Monday, February 3, 2020

Weekend in Review: Cornell/Colgate

Quinnipiac shutout the #1 team in the country in Cornell 5-0

It was a payback weekend for Quinnipiac who avenged a pair of losses in upstate New York back in November when they lost to Cornell and Colgate. Friday saw Quinnipiac put an absolute beat-down on the #1 team in the country in the Cornell Big Red shutting them out 5-0 behind a 22 save performance by Keith Petruzzelli and they followed it up by gutting out a 2-1 win over Colgate the following night. Here are my thoughts of the weekend sweep.

- The win over #1 Cornell was massive for Quinnipiac's pairwise ranking. The win soared the Bobcats from 19th to 14th and while their is still plenty of work to do this is a big win considering they will get a quality win bonus for it. With eight regular season games remaining, the schedule clearly favors the Bobcats who have one really challenging game the rest of the way on February 14th when they host Clarkson. Every other game on the schedule is winnable and I clearly expect them to win. This team clearly has the ability and the favorable schedule to run the table the rest of the way. If they do that they will be in a great position for the NCAA tournament.

- Quinnipiac did a great job surviving an early flurry of chances from Cornell. Give credit to Keith Petruzzelli who made nine saves that opening period to keep the game scoreless early on. The game could have been different had Cornell drew first blood. His play gave Quinnipiac the opportunity to keep the game scoreless until captain Nick Jermain and defencemen Zach Metsa scored 52 seconds apart to take command of the game. Petruzzelli finished a strong weekend with 52 saves in two games allowing just the lone goal on Saturday against Colgate.

- The Bobcats offense was on fire Friday against Cornell goaltender Matthew Galajda. I never thought that would happen as Galajda has been the best goaltender in the league this season and one of the best in all of the country. He has a tremendous track record of success against Quinnipiac and was a big factor of why they won the earlier match at Lynah Rink. Give Quinnipiac a lot credit for continuing to pepper Galajda in periods one and two and until he was relieved in goal by Austin McGrath.

- I think we have all heard the term "Save the best for last". In this case captain Nick Jermain certainly represents that term. He had another strong weekend with a three point game against Cornell including two goals. Jermain's 10 goals this season are not only second on the team but a career high for him. His 15 points also eclipsed the 14 he had in his sophomore season, his only other full season of health. With 8 games to play he should easily hit the 20 point plateau and possibly even get to 25.

- While Quinnipiac has only one player averaging a point per game (Odeen Tufto) they are getting contributions from a lot of different players during this second half turnaround. Guys like Zach Metsa, Peter Diliberatore, Ethan Leyh, William Fallstrom, Skyler Brind'Amour, Ethan de Jong and Wyatt Bongionvanni have really helped carry this team during a 10-2 stretch dating back to the end of the first half win at UMass.

Quinnipiac beat Colgate 2-1 on Saturday
- I had a good feeling the Colgate game wasn't going to be easy and boy was I right. While Colgate lacks high end skill and talent, they have a ton of will and have clearly played above their skill ability. Head coach Don Vaughan is getting more out of his team than I ever thought he would this year and has put them for a home ice series in the first round of the ECAC playoffs. Colgate should be competitive down the stretch and can help Quinnipiac by possibly stealing a game against Cornell next weekend.

- I never thought this was possible back in November but Quinnipiac still has a decent chance to win the Cleary Cup but will need some help to do it. First off the Bobcats will need to win out which is entirely possible given the schedule they have remaining. The most challenging game is Clarkson which is at home while RPI is their most challenging road game. Every other game is against Yale (2), Brown (2), St. Lawrence and Union. The help that Quinnipiac will need is for Clarkson to beat Cornell on February 29th along with Cornell also possibly losing another game outside of Clarkson for an outright title.

- Quinnipiac now heads out on the road for a short road trip down the road against Yale on Friday night before heading to Providence against Brown on Saturday. The Bobcats have had a ton of success against Yale and have won their last three games at Ingalls Rink which includes two playoff games. While you can't overlook Yale, Saturday night you have to think Quinnipiac will look to have revenge on their minds against a Brown team that swept Quinnipiac at the People's United Bank Center in the ECAC Quarterfinal series last year.

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