Inconsistency Defines Bobcats Men’s Ice Hockey’s Weekend


Photos: Liz Flynn

Ryan Flaherty

In what was and up and down season for the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team, they head into the ECAC Hockey playoffs with a Cleary Cup, but little momentum. The Bobcats dropped their final game of the regular season to the Colgate Raiders on Saturday by a score of 4-3. As they head towards a home semi-final matchup with these same Colgate Raiders, let’s take a look at some of the ups and downs of this weekend.

The Ups:

  1. Odeen Tufto

There are simply not enough good things you can say about the senior captain and what he’s done this season. This weekend, he passed former Bobcat Reid Cashman’s program record of 125 assists with three on the weekend. His game-winning goal on Friday was his second of the season and the catalyst for the Bobcats’ offense late in the game. Tufto’s 44 points, 38 of those coming by way of assist, has him chasing down Cole Caufield as the race for Hobey Baker heats up. Despite all his personal success, he continues to praise his teammates and focus on the games ahead as the leader of this time on and off the ice.

  1. Special Teams

A staple of Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey teams that have had success, the Bobcats are once again climbing spots towards the top of the nation in both the powerplay and the penalty kill. The fire power of the first powerplay unit has continuously given teams trouble as the Bobcats have capitalized on just under 25 percent of their opportunities and sit eighth in the nation with 32 powerplay goals. Ethan de Jong leads the first unit with eight goals and his linemate Ty Smilanic is nipping at his heels with six. As good as the powerplay has been, the penalty kill has been better. Heading into this weekend, the Bobcats had a streak of 46 consecutive kills. Led by Zach Metsa and Peter DiLiberatore on the backend, The Bobcats sit third in the nation sitting just under 90%.

  1. Keith Petruzzelli

The Bobcats have the second-best team defense in the nation and Petruzzelli is a huge reason why. A semi-finalist for the Mike Richter Award for the nation’s top goaltender and a Hobey Baker candidate, Petruzzelli has led Quinnipiac to a 17-6-4 record with a .932 save perecentage and a 1.69 goals against average. The backbone of this team, Petruzzelli has shown time and time again he can keep this team in games when he needs to and that is going to come in handy as the Bobcats try to capture just their second Whitelaw Cup.

The Downs:

  1. Compete level

The most troublesome thing to come out of this weekend was the overall effort put forth from top to bottom. Having captured the Cleary Cup and having home ice in the ECAC tournament wrapped up, this weekend was a perfect storm for a “trap” game and that’s exactly what happened tonight. Quinnipiac has consistently taken care of Colgate this season, to the tune of a 4-1-1 record, but they had trouble winning the one on one battles this weekend and getting the little details right. Discipline, another staple of Quinnipiac hockey, was nowhere to be found as the Bobcats racked up 28 penalty minutes in just 120 minutes of play. Odeen Tufto contributed six of those 28 minutes, and was the last one off the ice Saturday, as he spent his last moments on the ice, on one knee, reflecting about the team’s poor performance to end the season.

  1. Ty Smilanic

The highly-touted first-year has consistently been one of the best players for the Bobcats, but that wasn’t the case this weekend. Smilanic, who leads the nation in goals among first year players, had no points this weekend and placed just one shot on net.

Smilanic was noticeably missing from the bench late in the game Saturday, which is something to keep an eye on with just two weeks until the ECAC Hockey tournament begins. After the game, Pecknold said “We’re not allowed to talk about injuries,” casting doubt on Smilanic’s status.

If healthy, Smilanic figures to be a big part of this Quinnipiac team, and their chances of bringing home some hardware this season will suffer without his presence on the top line.


The Bobcats will have two weeks to regroup from Saturday’s loss as these two teams will get set to face each other once again in the ECAC Hockey tournament on Thursday, March 18 at the People’s United Center.