Quinnipiac hosts St. Lawrence and Clarkson

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Carolyn Fales

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

The Quinnipiac men’s hockey team (18-8-2, 13-2-1 ECAC) is getting down to the end of its regular season play and looking to make some moves. This weekend it will host both St. Lawrence (16-10-2, 12-4-0 ECAC) and Clarkson (11-13-4, 8-6-2 ECAC).

Quinnipiac topped Cornell and Colgate on the road for a clean sweep last weekend. The overtime game against the Big Red brought Michael Garteig his 11th shutout of his career, which is also a program record. Against the Raiders, the Bobcats saw three freshman score to come away with the 4-2 win.

The victory over Colgate guarantees Quinnipiac home ice advantage in the ECAC tournament and also means the Bobcats will finish no lower than the 7th seed.

But will the momentum of last weekend’s wins continue?

The Bobcats sit at the top of the ECAC standings, but St. Lawrence and Clarkson are right behind them. In this week’s USCHO.com poll Quinnipiac ranked 13th while St. Lawrence rounded out the list at No. 20.

QU needs wins this weekend to maintain its position, but St. Lawrence and Clarkson aren’t going to let that happen easily. The Saints in particular have beaten the Bobcats the last four times they have traveled to Hamden.

St. Lawrence is a team full of scorers as all 22 players have contributed a goal this season. It may well be a battle of the goalies as Garteig’s in conference save percentage is second only to SLU’s freshman standout Kyle Hayton. The freshman has been huge for the Saints this season, allowing only ten goals in his last seven starts. The Bobcats managed to score three times on him in their last match up, and may need to do the same this time around.

Clarkson is on a bit of a hot streak as well, winning four of its last six games. The Golden Knights have strong scorers as well, with five of their players racking up double-digits points so far this season. Quinnipiac suffered a 2-1 loss to Clarkson earlier in the season in Potsdam, New York.

The strong shooters for St. Lawrence and Clarkson will mean Quinnipiac will need tight defense and big performances from their own goal scorers. Travis St. Denis showed up big in last weeks match ups and needs to do the same for these games.

Quinnipiac has struggled to maintain a cohesive defense, but doing so will be crucial against these teams. These games will be close, but the Bobcats strong penalty kill will likely be an asset.

A win against St. Lawrence would clinch at least the No. 5 seed for Quinnipiac in the upcoming ECAC tournament, while several other scenarios could secure at least the No. 2 spot for the Bobcats.

The action gets under way at High Point Solutions Arena on Friday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m.