Saturday, March 2, 2019

Thoughts and observations on Quinnipiac's Cleary Cup clinching win over Yale

Quinnipiac won a share of the Cleary Cup with a 4-1 win over Yale

It was a wild night in the ECAC but when the musical chairs ended Quinnipiac found themselves at the top and as co-champions with Cornell. Two goals by Nick Jermain along with goals by Ethan de Jong and TJ Friedmann paced the offense as Quinnipiac beat their Whitney Avenue rivals 4-1 on Saturday night at Ingalls Rink. Here are my thoughts and observations from this wild affair between Quinnipiac and Yale.

- Quinnipiac won its fourth ECAC regular season title in the last seven years with a convincing 4-1 win over Yale. They however shared the title with the Cornell Big Red who tied Clarkson 2-2 after a late goal by the Golden Knights prevented Cornell from winning the title outright. At 25-7-2 Quinnipiac finishes with the 5th most win in program history after being picked to finish 8th in the preseason polls. What a season this has been but there is still more work to be done.

- The Cleary Cup came at a price though as both Chase Priskie and Luke Shiplo got ejected from the and got disqualification penalties which come with automatic one game suspensions in the ECAC playoffs. Both will miss the first game of the quarterfinals while Chase Priskie could get even more for his kick with his skate on the Yale player. It was a dangerous play and so uncharacteristic of the Quinnipiac captain as I have never seen him lose his cool like that before. You have to hope that with his history of not getting into trouble this will just be a single game. Without Priskie in that first series could be a problem for Quinnipiac depending on the opponent but we will not know that until next weekend.

- This game was completely out of control. Quinnipiac and Yale combined for 91 penalty minutes in this game. I have never seen that type of play in a Quinnipiac-Yale game get so chippy. This game reminded me of some of those Quinnipiac-Cornell games of the past where chippy play and roughing and extra curricular stuff was the norm. There is no excuse for what Chase Priskie did. None. But lets not let Yale off the hook here. They initiated a lot of this stuff because of their lack of talent on the ice knowing they couldn't beat Quinnipiac on the scoreboard. That's a fact and I am surprised a Keith Allain team stooped to that level tonight. I hope that RPI sweeps them out at Ingalls next weekend.

- While this doesn't ever remove the sting of losing the National Championship in Pittsburgh to Yale, I take solace in the fact that they won a share of the Cleary Cup at Ingalls Rink in front of the Bulldogs fans. If there is any place I would want to win a league championship outside of the People's United Bank Center it would be at Yale.

- Quinnipiac played the first ten minutes of this game on fire controlling the play against Yale and having a strong compete level in this game. That carried over to the second period when they took further control and put this game out of reach extending the lead to 4-0. Quinnipiac seems to always get up for these games while Yale tends not to for whatever reason except one game that I will not mention again.

- It was back to back multi point games for Nick Jermain who has fought off injuries this season. Jermain has five points in his last four games including four goals. Him getting hot at the right time could be a big boost to the Bobcats offense especially with him playing on the fourth line with Lombardi and Burgart. This is also the second multi point game against Yale for him this season and also the second time that he has had a two goal game at Ingalls Rink as he had one in his freshman season back in 2016-2017.

- TJ Friedmann also had another goal and that is back to back games for him with a goal. Its good to see him rewarded for his hard work playing on that physical third line with Joe O'Connor and Scott Davidson. His goal along with de Jong plus three other freshman with points gave the freshman class five of the ten points scored tonight. What an impressive class this has been which will help lead this program hopefully to even greater heights in the next few years.

- Andrew Shortridge was strong again for Quinnipiac tonight as he made 24 saves to move his record to 17-4-2 with four shutouts. His 1.44 goals against and .944 save percentage lead the nation. He's been more than what I believe anyone expected this year and has carried Quinnipiac at times from in between the pipes. In two weeks, he will need to do so again especially with Chase Priskie and Luke Shiplo getting automatic one game suspensions.

- No one has a bigger task than the Quinnipiac freshman defenseman do in two weeks. With Chase Priskie and Luke Shiplo suspended at least a game and Brandon Fortunato done for the season, the Bobcats depth on the blue line will be tested. That means Peter Diliberatore, Zach Metsa and Cam Boudreau will need to play big roles in the first series for Quinnipiac with possibly Marcus Chorney stepping in as the 7th defenseman. Whoever Quinnipiac plays it will be a big test due to the losses of Priskie and Shiplo.

- What Rand Pecknold and the Quinnipiac coaching staff has done this season is beyond remarkable. Picked to finish 8th by the media and 7th by the coaches, Quinnipiac won a share of the Cleary Cup with this team playing at least nine to ten freshman a night. Tonight against Yale they had ten freshman in the lineup including three on the blue line alone. This just shows what type of players Quinnipiac brings in alone with the face that Rand and his coaching staff can coach up to champions sooner than anyone expected. Coach Pecknold should be a lock to win the ECAC coach of the year in my opinion and should be a candidate for the Spencer Penrose Award, though I don't believe he will win it.

- What's on tap? A nice week off to watch the first round of the ECAC playoffs commence. Quinnipiac can play one of five teams in Brown, Princeton, Colgate, RPI or St. Lawrence. Most likely thought they will get the winner of the Brown-Princeton series as I don't think Colgate, RPI or St. Lawrence pull upsets though RPI probably has the best chance to be that team that does pull the upset.

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1 comment:

  1. About the new "freshmen" when you can kick a quarter of your team to the curb, and pick up some 20 something replacements with scholarships aka "pay" you should do well. Until Q has a Natty banner on those mustard rafters, they won't be respected.