Monday, February 10, 2020

Weekend in Review: Yale/Brown

Quinnipiac once again beat their Whitney Avenue rivals
Quinnipiac had a three point weekend against Yale and Brown but it was far from easy against each of them with each game going into overtime. What should have been a weekend that was much smoother with a pair of victories turned into two nail bitters for the Bobcats. Still they didn't lose either game but the tie against Brown wasn't helpful and we will get more into that later. Here are my thoughts from this weekends games.

- It wasn't pretty but it was another victory over its Whitney Avenue rival. The Bobcats spotted Yale a 1-0 lead just 55 seconds into the game before scoring the next two goals of the game, one by Alex Whelan in the latter stages of the second period and early in the third period by Hamden native Joe O'Connor. A late Evan Smith goal for Yale forced overtime at Ingalls but the Bobcats ended things quickly just 18 seconds in when Odeen Tufto scored the game winner.

- Quinnipiac did a really good job of holding Yale's best player Curtis Hall scoreless on the night. Hall finished a -2 and only won 13 of 25 face-offs against Quinnipiac. Shutting him down was key as he came into the weekend with 13 goals. The game could have been much different if Hall had got going.

- Despite winning the game, Quinnipiac lost the face-off battle against Yale but William Fallstrom went 11 of 16 which is impressive. As long as Quinnipiac continues to win face-offs which turn into puck possession they should be ok.

- Jayden Lee took a major hit against Yale which knocked him out of the game. He was not healthy enough to make the trip to Brown to play. Let's hope he won't be out too long as he is an important puck moving defencemen despite not putting up big point totals as a freshman. Lee had played in every game this season until he missed Saturday's game against Brown which shows how important and reliable he has been this season.

- Saturday's game against Brown was ugly at times. Quinnipiac had some nice sustained early pressure but couldn't get anything past Gavin Nieto. The Bobcats had two power plays in the opening period and had some nice looks but couldn't find the back of the net. Brown got on the board first late in the period after a Michael Lombardi roughing call. Brent Beaudoin found the back of the net as Keith Petruzzelli wasn't in the best position to make a save. It continued to be ugly in the second period in which Quinnipiac was dominated by Brown in shots and got a late goal by Beaudoin again.

Quinnipiac needed a comeback to force a 2-2 tie with Brown
- Things looked pretty bleak after that second Beaudoin goal coming late in the second period but Quinnipiac's goal by Ethan de Jong with three seconds left in the period was a momentum shift. Instead of being down 2-0 heading into the third, Quinnipiac was only down one. That greasy goal in traffic was just what the Bobcats needed going into the third period.

- It was back to back games that Alex Whelan had a big goal. The senior got Quinnipiac on the board Friday night against Yale and Saturday he took the puck bowled over a defender and rifled one high past Gavin Nieto for the game tying goal. Whelan has now hit double figures in goals in three straight seasons and is one of the most important players on the team in my opinion. You saw the struggles when he was out of the lineup earlier this season. He brings so much passion and energy on each shift that its tough to replace when he is not out there.

- Is there a more embarrassing official than Chip McDonald. He was awful on Saturday night during the Brown game. Not only did he miss a bunch of offside calls on each side, he missed a too many men on the ice penalty against Brown (they had seven players on the ice) and called a ridiculous embellishment penalty on captain Nick Jermain which should have given Quinnipiac a 5 on 3 as a penalty had been called prior to that play. Instead of a Bobcats full two man advantage he called the single embellishment on Jermain thus the teams skating at four aside. Its time for the ECAC to get rid of McDonald who continues to botch calls time and time again.

- How damaging was that tie against Brown? The tie cost Quinnipiac two spots in the pairwise rankings as a win puts them at 12th. They are currently 14th which is dangerously close to the cut line. Think about this for a minute. Had they beaten Brown on Saturday and won against Colgate up in Hamilton back in November this team would be 8th in the pairwise rankings and in a comfortable position. You just can't lose or tie games to bad teams as its always going to come back to bite you later on.

- Its another big weekend for Quinnipiac who have a huge game against Clarkson Friday night. A win will give Quinnipiac a big boost in the pairwise rankings which they clearly need. Saturday they face St. Lawrence in a game that they definitely cannot lose or even tie at this point. We will have more on these teams later in the week.

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