The ECAC Quarterfinal is the Bobcats’ Series to Lose

Matt Mugno

The Quinnipiac Bobcats lead the Yale Bulldogs 1-0 in a three-game ECAC Quarterfinal series after their 3-0 victory Friday night. 

Game One transpired just like how every home ice game has been for the Bobcats in 2022-2023. The instructions go something like this:

  1. The opponent seems to defy the odds and hangs in the first 20. 
  2. The Bobcats gain steam in the latter half of the first frame.
  3. The Bobcats explode in the second period. 
  4. The chippy play follows. Defense locks it down.
  5. Yaniv Perets faces 20 (or fewer) shots and-
  6. The Bobcats win (as they have the previous 13 home games) 

Additional: For extra flavor, add in a “Perets shutout”, or “Graf record”


Exponential Graf:

Collin Graf recorded his 50th point of the season and is the first Bobcats skater since Sam Anas in 2015-2016 to reach this total. He also recorded a point and assist on all three goals, bringing his total to 52 points.

It’s difficult to process how Graf was a 22-point-scoring Union Dutchmen last season. 

He has improved in every game this season by leaps and bounds.  His zone entrances have evolved to the point where, on Friday, he drove five defenders with him to the net on a self-created break-in right down Santa Claus Lane.

Luke Pearson-ification of the Bulldog: 

Luke Pearson is a top-class talent. The keeper carries a .925 save percentage on a team with an 8-19-4 record. If you watched the highlights above, it’s essentially Pearson’s scouting package. 

The beast in the crease “pearsonified” how the sophomore stud doesn’t just boast eye candy numbers due to a high shot against volume. 

Perets may have had the five-save shutout (and passed Mike Garteig’s program shutout record as a sophomore), but Pearson stole the show. 

In fact, he WAS the show. Pearson kept an absolute blitzkrieg campaign at bay. You name a type of save; he made it. 27 to be exact. Pearson could steal Game Two for the colonial Ivy. 

Defense Wins Championships:

Quinnipiac’s defense allowed five shots on goal the entire game. The count was marginalized to a single hand. Perets stopped all five, including a breakaway from William Dineen, to record his 20th career shutout (in two seasons) to break Michael Garteigs 19 career shutouts.

The Bobcats have limited opponents to less than ten shots on goal twice this season. In a 2-0 victory over Cornell (before the Big Red turned the ship around) and kept the Brown Bears to eight shots on goal. 

Garteig played three seasons as a starter, with 119 games to his resume. Perets has played 66 games and shutout 30 percent of his games played. He has allowed four goals in the last five games played. 

Perets also broke the ECAC All-Time Shutout record. 



Under (Bull)Dogs:

It’s the Bulldogs’ series to claim, and the Bobcats’ to lose. Luke Pearson can steal Game Two if the Bulldog’s offense awakens. The game favored Yale when the going got tough. In the first frame, a tie game. The breath of life came as a response to the altercations, an energy boost. Yale will have to grind, but that seemed to put the Bobcats right where any team would want them, a tie game with a hot goaltender in Pearson. Also, generating more than five shots on goal will help too. 

As for the Bobcats, last season we saw St. Lawrence take a lead in Game Two of the quarterfinal series, the Bobcats coming back to tie the game at 3-3 and winning in double overtime. Yale plays meat and potatoes hockey, foot off the gas would let the Bulldogs right back in the series. 

Game two will either result in a dominant sweep for the Bobcats, or the dark horse Yallies channeling their inner Miracle on Manchester to push for a game three. Listen to QBSN’s radio call by Clever Streich and Gage Killborne tonight at 7 p.m here 


Will it be the last homestand for the Bobcats this season, or will the Yale Bulldogs shock the hockey world?