Friday, October 18, 2019

Thoughts and observations from Quinnipiac's 4-2 loss to Maine

The #8 Quinnipiac Bobcats fell at home 4-2 to Maine on Friday

It was a tough night on the ice for the #8 Quinnipiac Bobcats men's ice hockey team as they fell to Maine 4-2 at the People's United Bank Center on Friday night. It was not the type of performance expected from Quinnipiac especially after welcoming their alumni back for the weekend. The youth definitely showed tonight and it cost Quinnipiac a game. Here are my thoughts and observations from tonight's game.

- This is a loss that is going to come back to haunt the Bobcats down the road especially if Quinnipiac has a good season. This is not a very good Maine team and I don't think they will be a winning team this year. Credit to Maine tonight as they clearly wanted it more than the Bobcats and their effort showed it on the ice winning battles and out-muscling Quinnipiac at times.

- This game was won by Jeremy Swayman. The Boston Bruins draft pick saw 33 shots on goal making 31 saves in the game but turned it up a notch in the third period when he turned away 17 Bobcat shots on goal. Impressive performance by the junior who has a knack for stealing games.

- Eduards Tralmaks, Mitchell Fossier and Tim Doherty must love playing in was back hurting Quinnipiac once again. Tralmaks had two goals, Fossier had four assists and Doherty had a goal. The Black Bears top guys stepped up when it mattered while Quinnipiac's really struggled tonight.

- You can't expect to win many hockey games if you can't put a sixty minute effort in. This was what the Bobcats were on the night. A team that played with some effort at times but for the majority of the game they didn't show the type of determination or urgency they showed late. Quinnipiac needs get off to better starts as this was the second consecutive game where the Bobcats fell behind early by two goals. They cannot make this a habit and expect to win a lot of games.

- Special teams which are usually a staple of good to great Quinnipiac teams were not good on Friday night. The Bobcats were just one of six on the power play and gave up two goals in four opportunities on the penalty kill. These numbers need to improve if this team wants to have success this season because there are times you will need to win games via the special teams. 

- Senior assistant captain Alex Whelan was out of the lineup tonight and expected out of the lineup tomorrow night as well. Its unknown if this is an injury but not having him on the ice was a huge piece missing. He's a player that consistently brings a strong effort each and every game and that could have helped in a game like this.

- Keith Petruzzelli gave up four goals but I don't think he had a lot of help in front of him. The junior goaltender played well at times but needs to control some rebounds better but the defense really had trouble clearing pucks and opposing players out from in front of the net. He made an outstanding save on a breakaway by Eduards Tralmaks in the first period.

- It was a sloppy defensive effort for Quinnipiac tonight. They had trouble on the fore-check and trouble clearing out bodies in front of Petruzzelli along with pucks deep in the zone. They need to get that cleaned and they need to gel quickly so this team can have success.

- It may be only three games but I think Skyler Brind'Amour has a chance to be very good for Quinnipiac. He had a fantastic assist on Joe O'Connor's goal and was just inches from going bar down in the second period which would have given Quinnipiac the lead. Instead Maine went right down and got the lead and the momentum. Brind'Amour brings a ton of skill to the Bobcats and he should only get better throughout this season.

- PJ Fletcher got his first collegiate point, an assist on the Wyatt Bongiovanni goal. He set a nice screen in front of Swayman which was a very underrated play. He brings size and toughness to the Bobcats that they will need this season and in the future.

- At this point a split of the weekend series is a must as getting swept at home by Maine was be a colossal disappointment that will have ramifications down the road for Quinnipiac. Look no further than to the 2016-2017 season when they had disappointing losses to Maine, Arizona State and a sweep at the hands of Princeton. Those losses kept the Bobcats from the NCAA tournament. They can ill afford to lose again on Saturday night.

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