Men’s ice hockey to square off with Harvard

Kriby Paulson

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Photo: Emma Robertson & Rebecca Castagna

Photo: Emma Robertson & Rebecca Castagna

Coming off their first weekend of conference play, the Quinnipiac Bobcats (5-3-1, 1-1-0 ECAC Hockey) will host Harvard University (3-0-1, 1-0-1 ECAC Hockey) in yet another ECAC matchup.

The Bobcats came into this season with high hopes, having been ranked second in the USCHO.com preseason poll. Now they find themselves coming close to slipping out of the top ten despite their strong record. A loss that is proving to leave a big impact on their ranking came on October 22, when they traveled to Boston to play the number eight ranked Boston University Terriers. They were shutout at Agganis Arena, putting an extra rub in the wound to their rankings.

Quinnipiac slightly turned the page after their loss to the Terriers, winning two of the last three games, including showdowns between ECAC opponents Clarkson and St. Lawrence. The Bobcats won on Friday against Clarkson by a score of 5-3 with goals coming from Tim Clifton, Tanner MacMaster, Kevin McKernan and Karlis Cukste. Two of their goals came on the power play, a big upside for a Bobcats team that has desperately struggled to find success in man-advantage situations. The following evening, they were shutout at St. Lawrence by a score of 2-0; a game in which goaltender Chris Truehl faced a total of 32 shots.

Harvard arrives this weekend ranked tenth in the USCHO.com poll. The Crimson look to continue their fire power, averaging 4.50 goals per game through the first four games. The scoring put them at the top of NCAA Division I rankings in that category.

Conferencce play started for Harvard this past weekend, when they faced the Colgate Raiders and the Cornell Big Red. They tied Colgate 1-1 with a third period power play goal from Alexander Kerfoot. The next night, Lewis Zerter-Gossage notched his first career hat trick beating Cornell 4-3. Zerter-Gossage is a big part to the early success for Harvard, leading the team with four goals in just four games.

 

Players to Watch

Quinnipiac: Tim Clifton. He leads Quinnipiac in goals with five, points per game with three and has notched as two game winning goals. Clifton is tied for the team lead in points with freshman Brogan Rafferty with eight. He will be a key component to a Quinnipiac offense that has struggled to score on a power play that has seen only eight goals on 63 attempts.

Harvard: Lewis Zerter-Gossage. The sophomore comes off of a weekend with a hat trick in a big conference win against Cornell that ignited the Harvard offense. Anyone who makes an impact like that in a conference game is definitely one to watch this weekend.

Expected Starters: Truehl vs. Madsen  

Quinnipiac: Although it is uncertain, Chris Truehl is the expected starter for the Bobcats this weekend. Truehl has seen six games this season posting a 2.31 GAA as well as a .921 save percentage. He will have to play a big game on the backend for Quinnipiac, going against a Harvard team that leads the NCAA with 4.50 goals per game.

Harvard: Merrick Madsen has played all four games for Harvard this season. Between the pipes he has put up an impressive 1.47 GAA and a .931 save percentage. The junior goaltender will get his first big test this season against his first ranked opponent in the Quinnipiac Bobcats.

 

Previous Meetings

Quinnipiac has an all-time record of 12-11-4 vs. Harvard. The Bobcats are 4-1 in previous meetings against the Crimson and beat them in their last meeting 5-2 at the Bright Hockey Center. It has been noticed that both teams have developed a bit of a rivalry. Harvard beat Quinnipiac in the semifinals of the 2015 ECAC Hockey Tournament and would move on to the title. Following this meeting, the Bobcats and Crimson met in the championship game where Quinnipiac beat them in revenge like fashion.

 

 

*Statistics updated as of 11/10/16