Monday, November 1, 2021

Thoughts and Observations from Quinnipiac's weekend series with AIC

Zach Metsa scored the game winning goal 51 seconds into overtime

Quinnipiac this past weekend had a home and home series against AIC of Atlantic Hockey. A short drive up I-91 saw the Bobcats and Yellow Jackets skate to a 2-2 on Friday before Quinnipiac won a thrilling 2-1 game in overtime on Saturday on Zach Metsa's goal. I didn't get the chance to see the Friday game because I was not going to fork over cash to something that wasn't ESPN Plus in which all leagues should be on. So with that you will only get my thoughts on Saturday's game.

- It was a struggle this weekend for Quinnipiac against a lesser opponent. The Bobcats are fortunate to come away without a loss and that is the best part you can say about a weekend like this. AIC probably is better than their record showed as four the losses came against Boston College, Providence and UMass Amherst. AIC is also a well coached team under Eric Lang who has turned the Yellow Jackets into a respectable program that was once a laughingstock. 

- What a game winning goal that was by Zach Metsa to send the Bobcat faithful home with a win after really dominating Saturday's game on the stat sheet but not with goals. Quinnipiac out shot AIC 45-15 and won 39 face-offs to AIC's 23. It was a pretty dominant effort and the Bobcats were not rewarded for it until the Metsa rocket of a goal just 51 seconds into overtime. Metsa has heated up with four points in his last three games and has seven points in eight games this year.

- I am little concerned so far with Quinnipiac's lack of scoring this season as in five of the eight games played, the Bobcats have scored two goals or less in them. They are averaging 2.75 goals per game this season, but ten of those goals game in two games against North Dakota and Holy Cross which means they are averaging just two goals per game in games they don't score five or more goals. More is needed from the forwards and on a consistent basis if the Bobcats want to be playing deep into March and April this year. 

- Defense is clearly the strength of this game and will win them a lot of games until they can score consistently on offense. It's such a deep unit that Nick Bochen who played 24 games last season has only played in one game while graduate transfer Tony Stillwell who played 80 games at Brown has only been able to get into the lineup for three games.

- The power play is a real challenge now for Quinnipiac. This weekend they went 0 for 7 and on the season they are a measly 8.6%. That just isn't going to cut it especially for a team in the top ten. They need to figure something out fast because its not trending well for them. 

- On the flip side the penalty kill continues to be strong as they kept AIC off the board on five opportunities this weekend. At 91.7% and in the top ten in the country in this category, this is more like a Quinnipiac team on the special teams. 

- Dylan St. Cyr had to come on in relief on Friday night as Yaniv Perets didn't play in periods two or three. Its unknown if Perets suffered some sort of injury in Friday's game so that is a situation that will have to be monitored as the duo of St. Cyr and Perets has been good to start the season. 

- Quinnipiac will open ECAC play this weekend when they travel to down Whitney Avenue Friday night to play Yale and then head to Providence on Saturday to face Brown. It is the first time Quinnipiac has faced rival Yale since February 29, 2020 to conclude the regular season. The two teams were supposed to meet in the ECAC quarterfinal before the season got shut down due to COVID-19. 

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