No.3 QU vs Maine Weekend Takeaways


Credit: Nick Boyd | QBSN

Gage Kilborne, Aiden Barrett, Matthew Mugno, & David Maher, Beat Reporter: Quinnipiac Men's Ice Hockey

On Saturday, Oct. 22 and Sunday, Oct. 23 the University of Maine Black Bears hosted the No.3 ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats at the Alfond Sports Arena.

The weekend saw Hockey East take on ECAC Hockey in non-conference play, where the Hockey East School took the first game 4-0 and the ECAC squad takes the second game 6-2.

As a result, the Bobcats dropped from No.3 in the nation to No.7/8 according to the NCAA and USCHO rankings.

What are the takeaways from the weekend series?


1.Is Consistency with Highs and Lows an Issue for the Bobcats?

The Bobcats stand at 3-1-2 and exhibit combustible highs and unconvincing lows.

Yes, it’s been six games (370 minutes) of ice time. Six matches out of 28 scheduled. By the math, the first quarter of the season (round up please) is over. A quarter of the way means identity takes shape, for better or for worse.

The Bobcats so far have certainly played the role of the classically alluded to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde analogy. To start the season, a well-rounded 4-0 victory over Boston College followed by a tie against LIU, the latter a 1-4-1 team. The Sharks have only lost three games by no more than 2 goals but QU has not dropped out of the top 10 in ranking and LIU remains unranked.

The Bobcats 4-1 blown lead followed by a 2-2 middle frame that blew into a 6-2 victory in North Dakota was on repeat this past weekend against Maine. Goals surrendered in bunches on Friday to an unranked Maine squad were followed by a 6-2 victory.

In the last two weekends, in victory, they outscored their opponents 12-4, each a sic spot. In defeat, they were outscored 9-5, the numbers not depicting the lost lead and shutout where Maine potted three goals in five minutes, explosive highs followed by unranked defeats.


2.Special Teams and Defensive Breakdowns are a Problem

Maine exposed Quinnipiac’s defense this weekend. There’s no other way to sugarcoat it. The Bobcats allowed more chances on breakaways and odd-man rushes the past two games than they’ve allowed all year. Too many odd-man rushes through the neutral zone led to goals or Grade-A scoring chances. Even with Zach Metsa out, Quinnipiac has enough experience at the position to be able to tighten up in that area. Very uncharacteristic of a Bobcats team that usually relies on defense to win, and it’s something that has to be addressed moving forward

An Achilles heel that has kept the Bobcats from being dynamic is their power play. They had one brief 5-on-3 in each of the two games this weekend and didn’t score. The Bobcats were 1/7 combined on the power play this weekend and also gave up a shorthanded goal in Sunday’s game. This power play is focused on too much passing, forcing passes to the middle of the slot and making a play that will look like a “Top 10 Play” on SportsCenter. They need to do a better job of taking shots when they’re available and making smart passes because what they’re running right now clearly isn’t working


3.The Sophomore Class has Taken a Timely Next Step

The Bobcats have six sophomores on the team this season. Three of them are top five on the team in points and the other is Yaniv Perets. The sophomore class was at it again this weekend with Collin Graf, Cristophe Tellier, Jacob Quillan and Cristophe Fillion all recording points.

Graf looks to have locked himself into a role in the top six for now while Quillan leads the team in points with seven. Perets is having a strong year in net yet again, holding down a .909 save percentage to go along with his three wins.

The sudden emergence of the sophomore class has been vital for Quinnipiac. After losing multiple key players from the season before, it was essential to see internal growth. To see it this quickly allows head coach Rand Pecknold to be even more creative in his lines and throw out different looks.

Quinnipiac is currently ninth in the country in goals for and 24th in goals against.


4.Quality vs. Quantity

In Game 1 against Maine, Quinnipiac had 33 shots on goal, which was the second-most shots on goal they had this season but nothing got past Victor Ostman. This has been the main issue with this team so far this season is quantity over quality, meaning they are not being selective on shots they should be taking as a way to pressure the opposing goaltender.

Moving to the LIU tie for a moment, the Bobcats were able to outshoot LIU 39 to 20 however they only had two goals to show for the 39 shots on net.

In Game 2, particularly in the second period we saw the shot selection for Quinnipiac become more decisive, they were not so focused on the quantity of shots. They were more focused on the type of shots they were taking and as a result, they were able to light the lamp four times in the second period to jump out to a 5-1 advantage before taking this game 6-2.

Although the team did lose the first game to the unranked Maine Black Bears, the Bobcats were able to recover and take down the Black Bears in Game 2 which shows how they can respond to a devastating loss after Game 1.


The Bobcats have a two-week layoff before they compete against the Colgate Raiders on Friday, Nov. 4 and Cornell on Saturday, Nov 5. Both ECAC conference games will be held at M&T Bank Arena.

So far, they have earned a record of 3-1-2. As November dawns, a test awaits the skating Bobcats