|Senior Alex Whelan returned to the lineup this past weekend but Quinnipiac still struggled on the ice|
- It was a solid effort on Friday for the Bobcats though they blew a lead in the third period and had to settle for a tie after overtime. Quinnipiac was good in the first two periods but struggled giving up 11 shots in the third period including the tying goal by Tyler Campbell which was scored on a scrum in front of Petruzzelli. Getting a point was a good start in league play even though it probably should have been two.
- It was good to see Alex Whelan back from his injury after missing five straight games with an upper body injury. Whelan's presence should be a big boost in the coming weeks for Quinnipiac as he gets his games legs back and gets his timing back. They need Whelan to help stabilize the special teams and put the puck into the net with his 200 foot game.
- Odeen Tufto and William Fallstrom were dominant on face-offs against Dartmouth with Tufto winning 10 of 14 and Fallstrom 13 of 16. They need that to continue to order to establish puck possession along with getting quick breakouts out of the defensive zone. The two weren't nearly as good against Harvard and the team only won two more face-offs against the Crimson only Saturday.
- Give Quinnipiac's defense some credit on Friday night as they shut down Dartmouth's top guys of Quin Foreman and Drew O'Connor. The Bobcats caught a break when Will Graber wasn't active for the game but Quinnipiac did a nice job limiting Foreman and O'Connor to just two shots combined.
- The same can't be said Saturday about the Quinnipiac defense and goal-tending which was pretty bad. Giving up seven goals on 23 shots is beyond bad and just shows that the defense has a long way to go to be effective consistently. They didn't get much help either from goaltender Keith Petruzzelli who gave up three goals on seven shots before being pulled for the second time in four games in favor of freshman Evan Fear. How much longer can Quinnipiac continue to start a goalie with a sub .900 save percentage? I know Evan Fear's save percentage is .793 but each time he came into the game, it was in a tough spot. I really think they need to give Fear a start here in the next few weeks to see if he can give a spark because their has just been too many inconsistencies with Keith Petruzzelli.
- Captain Nick Jermain is second on the team with four goals and is just one goal off from tying his career high in a season. The senior looks like he may have a strong year after battling some injuries two of his first three seasons in Hamden.
- I can't believe we are nine games into the season and Odeen Tufto hasn't scored a goal yet. He leads the team in points with 11 assists and has points in his last six games but is really snake bitten right now when it comes to putting the puck into the net.
- Harvard is for real and I still shocked they weren't picked higher than where they were. They have probably the best collection of talent in the ECAC with some high end forwards sprinkled with good depth offensively along with a top four on defense that is one of the best in the league. The Crimson's only weakness is probably in goal and that might not be an issue for long as freshman goaltender Mitchell Gibson might take this job and run with it.
- It still amazes me that Quinnipiac was picked second in the league. When I submitted my ballot there was no way I was putting them that high and I ended up picking them fourth. That might have been very generous on my part. They might struggle to even reach that. They had some pretty big losses that are really tough to cover up for when you aren't bringing in talent that is comparable to what you are losing especially on the blue line. You aren't going to win a lot of games when you have a negative five goal difference. I know that the Harvard game skewed those numbers but its still not something you want to see from Quinnipiac.
- Next weekend is big for Quinnipiac. They welcome a bad Union team and a rising RPI team to Hamden and they can ill afford to fall behind the eight ball in the ECAC standings. Union has given the Bobcats some struggles the past few years and this is the time Quinnipiac needs to return the favor when Union is in the midst of a poor season. RPI is a team on the rise as they are 4-4 (2-2 ECAC). They boost a solid goaltender in sophomore Owen Savory who played really well as a freshman and was a difference maker for the Engineers. Expect another tough ECAC weekend for Quinnipiac.
You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.