. This team has goals of reaching Buffalo down the road in April but it must continue to take care of business in the ECAC schedule down the stretch along with securing home ice in the playoffs and a possible Cleary Cup for the regular season champion. Here are my thoughts and observations after the St. Lawrence game.

- A night after a quality 4-2 win over Clarkson, Quinnipiac took care of business like they were suppose to do against an awful St. Lawrence team winning 7-2 at Appleton Arena. It was clearly a stat padding game in my opinion but taking home four key ECAC points this weekend was huge. Mark this years North Country trip which is always tough a huge success.

- Even though Quinnipiac won convincingly Saturday night they still dropped in the pairwise rankings from the three to four. That is due to the fact that St. Lawrence is the second worst team in the country. Quinnipiac still has two remaining games against bottom feeders in RPI and this St. Lawrence team again which won't help in the pairwise rankings.

- St. Lawrence is one of the worst teams I have seen in awhile dating back to those Princeton teams from a few seasons ago. I think St. Lawrence is going to regret the hiring of Mark Morris. While he was a big name hire I am not sure he was the right hire. He was out of the college game for 14 years and a lot has changed in terms of how players are recruited along with the student/athlete needs as well. In three short years he destroyed the program that Greg Carvel built into one that is currently one of the worst programs in the country. St. Lawrence is on pace to set a program high for losses in a season which was just set a year ago.

- St. Lawrence is such an undisciplined team as they took nine minor penalties that led to eight power plays for Quinnipiac. The final penalty was at the buzzer. Quinnipiac made the Saints pay with three power play goals including their first two of the game.

- Quinnipiac got big nights from some of its best players. Odeen Tufto had four points on a goal and three assists as he continues to close in on back to back 40 point seasons. Chase Priskie continued to add points to his Hobey Baker candidacy as he now has 33 points and leads Quinnipiac goals with 14. Brandon Fortunato had three more assists as he now has points in his last seven games. Ethan de Jong had two goals to hit the 20 point plateau as a freshman while Wyatt Bongiovanni added two goals and an assist as he now has 10 goals this season for the Bobcats.

- TJ Friedmann once again had to use another players jersey this time he wore Matt Cassidy's jersey. This is bizarre and not something I have ever seen before.

- Andrew Shortridge made his 7th straight start for Quinnipiac and made some nice saves in this game to finish with 14 on the night. With the game in hand in the third period, Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold put Keith Petruzzelli in for his first action since the 5-4 overtime loss to Colgate. It was good to keep Keith fresh and get some time in between the pipes especially with the game well in hand.

- Quinnipiac got a nice gift last night after beating St. Lawrence when RPI tied Cornell. The Bobcats picked up a point on the league leading Big Red in their quest for the Cleary Cup.

- Eight ECAC games remain on the schedule with four at home and four on the road including a tough road game at Union who has been a thorn in Quinnipiac's side the past few years along with Clarkson again and two with Yale. They also have two with Brown and single games against RPI and St. Lawrence remaining. Just looking at the schedule this team should have at least 25 wins entering the ECAC tournament.

- Speaking of Yale, its officially that week again as these two teams will go head to head Friday night in Hamden. The student tickets sold out in 10 seconds as they know these games are always circled on the teams calendar. The Hero's Hat will be presented to the winner of the game on Friday night.

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