Bobcats Blunder: Three Reasons Quinnipiac Fell to Bowling Green 4-2


Steven McAvoy

After falling to Bowling Green on Friday night, head coach Rand Pecknold had a simple message:

“We need to play to our identity. We play to our identity, we win a lot of hockey games.”

While the Bobcats were up to Pecknold’s challenge, it simply wasn’t enough.

“We had a lot of passion tonight in the first but we let our foot off the gas in the third,” Pecknold said.

On Saturday the Bobcats fell to the Bowling Green Falcons 4-2, despite holding a 2-0 lead at the halfway mark of the contest.

Here are three reasons the Bobcats failed to take down the Falcons.

The (Lack Of) Energy

 The Bobcats came out of the gate strong, keeping pressure on the Falcons’ offensive attack in the neutral zone and blocking a handful of shots in front of goaltender Keith Petruzzelli. However, the energy slowly dwindled by the third period, where things fell apart.

After tallies from Ethan de Jong and Desi Burgart to open the scoring, the tide slowly began to turn the Falcons’ way.

While the Bobcats were able to command the faceoff circle for most of the contest, Bowling Green barraged Quinnipiac with enough pressure to quickly take the puck away late in the second, leading to a Gavin Gould goal that gave Bowling Green momentum going into the third.

The barrage didn’t cease, as the Falcons found the net three more times in the third to seal the victory for Bowling Green.

The Bobcats scored because of lackluster defense and finesse, not by working the puck around, and it showed in their overall energy.

“We have to be prepared to compete and go to battle and lock in on details for 60 minutes,” Pecknold said.

If the Bobcats want to hang with top teams this year, they will need to condition themselves and capitalize on their energy output.

Poor Passing & Turnovers

From the jump, the passing game for the Bobcats was sloppy.

Errant passes with no directive created various odd-man rush attempts, careless dumps out of the zone gave way to plenty of chances for Bowling Green, and those poor passes led to plenty of turnovers.

It appeared that every five seconds possession would flip back and forth with no team able to maintain a hold on possession unless there was a man advantage.

A common theme throughout the contest was the constant back and forth, an unusual situation for Pecknold’s squad who usually excels at finding the right man in the passing lanes.

The Bobcats missed multiple opportunities in the offensive zone, and had it not been for an excellent night in net by Petruzzelli, some of those errant passes could’ve meant more goals for the Falcons.

The Penalties

“We got to stop taking penalties,” Pecknold said. “That killed us both nights.”

In two nights, the Bobcats took 13 penalties. The last time they took more 13 penalties or more in a series? Last season against Arizona State where Quinnipiac dropped both games.

Last season the Bobcats finished 23rd in the nation on the penalty kill, another statistic unusual for the Bobcats, who since 2010 have eight top-16 finishes in that category.

Quinnipiac needs to get back to their old ways if they hope to win meaningful games in April.

The Final Takeaway 

“It’s a frustrating and disappointing weekend, but in the end, we got what we deserved. We weren’t good enough,” said Pecknold. 

At the end of the day, the Bobcats simply couldn’t get it done against their first challenge of the year, but there are some good takeaways from the weekend.

For the first time this season, the Bobcats excelled at blocking shots, finishing with 22, matching their season-high from last year.

Goaltender Keith Petruzzelli is showing his draft status as one of the best goalies in college hockey.

“He’s good. He’s one of the better goalies in the country and we’re lucky to have him,” Pecknold said.

Although the Bobcats failed to convert on the power play, as well as maintain pressure in the offensive and defensive zones, the weekend did provide Pecknold’s team with a needed wakeup call.

“We have some of our older guys who think this is going to be easy and it’s not,” Pecknold said. “They know it, they’ve been there before and it’s a part of maturing.”

Pecknold mentioned that the team needs to make more sacrifices if they want to win at this level, especially in a season where they’ll have to play games with little turnover time against good hockey teams.

The Bobcats’ next matchup will come against Holy Cross on December 22, a matchup to work out their kinks and organize before conference play begins in 2021.