Men’s ice hockey set to duel with the Union Dutchmen Friday

Juliana Nikac and Kirby Paulson

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Photo: Liz Flynn

Photo: Liz Flynn

The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team (12-14-4 overall, 7-9-2 ECAC Hockey) will face off with the Union Dutchmen (18-13-1 overall, 13-5-0 ECAC Hockey) Friday night to open up its final weekend of regular season home play.

Quinnipiac is coming off a split weekend spent on the road. The Bobcats fell to the Yale Bulldogs 3-2 last Friday but bounced back the following night shutting out the Brown Bears 3-0.

The Bobcats must now turn their focus to a square-off Dutchmen, a team that will present the easiest of tasks to handle. Additionally, the game could have implications outside of win-loss records as Quinnipiac is one point behind the three teams tied for sixth in the conference. A sweep or even a split this weekend combined with losses from Dartmouth, Princeton and/or Yale could help further visualize what teams will get home-ice advantage in the opening round of the ECAC Hockey playoffs.

This is the second and final meeting between these two teams in regular season play. Union skated off the victor on November 11 in their first meeting beating Quinnipiac 4-1. Sophomore Luc Brown potted two power play goals and junior Brett Supinski added three helpers in the effort.

Supinski, who has six goals and 18 helpers on the campaign, is part of a group of forwards who have been instrumental in the offensive fuel and formula of Union’s success thus far. Ryan Scarfo is the team’s leader in goals scored with 17. He’s tied with Cole Maier for points leader as both skaters have 29 apiece. The Dutchmen goaltenders have been fairly solid as well as Jake Kupsky and Darion Hanson have split time evenly in net during conference play with both putting up respectable numbers. Kupsky is 7-2-0 (ECAC Hockey) with a 2.19 goals allowed average while Hanson is 6-3-0 (ECAC Hockey) with a 2.24 goals allowed average. For reference, the team is ranked as the 16th best on the power play 21.58 percent of the time and has an 80.17 percent penalty kill rate which is 37th in the country.

The Bobcats, on the other hand, will be led offensively by freshman catalyst and team points leader Odeen Tufto who has scored eight goals and added 25 helpers well on his way to a successful first collegiate season. Quinnipiac can also nod to goaltending as somewhat of a strength heading into the tilt as both Andrew Shortridge and Keith Petruzzelli have put up impressive performances as of late. Shortridge shut out the Brown Bears last Saturday while Petruzzelli allowed just one goal against then-ranked No. 3 Clarkson two weekends ago. The team is 40th in the nation on the advantage converting 16.67 percent of the time and holds a penalty kill success rate of 82.46, good enough for 23rd on the statistics leaderboard.

The Bobcats and Dutchmen are set to face off at 7 p.m. inside the Frank Perrotti, Jr. Arena. Stick with QBSN for in-game updates and an audio stream which can be found at mixlr.com/qbsn.