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Bobcat Bullets: Quinnipiac wraps up three-game home stand against UMass
The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team wraps up its three-game home stand on Saturday night at 7 p.m. as the University of Massachusetts comes to Hamden in the first of two meetings between the teams this season.
The fifth-ranked Bobcats are 0-1-1 on their home stand after skating to a 3-3 tie with Providence on Wednesday night. The Minutemen are struggling as of late and are winless in their last six games, recently dropping a pair of games to the Vermont Catamounts.
Keys for Quinnipiac:
- Mistakes have cost the Bobcats in the past couple of games, especially in their defensive zone. Defensive zone turnovers will happen to any team but the Bobcats need to focus on diminishing the number of turnovers on Saturday night. Turnovers against Princeton and Providence led to goals for the opposition and ultimately cost the Bobcats two points in each game. The team needs to keep it simple on breakouts and make high percentage plays when moving out of the defensive zone and through center ice.
- Blowing leads is something that Quinnipiac never seemed to do last season and was a major part of the team’s success. Over the past couple of games the Bobcats have failed to hold leads and have been good enough to salvage ties with the exception of the loss to Princeton. The younger players on the roster should use these games as learning experiences and move forward by getting back to the Quinnipiac brand of defensive hockey. Focus on getting the lead but not sitting back. Continue to attack the Minutemen and add to any leads.
Keys for Massachusetts:
- The Minutemen have struggled to score goals all season long and it has been evident in their six game winless streak. Playing a Quinnipiac team that may be lacking some confidence could be the wakeup call UMass is looking for before the midpoint of the season. For the Minutemen to come out on top Saturday night, they need to find ways to put the puck in the net. Continue to use the power play as a weapon and capitalize on chances and mistakes by Quinnipiac.
- Holding the lead has also been a problem for the Minutemen this season. UMass has scored first in eight of their 14 games but have only managed to win one of those games. If the Minutemen manage to pot the first goal on Saturday night they will need to push for another immediately. Taking some chances and firing everything on net will do nothing but improve the chances of the Minutemen getting their first road win of the season.