Hello fans of the "second best team in the nation!" It was a very nerve racking weekend as the Bobcats had their best shot ever to be the best team in the nation! Minnesota fell, BC fell twice and UNH also fell, the only team in the top 4 not to lose was the Quinnipiac Bobcats. However, 28 voters thought it was wise to vote for a team to stay in the top ranking even after a loss. Regardless, another week is down and we are still a top ranked team so there's not much to frown about. A big weekend is in store for the Blue and Gold as they take on a struggling team from Brown University and for the first time this year, the Bobcats will face in-state rival, Yale. Like Quinnipiac, Yale is on fire and currently stand as the 7/8th team in the nation! Get ready folks, for the best game in the nation! (Unless youre one of the 28 voters because you obviously think who ever Minnesota plays is the best game in the nation).
Game one will take place on Friday as the Bobcats take on the Brown Bears in their natural habitat. The boys will take a short bus trip up to Providence, Rhode Island to hopefully come back with another win and extend their win streak to 18 games! The Bobcats are an outstanding 13-5-2 against Brown however they can't seem to get it going while on the road against them as brown is 4-2-1 at home against the Cats. The last time these two teams played was the first round of the ECAC playoffs where QU sent Brown to the golf course for the rest of the year. However the Bobcats are catching a Brown team that is on a roll winning 5 of their last 8 games. Once again on paper the Bobcats are the clear better team but as we all saw with Uconn, any team could skate with us on any given day if we don't take them seriously. Players to watch (Brown): (F) Matt "Nacho Cheese" Lorito: Lorito leads the Bears in points with 24 (14G,10A) and his 14 goals are the second best in the ECAC. The sophomore is having a stellar season and I don't see him slowing down. (G) Anthony "Wild Boar" Borelli: Borelli is 5-4-3 this season posting a league 1.64 Goals against average and a .941 save percentage. Borelli's record is a poor representation of the talent in this netminder and if his team can find more offense, the wins will come in bunches. Prediction: 4- 1 QU Next up on the weekend is the matchup everybody in CT has been waiting for. A game that has been sold out for a week already in which fans for both teams will fill the arena. Quinnipiac will ride their huffy bikes down Whitney Avenue as they reach the Yale Whale. The #7/8 Bulldogs saw their in-state rivals eating the top 10 pie and wanted to get their own piece and boy do they deserve a slice. Yale enters the weekend at 12-5-3 and a loss last weekend to Colgate won't affect this team for this game as they are out for blood and a top 5 spot in the rankings. Yale is 5-7-2 all time against the Bobcats however being on home ice hasn't given them the advantage as the teams are 3-3-1 when playing at Yale. This is the team you look forward to playing when you commit to QU. Tighten the laces a little tighter Mr. Skywalker because Darth Vader awaits and he's not going down without a fight for the ages. Players to watch (Yale) (F) Kenny "Powers" Agostino: Agostino is having a stellar season for the Blue and White as he leads the team in points (25) and assists (14) while also finding the twine 11 times. (F) Andrew Miller: The captain probably didn't think he'd be third in points by this time in the season but I bet he's happy because of the numbers his teammates are putting up around him. Miller comes into this matchup with 21 points 9G, 11A) and looks to raise those numbers this weekend.
(G) Jeff "In the middle" Malcom: Malcom started off the year shaky but since has played some of the best hockey of his career. The netminder has been named Goalie of the week twice this month and hopes to start off February with another. Malcom is 11-4-2 this year with a 2.43 Goals against average and a .919 Save percentage.
Prediction: 2-1 QU (OT)
Quinnipiac continues to play at a level many fans only dreamed about and they keep inching their way closer and closer to that top spot. This week the Bobcats got a career high in first place votes (22) and two wins this week may raise that number! Along with riding a nation leading 17 game unbeaten streak, The Cats also have the best win percentage in the nation (.812) with their 18-3-3 record! Quinnipiac can also do something this weekend that they have never done since joining the ECAC. With a win this weekend the Bobcats will secure a first round bye for the ECAC playoffs! The Bobcats also continue to beat every ranked team they face this year as they are now 8-0 against ranked opponents. The keeper of the pipes, Eric Hartzell continues to play the best hockey of his career. The senior is now 18-2-3 on the year and he leads the nation in wins (18), winning percentage (.848) and goals against average (1.48)! QU is coming off a very scary 2-1 win over Uconn which made some fans question if QU is starting to fall apart, The Bobcats need a big weekend to keep the faith alive and hopefully notch a # 1 ranking and I believe a weekend sweep will do that...Go Bobcats!