Monthly Archives: February 2007

Bobcats Hope to Bounce Back After Loss to Vermont in Season Opener

Bobcats Hope to Bounce Back After Loss to Vermont in Season Opener

By: TJ Buzzeo

February 27, 2007

            Last Saturday the men’s lacrosse team opened the 2007 season with a 15-8 loss to Vermont.

            The Catamounts jumped out in front scoring the first two goals of the game and then two more after the Bobcats first goal of the season.  Quinnipiac kept battling tough to keep the game within reach, eventually tying the game at four goals apiece.

            Vermont ran away with the game in the end of the first half and kept their attack strong in the second half scoring nine unanswered goals stretching their lead to 13-4.  Following the bombardment of Catamount goals the Bobcats went on a minor run themselves shortening the deficit to six. 

            However, Vermont answered the Bobcats attempt to get back in the game by out scoring Quinnipiac two goals to one the rest of the way, making the final score 15-8. 

            Opening day was not all bad for the Bobcats.  Senior Tucker Prudden had four points in the game scoring two goals and assisting on two others.  Also, senior Mike Stottler put four in the back of the net for the Bobcats in the loss as well.

            Sophomore Todd Kaiser scored the first goal of the season for the Bobcats and had one assist and senior Anthony Poerio scored the other goal and added two assists as well.  Junior John D’Ascoli, freshman Alex DeAlmeida and freshman Alex Marrotto each had one assist also.    

            The Bobcats will go for their first win of the season on March 2nd when they travel to Rhode Island to play the Providence Friars.

BOBCAT NOTEBOOK: Second-place finish is essential

BOBCAT NOTEBOOK

Second-place finish is essential

 

By Michael T. Lyle, Jr.

WQAQ.com Sports

 

February 24, 2007

 

Even though the Bobcats officially guaranteed themselves of hosting a quarterfinal contest in next week’s Northeast Conference tournament, its imperative that Quinnipiac come away with a win at Sacred Heart on Monday night for two reasons. 

One, both teams are now locked in a two-way tie for second-place in the standings (11-6) following today’s 81-75 Bobcat home win over Robert Morris.  A victory by QU will give them the second-seed closing out the regular season.  And two, securing that second spot also gives the Bobcats a chance to host a second game in the tournament, should they get that far. 

            These are two important reasons why the Bobcats should want to stay in Hamden with their home crowd behind them for these next couple of weeks.  The NEC tournament takes on a whole new purpose as eight teams look to secure the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA’s. 
Central Connecticut would be the only exception, as a loss in this tournament still qualifies them for the NIT. 

But in the Bobcats’ case, playing and trying to win on the road in this tourney would clearly not be an easy task.  Then again, as an eighth-seed last year, Quinnipiac did give top-seeded Farleigh Dickinson a huge scare in the quarterfinal round—a game the Bobcats wound up losing by just one in the final seconds.

Still, Quinnipiac is sitting in a good position right now and it can only get better providing they take care of business in Fairfield Monday evening.  Quinnipiac handled the Pioneers back on the 8th at “The Bank”, 79-75.  SHU will also be looking to secure the second spot in the conference, so expect this game to be a preview of what lies ahead for the NEC’s when that gets underway this Thursday

Emotional day for Men’s Basketball ends in Triumph

Emotional day for Men’s Basketball ends in Triumph
by Seth Rothman
February 24, 2007

HAMDEN — It’s been an emotional roller coaster for the Quinnipiac Bobcats Men’s Basketball team over the last couple of days. On Thursday, the Bobcats dropped a game to the last place Red Flash of St. Francis (PA). But on Saturday, on Senior Day, the Bobcats came ready to play.

“The urgency we had today was probably what fueled us to work hard on offense.” Bobcats head coach Joe DeSantis said after Quinnipiac defeated Robert Morris 81-75.

The win assures the Bobcats of finishing no lower than third in the Northeast Conference standings, assuring themselves of at least one home playoff game.

That urgency was evident from the time the Bobcats were introduced in front of a crowd of 1,782 at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. The team wanted this one. For themselves, for their coach, but most importantly, for its 5 graduating seniors.

“It was a lot more emotional,” DeMario Anderson said. “We wanted to win it for the seniors. Their last regular season game at home, so it was a big night.”

“It was all about the seniors today,” freshman Casey Cosgrove said. “Their last regular season home game, everyone was making sure they were going out on top, with a win. Those five, they work real hard. Without them, we aren’t going far.”

Leading the Bobcats attack was junior swingman DeMario Anderson. The CCSU transfer scored 28 points, 16 of them in the second half to lead the Bobcats attack against Robert Morris.

“With the ace going like that, I kind of let him go,” senior Adam Gonzalez said after scoring 15 points in the win. “I try to just get him the ball.”

“We felt bad for ourselves after that game [on Thursday],” Anderson said. “We knew we were missing some key players, and we had some players hurt, but we still felt we should have gutted it out and won. We knew this game was going to be more important, so we had to come in here and fight.”

Leading the Bobcats offense was freshman Casey Cosgrove. He had 9 points on 2-3 shooting from behind the arc, but more importantly got 9 assists to set up Anderson and Gonzalez.

“That’s my job,” Cosgrove said. “Get it to the scorers. It’s pretty easy, to tell you the truth. Get the ball to the scorers and let them do what they do.”

So now the Bobcats find themselves in an enviable position. Win on Monday night at the Pitt Center against Sacred Heart, and they will assure themselves of the number two seed in the NEC, and two home playoff games.

“It’s a relief to know you’re not going to be on the road the whole playoffs,” Anderson said. “It feels good.”

“We really wanted to secure a home spot by winning today. We wanted to beat Robert Morris who beat us by 18 the last time,” DeSantis said.

It’s a luxury DeSantis and his two seniors who have been here for all 4 years, Van Crafton and Dale Meinbresse, haven’t had alot of in recent memory.

“As high school seniors, they saw us winning 17 games, and they never got a taste of that. So I really felt bad these last few years for them,” DeSantis said. “For us to be in this position, I’m really happy for them because of the fact that they’re seniors, they’ve been here four years. But I’ve heard them, the whole year, egging the guys on; doing what captains do. Doing what you want your seniors to do.”

That’s a feeling DeSantis no longer has. It is this playoff atmosphere the players crave, and one they will now be assured of seeing on March 1st when the NEC quarterfinals are played at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.

Quinnipiac falls to St. Francis (PA) in Conference Trap Game

Quinnipiac falls to St. Francis (PA) in Conference Trap Game

By Peter D’Alauro

HAMDEN- This was supposed to be one of those games for Quinnipiac akin to an exhibition. After all, St. Francis came in to last night’s game with a 3-13 conference record and 5-21 overall. Naturally they came into this game playing the role of spoiler; as the Bobcat’s needed only one more win to clinch a home playoff game in the opening round of the NEC Tournament. This should have been a game used to rest some people that needed it and still pull of a victory against a for the most part, lowly non-competitive St. Francis team. However, to borrow a lyric from Eric Clapton, sometimes “your best laid plans lie out of reach,” as the Bobcats fell to the Red Flash from Pennsylvania, 73-72.

            The Bobcats came into this game undermanned, as senior forward Victor Akinyanju injured himself while stepping on the bus following the game against LIU. When asked about the big man’s availability for Saturday’s final regular season home game vs. Robert Morris, DeSantis was careful with his response. “He’s going to have to respond better to treatment.” While it may not show in the box score, freshman Etienne Labrecque, 4 points and 3 rebounds, did an admirable job down low against a tough, on this night, St. Francis frontline. Another noticeable missing Bobcat in all but eight minutes of the entire game was guard Adam Gonzalez. DeSantis was also careful in how he approached the Gonzalez benching. “I make decisions based on who I have a chance to win the game with, it’s my decision.” DeSantis later made everyone aware that Gonzalez missed practice the day before due to an exam he had during that same time, which DeSantis was quick to point out was completely acceptable.

            In terms of game performance, the TD Banknorth faithful saw shades of previous Quinnipiac basketball teams of the past. So much talent, yet little results when it counted. In this game the Bobcats started out to an early 7-0 lead. However later in the first half, with the score 23-20 Quinnipiac, St. Francis went on a 9-0 run and for the most part, never looked back. The score at halftime was St. Francis 39, Quinnipiac 28.

            The second half saw much of the same poor defense from the Bobcats, even though they were able to regain the lead at one point. Demarrio Anderson did an excellent job of carrying the offense as he added 25 points on 10 of 19 shooting from the field. Also doing a nice job in this otherwise lackluster effort for the Bobcats was freshman guard Job Casmir. He hit a crucial lay-up, got fouled, and hit the free throw to bring the Bobcats to within one, but that’s as close as they would get. A huge three was made by Cale Nelson of the Red Flash with 53 seconds to go to give St. Francis the lead back for good at 69-67. The Bobcats had a chance at the end a couple of time , but a Van Crafton three point attempt fell short and was put back for a meaningless two points by Karl Anderson to make the final score 73-72. You have to wonder why DeMario Anderson didn’t touch the ball on either of the final possessions for the Bobcats. All in all, a horrendous loss for Quinnipiac as they try to better their positioning in the NEC standings. “I was disappointed with the way we came out to start the game, but I have to give my guys credit, they didn’t quit. We were able to fight back and we had a chance to win, but we just fell short in the end,” said coach Joe DeSantis. Final home game takes place Saturday at noon where the senior players will be honored for Senior Day.

           

Bobcats Downed By SLU in Pivotal Conference Match Up

Bobcats Downed By SLU in Pivotal Conference Match Up

By: Chris Lopresti

WQAQ.com Men’s Ice Hockey Beat Writer

February 24, 2007

HAMDEN, Conn. – Max Taylor beat Bud Fisher with a soft wrist shot 51 seconds into the game and the St. Lawrence Saints never looked back, notching a 4-1 victory over Quinnipiac last night. The win clinched the second regular season ECACHL title in program history for St. Lawrence and moved their record to 20-11-2 (16-4-1). The Bobcats dropped to 16-12-5 (10-7-4) and are now in danger of losing a first round bye in the playoffs.

Alex Curran scored an unassisted goal at 5:22 of the first period to make it 2-0 and special teams did the rest from there. St. Lawrence killed off all eight power play opportunities for Quinnipiac and then Kyle Rank put the game out of reach with a power tally midway through the third period, his team-leading 15th goal of the season.

Freshman Alex Petizian played a strong game in net stopping 28 out of 29 shots that he faced. He made two key saves in the second period on point blank shots from Quinnipiac’s Jean-Marc Beaudoin as the Bobcats tried to mount a comeback.

Bryan Leitch put Quinnipiac on the board with 11:15 to go in the game but the Bobcats couldn’t muster anything further against a smothering Saints defense. St. Lawrence’s Kevin DeVergilio rounded out the scoring with his sixth goal of the season at 18:28.

Quinnipiac now needs a win tonight against #6 Clarkson or a Cornell loss to Harvard in order to secure a top four finish and a first round bye in the ECACHL playoffs. Princeton blasted Clarkson last night, 7-1, while #16 Cornell fell at Dartmouth, 5-1.

Tonight’s game is set to begin at 8pm with coverage on ESPNU, MyTV9 and AM 1220 WQUN.

Defense wins Championships

Defense wins Championships
by Seth Rothman
February 23, 2007

HAMDEN — Defense wins championships. Just ask the St. Lawrence men’s hockey team, who wrapped up the ECACHL regular season championship Friday with a 4 – 1 win over the Quinnipiac Bobcats at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.

Fifty-one seconds into the contest, St. Lawrence was already on the board. Max Taylor scored his 11th goal of the season on a flurry in front of Bobcats goalie Bud Fisher. After Brock McBride and Derek Keller each had shots blocked by the Bobcats defense, Taylor took the puck in between the circles and fired one five-hole past Fisher.

After another goal 4:31 later, St. Lawrence never looked back.

“It’s tough to say we lost the game in the first 5 and a half minutes, but in hindsight, we probably did,” Bobcats head coach Rand Pecknold said. “The first goal was real mediocre, and the second goal was just unacceptable. We have three kids on one. That shot should never have even got off.”

The Saints defense outshined the Bobcats potent offense all night, using a trap to their advantage. The Larries deposited 3 defenders across the blue line and forced the Bobcats to dump-and-chase with little success for the rest of the game.

“They just out-competed us. That’s their strength. They compete as well as anyone in the league,” Pecknold said. “They are probably the most competitive team in our league from top to bottom, every kid in their lineup.”

It was that defense that held the Bobcats down on the power play. Despite getting 8 opportunities with a man advantage, the Bobcats manged zero goals.

“They did a good job of stacking it up on their blue line,” Bobcats junior forward Jamie Bates said dejectedly.

“We were 0-8 on the power play. I think a big part of that was we struggled with our power play, but I give alot of credit to St. Lawrence,” Pecknold said. “I thought they did a real nice job on the PK tonight. They won alot of battles, and basically they were hungrier than us.”

“The kids just aren’t buying in the way they did first semester. When we were in first place, we were overachieving a bit,” Pecknold said. “The kids were really buying into doing the little things, and playing with alot of character. This semester has been very difficult. The kids just aren’t playing with that same emotion.”

It’s been something that’s been bugging Pecknold for the most of spring semester. Since the semester break, the Bobcats have gone a disappointing 5-4-1 in the ECACHL, dropping them from tops in the league to clinging to 4th place.

Another surprise was the relative absence of star freshman Brandon Wong. The ECACHL Rookie of the Year candidate failed to record a shot on goal all game.

“It wasn’t one of his better games. St. Lawrence did a nice job of shutting him down,” Pecknold said.

Despite Friday’s loss, the Bobcats still control their own destiny. A win Saturday night against Clarkson will give the Bobcats a first-round bye. A loss, however, and the Bobcats will occupy the 5th seed in the tournament and host the 12th ranked team in the league.

“Home ice on the line,” Bates remarked. “If we can’t get ready for tomorrow night then I think there’s something wrong.” 

Down to the Wire

Down to the Wire

Final weekend will determine QU’s playoff picture

By: Chris Lopresti

WQAQ.com Men’s Ice Hockey Beat Writer

February 23, 2007

 

HAMDEN, Conn. – With two games remaining in their sophomore ECACHL campaign, the Quinnipiac men’s hockey team has a chance to do something no one expected – earn a bye in the first round of the conference playoffs.

 

Despite inconsistent play since the opening of the TD Banknorth Sports Center, this season has already been a big step forward for the Bobcats. Last year’s 9th place finish combined with a first round playoff victory provided optimism for a team entering their second season as a member of the powerhouse conference. The goal, made public by players and coaches, was to climb the standings and secure home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

 

Mission accomplished.

 

Having already guaranteed themselves a home playoff series, QU can clinch a top four finish and a first round bye with 3 out of 4 points this weekend or a win and a Dartmouth loss to Cornell.

 

Piece of cake, right? WRONG!

 

Visiting “The Bank” this weekend will be St. Lawrence and Clarkson, the two teams that currently lead the Bobcats in the standings. Even more intimidating is the fact that they have both played their best hockey down the stretch while Quinnipiac has struggled with conference opponents. In fact, since the opening of the TDBNSC, QU is just 2-3-1 in the ECAC while SLU and Clarkson are 7-1-0 and 5-1-2, respectively. In exactly one month, the Bobcats have gone from leading the conference to a possible 5th place finish.

 

While SLU and Clarkson have already clinched first round byes, the Bobcats are fighting with Cornell and Dartmouth for the three and four seed. QU had a chance to distance themselves from both teams, but allowed Dartmouth to beat them at home two weeks ago and then lost a tough road game against Cornell last Friday.

 

It isn’t all bad news for Quinnipiac as they have two things going for them this weekend. First, they played substantially better on last weekend’s road trip. The loss to Cornell can’t be blamed on poor play as Big Red goalie Troy Davenport played a marvelous game. The Bobcats came right back the following day with a win against Colgate. The power play was responsible for all three goals and the team was able to preserve a lead for the win, something they have struggled with in recent weeks.

 

Secondly, and most importantly, these last two games are being played at home. While they have struggled in the second half, it is evident that the new building provides the team with an immense home ice advantage. They’ve lost just once in six home games since the building was opened and these two games have been hyped up all week long.

 

Talking to QU students, most of them had this weekend circled on the calendar for about a month. Tickets on sale to the public have been sold out for about two weeks and student tickets were gone within minutes of availability on Tuesday morning. In fact, some students brought air mattresses and camped out around 3 a.m. to ensure that they would get tickets.

 

The atmosphere inside “The Bank” will be electric this weekend. The players, coaches and fans will all be pumped up and ready to go. The standings and the national rankings (SLU #14, Clarkson #6) favor the visitors. However, in games and situations such as these, numbers and rankings don’t always tell the story. The question this weekend will be: who wants it more? The Bobcats have struggled, but in the end, they are right where they want to be.

 

Two games left. A shot at the two best teams. A shot at a top four finish. A shot at letting the country know who they are.

It’s down to the wire…