December 3, 2009

Quinnipiac turning heads

by Alan Ginsberg

In addition to taking ECAC Hockey by storm, Quinnipiac is making a name for itself on a national stage.

The Bobcats jumped from 10th to sixth in the nation this week, earning a first-place vote, after edging No. 9 UMass 5-4 in overtime on Saturday afternoon. Quinnipiac also holds a two-game advantage over Cornell in ECAC Hockey after beating Princeton 5-1 on Wednesday night.

Sophomore goaltender Dan Clarke continues to lead the way in net with an 8-0-0 mark, while senior forwards Brandon Wong and Eric Lampe pace an offense that leads Division 1 with an average of 4.31 goals per game.

It was Wong who came through in the clutch against the Minutemen, recording both the equalizer and the winner — his third of the season, tying him for the Division 1 lead — as the Bobcats matched the longest winning streak in program Division 1 history at eight games.

Wong’s tallies saved Quinnipiac — which jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead and held a 3-1 advantage at the second intermission — from losing for the first time in 42 contests when leading after the second period. Instead, the Bobcats improved to 39-0-3 in such situations.

Against the Tigers, Quinnipiac scored four times on the power play, including two from freshman defenseman Loren Barron — his first collegiate markers — and one from classmate forward Jeremy Langlois, who also tallied at even strength. All five of the Bobcats’ goals came in the second period.

NEHJ Player of the Week

Jesse Fratkin, jr., Brown

The forward recorded a career-high four points in an 8-1 home win over UConn Saturday night, including a hat trick, the Bears’ first since Ryan Garbutt performed the feat in 2007. He also chipped in a goal and an assist in Brown’s 3-2 loss to Bentley Nov. 24.

Looking Ahead

Quinnipiac at Yale, Friday

Last year’s ECAC Hockey champion takes on this year’s leader with Connecticut supremacy on the line in this matchup between top 10 teams. Last season, the Bulldogs — who are currently ranked No. 10 — blanked the Bobcats 3-0 in New Haven on Jan. 31, but Quinnipiac recovered to take a point at home with a 3-3 draw on Feb. 20.

Around ECAC Hockey

Brown

Senior forward Aaron Volpatti is tied for the ECAC Hockey lead with a pair of shorthanded goals.

Clarkson

Sophomore forward Corey Tamblyn’s goal in the Golden Knights’ 6-5 loss to BC on Friday night was his first collegiate tally.

Colgate

At least one Raider has recorded multiple points in each of Colgate’s last nine games.

Cornell

Senior forward Blake Gallagher has scored nine goals in nine games to lead Division I in goals per game.

Dartmouth

The Big Green’s 6-2 victory over Harvard on Sunday afternoon was its first in Cambridge in over a decade.

Harvard

Freshman forward Conor Morrison became the first Crimson player to score four goals in a game since Chris Bala tallied four times in a 7-6 victory over Vermont on March 6, 1998, in a 6-5 overtime loss to BU Nov. 24.

Princeton

The Tigers are averaging just 2.33 goals per game, the worst total in ECAC Hockey.

RPI

Junior forward Chase Polacek leads ECAC Hockey with 10 goals, 20 points and 12 power-play points.

St. Lawrence

Senior Kain Tisi leads ECAC Hockey with a 1.55 goals-against average in conference play.

Union

The Dutchmen completed the second undefeated November in program history, going 3-0-3 on the month after the 2000 team posted a 4-0-1 mark.

Yale

The Bulldogs trail only the Bobcats in Division 1 in scoring offense, averaging 4.10 goals per game.

Alan Ginsberg can be reached at feedback@hockeyjournal.com.