Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Frozen Four Preview: Quinnipiac Bobcats

In the first of two Frozen Four semifinals, the Quinnipiac Bobcats will take on the Boston College Eagles.  It was my thought that I should break down the Frozen Four team by team.  The four teams will get a week off before the Frozen Four starts so there is more an enough time to break it down team by team.  So, I figured the best place to start would be to tackle the No. 1 overall seed, the Quinnipiac Bobcats.  The attempt here will to get you ready for the Frozen Four and become educated on the four teams that will be in Tampa this year.

Quinnipiac is a private university established in 1929, in the town of Hamden, Connecticut.  They located by the Sleeping Giant State Park so if you cannot find a forest, there is one close by the campus.  They are known for the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.  You may hear Fox News or CNN quoting the Quinnipiac poll, well this is what they are talking about. The university hosts around 9,000 students (6,500 undergrads, and 2,500 post-grad). 

The Bobcats play at the TD Bank Sports Center.  It is located on Qunnipiac's York Hill Campus. It is shared with the basketball program.  The capacity of the site is 3,386 for hockey.  TD Bank was built in the mid 2000s and opened January 27, 2007.  The building cost $52 million.  As of 2014, the scoreboards were upgraded to HD.  Most notably, Quinnipiac was the host of the 2014 Women's Frozen Four.

This is Quinnipiac's first Frozen Four since 2013.  The Bobcats defeated St. Cloud State in the semifinal.  They were upset by Yale in the final.  It was the most of improbable runs by the Yale Bulldogs, a No. 4 seed.  Quinnipiac in 2013, was the No. 1 overall seed as they are this year.  The 2013 Frozen Four took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the Consol Energy Center.   The Consol Energy Center is home to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Quinnipiac vs. St. Cloud State
Quinnipiac opened the season with a home and home with Holy Cross.  They won both games (5-3, 4-2).  The sweep was followed up with a 5-0 win over first year division one program, Arizona State.  Next, they played the Maine Black Bears.  The Bobcats also shut out Maine 4-0.  The team quickly jumped out to a 4-0 start, with wins over teams they should beat.

The Bobcats first real test came when St. Cloud State arrived in the TD Bank Sports Center.  Quinnipiac swept the Huskies in the weekend series, 5-2 and 4-1.  After St. Cloud, the Bobcats played their second road against Colgate.  They won a close game 3-2 and improved their record to 7-0 on the season.  The game against Colgate was also the first ECAC game for Quinnipiac.

The second test of the season came on a road trip to Cornell.  The Bobcats won 5-4 in OT.  It was the first win not in regulation.  It was also the second win over an ECAC opponent.  Next, the Bobcats welcomed Harvard in, and handily beat them 4-1.  So, in a stretch of 5 games, Quinnipiac beat 3 Top 15 programs.

The Bobcats continued the ECAC season with a 6-2 win over Dartmouth.  They beat UConn, at the XL Center, by the same score 6-2 in their next game.  The two wins were followed by a couple of OT ties against Clarkson (1-1) and St. Lawrence (0-0).

Quinnipiac got back on the winning track with a sweep of UMass (4-1, 1-0).  The success continued with a couple of 3-0, road wins over Yale and Brown. 

Quinnipiac vs. Yale
The Bobcats hit a minor road bump or a pot hole if you will against Boston University.  The Terriers came in and won 4-1.  It was the first regulation loss on the season for the Bobcats.  It was a heck of a way to start the season.

The rebound came quickly with a home and home against Princeton.  Quinnipiac swept the series (6-0, and 4-3).  Next, the Bobcats played Northeastern to a 3-3 tie.  The tie was followed up with a 5-0 win over Union.  Things were back on track for the Bobcats.

Quinnipiac played Harvard to a 5-4 OT win at Madison Square Garden in New York.  The road trip continued with a 3-3 OT tie against Maine.  As the road trip, the Bobcats played Rensselaer to a 2-2 OT tie as well. 

The Bobcats beat Dartmouth 7-5 in their next game.  They followed up the win with a 2-2 OT tie with the Big Red of Cornell.  They bounced back nicely from the tie with a 6-3 victory over Colgate.

After the Colgate game they started a stretch of 4 OT games in a row.  The Bobcats lost in OT 4-3 against St. Lawrence.  Followed by a 3-2 OT win over Clarkson.  Next, a 5-4 OT winner against Rensselaer.  The OT stretch was concluded with a 3-3 tie with Union. 

Quinnipiac closed out the regular season with a couple of 4-1 wins at home.  The first was against Brown and the second was against Yale.  The Bobcats finished the regular season with a 16-1-5 record in ECAC play.

The Bobcats opened the ECAC tournament with a win over Cornell.  Quinnipiac won the series 2-1. The scores of the games were 5-2, 4-5 and 6-3.  Quinnipiac hosted the first round because they were the higher seed with a better record than Cornell.

The next two rounds of the ECAC tournament were win or go home.  The games took place at Lake Placid, NY.  The Bobcats beat Dartmouth 3-1 in the ECAC Semifinals.  Then, they beat Harvard 4-1 in the ECAC Championship.

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Quinnipiac was given the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.  They played RIT to a 4-0 victory in the first round.  They followed up the shutout with a 4-1 victory over UMass-Lowell.  They have a date with Boston College at 5 PM down in Tampa.  Have a great day!

As for sources, the stats, for better, for worse, on the university came from Wikipedia.  The stats and game scores came from the CHN app.  Its a great app if you want to follow college hockey.

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