Friday, January 10, 2020

Weekend Preview: St. Lawrence/Clarkson

Quinnipiac heads to North Country for an important ECAC weekend

St. Lawrence Head Coach: Brett Brekke (1st year)

2018-2019 St. Lawrence record: 3-15-3 (1-8-0 ECAC)

All-time vs. St. Lawrence: Series tied 15-15-5

St. Lawrence Key Players: Zach Risteau (F), Keenan Suthers (F), Jordan Steinmetz (F), Aleksi Peltonen (F), Jake Stevens (D), Bo Hanson (D),  Emil Zetterquist (G)

Its a new era of St. Lawrence hockey as the Saints have moved on from the disastrous three year tenure of Mark Morris whose last two years saw the worst two seasons in the programs history. Enter new coach Brett Brekke who was previously an assistant coach at rival Clarkson. Prior to that Brekke had stints at Miami (OH) and Cornell. He has brought new life to the program even if the results on the ice are not there yet which is to be expected. Brekke is in the midst of probably having to turn over the roster after this season and bring in players that he wants in lieu of the players that Morris recruited. Making matters worse is that St. Lawrence has yet to play a game at Appleton Arena due to on going renovations that have delayed the opening of the renovated rink. This weekends game will be played at Roos House on the campus of SUNY-Canton.

For St. Lawrence it has been another offensive struggle as they have scored just 1.90 goals per game. Sophomore Zach Risteau has been the Saints best player averaging a point per game this season. After him, the Saints are limited with a lack of talent but they have some nice young pieces in freshman Jordan Steinmetz (10 points) and Aleksi Peltonen (7 points) who should get better over the years. Very similar to limiting Drew O'Connor of Dartmouth, Quinnipiac must do the same thing with Risteau in keeping him off the scoreboard. The Saints power power play has struggled at 14.9% this season. 

The Saints defense is the fourth worst in all of college hockey at 3.57 goals per games and overall is the worst in the ECAC. Their best blue liner is Bo Hanson who doubles as the teams second leading scorer with 10 points. St. Lawrence has rotated all eight defensemen this season but has yet to find consistency. They have a penalty kill at 78.6% this season which could be a problem with a resurgence in the Bobcats power play.

Its been a goaltender rotation for St. Lawrence who have started three different goaltenders this season for extensive action. Both Emil Zetterquist and Daniel Mannella have been the two best as both have a .911 save percentage. Mannella has the only shutout for St. Lawrence this season and split playing time last weekend with Francis Boisvert the other goaltender for the Saints.


Clarkson Head Coach: Casey Jones (9th season)

2018-2019 Clarkson record: 13-4-2 (7-2-0 ECAC)

All-time vs. Clarkson: Quinnipiac leads series 16-12-3

Clarkson Key Players: Haralds Egle (F), Jack Jacome (F), Devin Brosseau (F), Josh Dunne (F), Greg Moro (D), Connor McCarthy (D), Frank Marotte (G)

For Clarkson, it has been another good start to the season for 9th year coach Casey Jones team. Coming into this weekend they are 13-4-2 and in second place in the ECAC. However they are only 13th in the pairwise which is a dangerous spot to be in come tournament time. Clarkson is coming off a split of last weekend against RPI and Union having been upset at home by the Engineers 3-1.

Clarkson hasn't been as good offensively as they have in the past but they still have key seniors Devin Brosseau (23 points) and Haralds Egle (21 points) leading the way. This season they are only averaging 2.89 goals per game. Sophomore Josh Dunne has picked up where he left off a season ago and is poised to have even a better offensive season. Jack Jacome (9 points) is also a dangerous offensive player. The power play for the Golden Knights has been very good at 23.4% with Dunne, Egle and defensemen Connor McCarthy combining for 14 power play goals.

While the offense may have slipped a bit, the defense has not. The Golden Knights boast the 4th best defense in the country at 1.79 goals allowed per game and their penalty kill is also outstanding at 91.2% which is 4th best in the country as well. Four upperclassmen lead the way in Connor McCarthy, Shane Kuzmeski, Greg Moro and Jordan Schneider. This is a defense first team with the way they have played on the blue line and in goal this season.

Robert Morris transfer Frank Marotte has more than plenty filled the shoes of the departed Jake Kielly. He has a 1.67 goals against average and a .940 save percentage which is good for 4th in the country in both categories. He has started every game for the Golden Knights this season and has two shutouts as well. The Bobcats have faced Marotte once before in the finals of the Three Rivers Classic when Marotte had 43 saves in a 5-2 Robert Morris win in the tournament finals.

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