No. 5 Quinnipiac Bobcats (18-3-5, 8-2-3 ECAC Hockey)
vs. Merrimack Warriors (5-11-3, 1-5-2 Hockey East)
Date:Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Gallant Arena • No. Andover, Mass.
All-Time Series vs. Merrimack: 3-1-0
Last Meeting: W, 6-1 (Jan. 17, 2014; Hamden, Conn.)
Last Meeting in No. Andover: W, 3-2 (Dec. 29, 2003)
BOBCATS AND WARRIORS, PART 2
Nationally-ranked No. 5 Quinnipiac men's ice hockey will travel to North Andover, Mass. on Saturday, Jan. 18 to take on Merrimack at 7 p.m. at Gallant Arena.
ON THE AIR
Bobcat fans can catch all the action on AM 1220 WQUN featuring Paul "The Jet" Pacelli with the play-by-play and Todd Carroll with the color commentary.
THE LAST TIME THEY HIT THE ICE
Quinnipiac men's ice hockey junior Bryce Van Brabant scored twice to lead the nationally-ranked No. 5 Bobcats to a 6-1 win against Merrimack at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn. Jordan Samuels (West Hartford, Conn.) and Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) both tallied a goal and an assist in the Bobcats' win while Dan Federico (Acton, Mass.) had a game-high two assists. Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) and Brayden Sherbinin (Kelowna, British Columbia) also scored for Quinnipiac while Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario), Travis St. Denis (Trail, British Columbia), Tim Clifton (Matawan, N.J.) and Tommy Schutt (Chanhassan, Minn.) added assists. In goal, Michael Garteig (Prince George, British Columbia) picked up his NCAA-leading 18th win of the year after stopping 22 of Merrimack's 23 shots on goal before exiting the game in favor of Jake Meyers (Chanhassan, Minn.) with two minutes to play.
Quinnipiac is currently ranked 5th in the latest USCHO.com Division I poll and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Division I poll, released on Jan. 13, 2014.
ALL-TIME AGAINST MERRIMACK
Friday night's match-up at Quinnipiac's High Point Solutions Arena will be the fourth meeting all-time between the two teams, and the first on the Bobcats' home ice. Quinnipiac won the last meeting, 4-3 in overtime, in the opening round of the 2008 UConn Hockey Classic. Previously, Quinnipiac and Merrimack split a series on Nov. 29 (W, 3-2) and Nov. 30 (L, 1-4) in 2003 in North Andover, Mass.
SCOUTING THE MERRIMACK WARRIORS
Merrimack will host Quinnipiac on Saturday night with a record of 5-11-2 overall including a 1-5-2 mark in Hockey East. The Warriors opened the year with three straight losses, followed by three straight victories to pull even at 3-3 on Nov. 1. The rest of the month featured seven games against Providence, Northeastern, Notre Dame and Yale - all ranked opponents - that produced a 0-6-1 record. Merriack is since 2-1-2 in its last five games including wins against Boston University and Clarkson. Senior Mike Collins leads the Warrior sin goals (6), assists (10) and points (16) and is Merrimack's lone double-digit scorer.Juniors Quinn Gould (5-3-8) and Clayton Jardine (2-6-8) have provided additional scoring. In goal, Rasmus Tirronen is 4-5-3 with a 2.01 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.
THE BOBCATS AGAINST HOCKEY EAST
With the Bobcats win against Merrimack, Quinnipiac is 5-0-2 in seven games against Hockey East competition this season. The Bobcats swept UMass Lowell on Oct. 18-19 before tying Providence on Nov. 27. The Bobcats then defeated UMass, 6-1, on Dec. 29.
Quinnipiac junior defenseman Dan Federico's (Acton, Mass.) two-assist night against Merrimack made him the fourth Bobcats' blueliner to post a multiple-point game this season. Derek Smith (Apple Valley, Minn.) and Alex Barron (Glendora, Calif.) have done it twice while Zach Tolkinen (Lino Lakes, Minn.) had a d-core season-best three assists in a 6-1 win against UMass on Nov. 30.
Junior Bryce Van Brabant (Morinville, Ontario) had a career-high two goals against Merrimack on Friday night to give him 10 goals and five assists for 15 points in 26 games played. His goal and point totals this season are career-bests while his eight assists in 2012-13 were a two-year high for Van Brabant. To date, he has scored in three straight games and has nine points (7g, 1a) in his last 10 games.
TO KELLEN BACK
Kellen Jones took over the Bobcats' point lead with a goal and an assist against Merrimack on Friday night to give him 14 goals and 17 assists for 31 points, edging past freshman Sam Anas' 14-16--30 line. Jones now has a goal and an assist in two straight games and has tallied nine points (6g, 3a) in his last eight games.
GARTY TO PARTY
For the year, Michael Garteig leads NCAA Division I ice hockey in GAA wins (18), ties (5) and shutouts (4), as well as minutes played (1570:47), games started (26) and percentage of team minutes in goals (99.1%). His 1.72 goals-against average ranks 2nd nationally.
MILESTONE WATCH, NO. 3
With a goal and an assist against Merrimack, Jordan Samuels-Thomas now has 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points through 26 games played. For his career, JST has 48 goals and 50 assists for 98 career points. The transfer from Bowling Green State tallied 20 goals and 26 assists for 46 points at BGSU before coming to Quinnipiac for his junior year. Over the last two seasons, Samuels-Thomas has 28 goals and 24 assists for 52 points.
Quinnipiac's 893 shots-on-goal across its first 26 games lead NCAA Division I hockey. While its 34.35 shots on goal per game rank 10th nationally, the Bobcats leads the nation in shots-on-goals allowed per game (20.62), shots-on-goal margin (+357) and shots-on-goal margin per game (13.75). The Bobcats and Minnesota (10.05) who are outshooting its opponents by double digits.
Quinnipiac's 140 power-play opportunities and 30 power play goals are the most nationally while its 21.4 % power-play percentage ranks 14th nationally.
Quinnipiac's .915 penalty kill percentage (107-117) leads the nation. The Bobcats have allowed the third fewest power play goals (10) in the nation.
LUCK OF THE DRAW
Quinnipiac's 56.1 (966-1,668) currently leads NCAA Division I men's ice hockey. Per a report via USCHO.com, Quinnipiac boasts three of the top six face-off men in ECAC Hockey. Connor Jones has won a league-best 339 face-offs for 58.9%, while Matthew Peca's 58.5% checks-in at 2nd in the league. Jordan Samuels-Thomas sits at 57.8%.
Quinnipiac ranks second in the country in third period points with 86, on the strength of 31 goals and 55 assists in the final frame. In addition, Quinnipiac has outscored its opponents, 31-17, in the final 20 minutes.
AFTER THE FIRST
Over the second and third periods combined, Quinnipiac leads the country with an NCAA-leading 69 goals in the final 40 minutes of play, 23 of which have come on the power play, also a national best.
BOBCATS IN THE MIDDLE
Through 26 games, Quinnipiac has outscored its opponents, 38-13, in the second period of games. Quinnipiac's 38 second period goals are a national-best while its eight game-winners in the middle frame are also the most in college hockey.
ALL-TIME AT HIGH POINT SOLUTIONS ARENA
Since its first game on Jan. 28, 2007, Quinnipiac is 85-39-17 in 141 games at High Point Solutions at the TD Bank Sports Center.