Monday, December 6, 2021

Thoughts & Observations from Quinnipiac's sweep in the New York Capital Region

Yaniv Perets has 3 consecutive shutouts for Quinnipiac

After a weekend off for Thanksgiving it was back to work for the Quinnipiac Bobcats who traveled to the New York Capital Region to face RPI and Union for the first time since the 2019-2020 season. The Bobcats took care of business in relatively easy fashion sweeping the weekend slate with back to back shutouts. This is Quinnipiac's third straight game with a shutout as prior to Thanksgiving they shut out St. Lawrence 8-0 in Hamden. The Bobcats will now wrap up the first half with a home and home with LIU. Here are my thoughts and observations from the weekend.

- It was another dominant defensive effort this weekend for Quinnipiac. They let up a total of 31 shots combined in two games including just 13 in Saturday's game against. This is the fifth time this season that Quinnipiac has held an opponent to 15 shots or fewer in a game. Quinnipiac's defense has had 11 games when they have allowed 20 or fewer shots in a game. So far in the first half of the season, the Bobcats defense has been downright dominant. 

- It has taken 16 games but its starting to look like Yaniv Perets is going to be the man in goal going forward. He started his fourth straight game and three of those games have been shutouts. Perets six shutouts are tied for first in the country and his goals against of 0.86 is by far and away tops in the country. His first half of the season has been quite impressive.

-  If there is a concern with a team that is 12-1-3, I would say the offense still has issues to me. They kept Rensselaer in the whole game until scoring a late empty net goal and the next night against Union, Quinnipiac let the Dutchmen hang around for two and half periods. To me they really should be beating these bottom ECAC teams pretty easily and not letting them hang around throughout the game. 

- For a team that is ranked second in the country not to have a player in the top 50 in scoring is pretty stunning but that is the case. Defense and goal-tending right now are the back bone of this team but the offense really needs to elevate its game because they can't just score in spurts and think everything is just fine. Consistency needs to happen on offense especially in the second half especially if this team wants to reach the Frozen Four in Boston this year.

- One thing that the coaching staff should focus on with the upcoming break is the power play. So far its been a disaster this season and for a team ranked #2 in the country to have a power play ranked 51st at 12.1% is just not good enough. They can get away with it when they are playing the ECAC bottom feeders but late in the season when the competition is going to increase they are going to need to score on the power play. This should be the number one focus this team can do to improve when they start the second half of the season.

- Quinnipiac right now is in excellent position for the Cleary Cup as they are only a point behind conference leader Cornell yet have played two less games than every team except Princeton, Darmouth and Yale who are 10,11 and 12 in the ECAC. With the way the Quinnipiac defense is playing along with seeing how other teams have played in the ECAC it would be a pretty big disappointment if Quinnipiac didn't win the Cleary Cup for the second straight year.

- The first half of the season concludes this weekend with a home and home with second year program LIU. Quinnipiac blew out LIU 7-1 a year ago and the Sharks don't have the talent on paper to compete with the Bobcats. I expect a split in goal this weekend with Perets and St. Cyr due to the quality of the opponent. 

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