Sunday, February 16, 2020

Weekend in Review: Clarkson/St. Lawrence

Quinnipiac beat St. Lawrence 6-1 on Saturday night
Quinnipiac came into the weekend looking to improve upon its pairwise status. However it left the weekend in a worst place than they started despite a split of the weekend. On Friday Quinnipiac had zero luck in a 3-2 loss to Clarkson in which they dominated the pace of play for the majority of the game. Saturday the Bobcats struggled for two periods before Odeen Tufto changed the Bobcats fortunes with a highlight reel goal leading to the flood gates opening in the third period. Here are my thoughts from this weekends game along with the outlook for the next few weeks.

- Friday night was a tough loss against a good Clarkson team. A game that Quinnipiac really needed, the Bobcats found themselves behind the eight ball quickly as Clarkson was up two within the first six minutes of the game. Neither of the goals were Petruzzelli's fault with the first goal just inching past the goal line in which an official review confirmed. I was really surprised with the early struggles by Quinnipiac in such a big game as I thought we would see more energy and passion from the start.

- Usually when a team dominates the shot count and the face-offs it usually wins. That wasn't the case on Friday when Quinnipiac out shot Clarkson 41-24 and crushed them 36-21 on the face-off dot. The Bobcats just didn't have any puck luck while Clarkson goaltender Frank Marotte was really good with 39 saves on the night. Quinnipiac also couldn't take advantage of the injury to the best Clarkson forward in Haralds Egle.

- I find it surprising that Clarkson doesn't score as much with the talent they have up front. They have an unheralded defense and a good goaltender but no superstars on the blue line. All the talent is up front and they rarely have put up big offensive numbers this season. I wonder if that will come back to hurt them come tournament time against teams that have high powered offenses.

- The Bobcats did a good job of erasing a two goal deficit on Friday but they just couldn't push ahead of Clarkson. Quinnipiac got goals from Michael Lombardi and Ethan Leyh but were stifled most of the night by the Clarkson defense.

- I was really disappointed at the lack of calls in the Clarkson game on both sides. The game was chippy and to have only one power play for each team is shocking. The referees swallowed their whistles and their was really no reason to. Maybe the game is different if they call this game tight as Quinnipiac could have had some more power play opportunities. This was two games in a row with poor officiating in which Quinnipiac played in.

Five different Bobcats found the back of the net against St. Lawrence
- Just as Quinnipiac struggled on Friday night early, the same happened Saturday against just a terrible St. Lawrence team. It was nerve racking for almost two periods as Quinnipiac trailed 1-0 yet was dominating on the shot count. It wasn't until Odeen Tufto's spectacular individual effort for a goal late in period two saw the momentum change towards the Bobcats. If you haven't seen the goal yet I would watch this link below. This could easily be one of the goals of the year in the NCAA. Just a tremendous effort when the Bobcats really needed a spark.

- It seemed like only a matter of time that Quinnipiac would take control after that Tufto goal. It also helped that St. Lawrence would lose its composure in the third period taking six straight penalties which led to four power play goals. Quinnipiac added an even strength goal late as they capped a five goal third period to win in a runaway. The score wasn't as indicative of how close this game really was early.

- I thought St. Lawrence played a disgraceful third period and if Brent Brekke approved play like that then shame on him. If he didn't then he needs to clean some of this dead weight off the roster as soon as the season ends. Most of these players are the garbage that Mark Morris brought into St. Lawrence so he should want to clean some of these goons out as soon as possible.

-  Its pretty amazing that you can crush a team 6-1 yet it hurts you in the pairwise rankings. That's exactly what happened as Quinnipiac fell from 15th to 18th in the pairwise. They clearly need to win out now and probably get to Lake Placid and possibly even to the conference championship game. A lot will depend on what happens with the teams around them as teams like Lowell, Western Michigan, Minnesota, Maine and Providence have some challenging games. There is still a lot to shake out the next few weeks but Quinnipiac is clearly a bubble team at this point due to its slow start to the season and because of a loss to Colgate and a tie to Brown which are really hurting them at this point.

- Quinnipiac heads on its final road trip of the regular season to the New York Capital Region as they take on an ever improving RPI team Friday night before facing a struggling Union team Saturday. RPI is probably Quinnipiac's toughest remaining game and that is due to goaltender Owen Savory who has been really good this season for the Engineers. His play is one of the reasons why RPI is still fighting for a possible bye in the ECAC tournament.

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