Monday, December 30, 2019

Weekend in Review: Quinnipiac vs Princeton

Quinnipiac sweeps Princeton for the second consecutive year
The second half of the season is officially underway and for Quinnipiac they got off to a great start with a sweep of the weekend series against the Princeton Tigers winning 3-1 and 4-3 in a home and home slate that began at Hobey Baker Rink on Saturday followed by the last home game in Hamden this decade on Sunday. It is the second consecutive year that Quinnipiac has swept Princeton. Here are my thoughts from the weekend games.

- How big were these four points for Quinnipiac? They moved from 10th to 5th in the ECAC standings in just a weekend and now have once again positioned themselves for a first round bye and home ice. Had the Bobcats got swept or even split it might have been a bit tougher to gain home ice but now its back in play for the Bobcats.

- It was a tale of two games for Quinnipiac who got off to a hot start in the first leg of the weekend series jumping on Princeton with two goals in the first period before getting a late power play goal from Wyatt Bongiovanni to win 3-1. Sunday night, the Bobcats fell down 2-0 and 3-2 before rallying and winning 4-3 with a late goal by Bongiovanni again. The sophomore leads Quinnipiac with 8 goals this season.

- Congratulations to junior Odeen Tufto who reached 100 points as a junior with his second assist of the night on Sunday. Tufto had a four point weekend with a goal and three assists after ending the first half of the season with four straight scoreless games. They are going to need more games like we saw over the weekend from Tufto down stretch if Quinnipiac wants to go deep into March.

- It was a big weekend for the Quinnipiac sophomores who had ten points and five of the seven goals. If the Bobcats are going to have a second half resurgence then its going to have to be the sophomore class that carries them. Wyatt Bongiovanni and Zach Metsa had three point weekends while Peter Diliberatore had a goal and assist.

- The Quinnipiac defense is starting to gain steam offensively. Four goals this weekend including two from Zach Metsa, one from Peter Diliberatore and the first collegiate goal from freshman Jayden Lee. They were also solid in their own end as well which will be key in the second half of the season.

- Don't look now but junior goaltender Keith Petruzzelli has continued his strong play from the end of the first half of the season. He was stellar on Saturday night with a 34 save effort and while he only had 23 saves on Saturday, he made some spectacular saves to keep Quinnipiac in the game. In 17 games this season he is 9-6-1 with a 2.26 goals against and a .914 save percentage. He continues to get better each week and has solidified the goal-tending position for the Bobcats especially after the early season struggles. I would expect Rand Pecknold to ride Petruzzelli all the way to March now.

- Quinnipiac played a very disciplined game this weekend not being penalized on Saturday and only having two minor penalties. If this team can play this way down the stretch it should bold well for them. Stay out of the box and just do your job and good things will happen.

- We saw the first game action this season for defensemen Marcus Chorney as Logan Britt did not play this weekend. Its unknown if this was due to injury or something else but Quinnipiac already lost two defensemen in Cam Boudreau and Wyatt Head who both departed back to the junior ranks after not playing in the first semester. Depth is now a concern back there with the losses so I wonder if getting game action for Chorney will help in case of other injury situations.

- Quinnipiac has two more big home games against Harvard and Dartmouth next weekend before a North Country trip. Harvard crushed Quinnipiac 7-2 in early November while the Bobcats skated to a 2-2 tie with Dartmouth. With Harvard tied for second in the league and Dartmouth tied with Quinnipiac for 5th currently, these are four huge points up for grabs this weekend that could determine where Quinnipiac finishes. Outside of a non-conference game against Holy Cross and the Connecticut Ice tournament, its all ECAC games from here on out.

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