Monthly Archives: November 2007

Back to Back Wins Blow Seawolves Away

Back to Back Wins Blow Seawolves Away
By: Kevin Lo and Jon Leach
November 29, 2007

HAMDEN — Coming off a compelling consolation game at U. Maine’s Dead River Tournament, where QU defeated host U. Maine and finished third, the Bobcats returned home to pick up a win against the Stony Brook Seawolves on Thursday night in Hamden. This was their third win of the season and their second straight win in dramatic fashion. The Bobcats defeated the Seawolves 58-41 and have now improved to 3-1 overall this season.

Both teams got off to a rough start. Stony Brook committed four straight turnovers on their first four offensive possessions and seemed hot and bothered by the Bobcats suffocating defense. “We had a lot of different defensive schemes” claimed coach Tricia Fabbri. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, they failed to capitalize in the opening minutes of the game as they shot 1-5 from the field and didn’t score until the 17:30 mark. Stony Brook didn’t score their first basket until the 15:30 mark.

The Seawolves were down 8-5 six minutes into the game, and that’s the closest they would get. Less than 10 min into the opening half, the Bobcats held a 22-13 lead, but they weren’t done yet. The Bobcats shot, slashed and scored their way to a 33-10 run to finish the half. Mandy Pennewell proved to be a key player in that explosive first half as she scored 13 of her 15 points in the first half. Stony Brook shot an abysmal 19% from the field and committed 10 turnovers leading to a 41-18 deficit at the end of the first half.

The beginning of the second half was pretty much the same for both teams. Stony Brook continued to struggle from the field and the Bobcats continued to play tough defense and run the floor en route to easy buckets. 11 minutes into the game Stony Brook began to slowly make a dent in QU’s 20 point lead. With 5 minutes remaining, Stony Brook found themselves down 18 with the score 54-36 Quinnipiac. The Bobcats bared down defensively and held the Sea Wolves to 5 points over the last 5 min of the game.   

Overall Stony Brook struggled the whole game, shooting just 22% from the floor. It was a rough game for both teams who both shot under 40% and committed close to 20 turnovers each but QU found a way to bring that first half intensity and close out the second half.  

Mandy Pennewell shot 6-10 from the floor with 3 threes for a total of 15 pts “when you get hot, you get hot,” she said in her response to her high shooting percentage and downtown daggers. Her efforts combined with Erin Kerner’s 11 points, 5 rebounds and 4 blocks accounted for a great deal of the Bobcats success. Monique Lee came close to a double-double with 10 points and 8 rebounds despite one of her lesser performances from the field. Four players from Quinnipiac scored at least 10 point with Brianna Rooney being the fourth, netting her 10 through a series of fast break layups and free throws. 

The Bobcats face Holy Cross next in their last game before conference play. In order to win Fabbri claimed the Bobcats “have to change everything.” We’ll see if her constant switching of defensive screens and intensity will be enough to propel the Bobcats to a win over Holy Cross.

WQAQ Sports Names Evann Baker Athlete of the Week

WQAQ Sports Names Evann Baker Athlete of the Week

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HAMDEN — The WQAQ Sports Department has named Men’s Basketball freshman Evann Baker as its Athlete of the Week for the week ending on November 27, 2007. This is the first time this semester Baker has won this award.

Baker lit up the iron for the Bobcats scoring 25 points, while shooting 100 percent from the floor (9-9) and pulling down 7 rebounds in the Bobcats 77-70 loss to New Hampshire on Sunday. He was also perfect from the charity stripe in the contest, going 6-6 from the free throw line.

Baker entered Quinnipiac University this year after a 2006 high school campaign that culminated in the 2006 Gatorade Player of the Year award for the Washington D.C. area.

The Bobcats are back in action on Wednesday, November 28, when they tip-off against Lehigh in Bethlehem, PA. Game-time is scheduled for 7pm.

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Frustrating season finally comes to end for golf team

Frustrating season finally comes to end for golf team
By Jeremy Schilling

“The team that is now finished for the fall season needs to get some weight training done and begin to prepare for the spring season and the conference tournament. Expect a better showing in the spring.” Those are the words of Head Coach John O’Connor after what must be considered a disappointing fall season for the Quinnipiac Bobcats golf team. It was not long ago that this team had a very successful campaign during the fall 2006, putting out consistent team and individual efforts.

However, aside from one strong individual effort, the team did not play very well at all. They finished 16 out of 18, 7 out of 9, 22 out of 26, 10 out of 12 and 17 out of 42 teams for each of their fall tournaments. Towards the bottom in every one – not exactly what they were looking for.

They were victims of inconsistent play – one day someone was good, but everyone else wasn’t – and then that player came back the next week and couldn’t keep up the good play.

Let’s go through a season of disappointment through the Coach’s quote book. The frustration started early in the season after the first event at Rutgers University. “Unfortunately the only golfer to step up was Ian O’Connor. The other guys did not handle the easy course at Rutgers. There was nothing hard about the course. The fairways, roughs and greens were very green and soft and posed no challenge. The course was not long and the greens were not protected by bunkers, trees or water. Everyone should have scored low.”

After the Dartmouth Invitational on September 23 it didn’t get any better, when Coach O’Connor stated that “overall the scores were weak.”

And the end of the season wasn’t any better, with Coach O’Connor bemoaning after the season ending New England Championships that “…you can’t win with one good scorer.”

The lone bright spot, for only a week, however, of this fall season was Ian O’Connor’s even par round in the final round of the Rutgers Invitational, which helped propel him to finish 4th overall in the individual part of the tournament. The round helped earn him to the honor of NEC Male Golfer of the Week for September 19, 2007.

Looking forward, this team needs to practice very hard and regain their focus if they want to return to being the true contender that they were in 2006, according to O’Connor. Weight training not only will help them hit the ball farther, but help to elevate the ball out of the thick rough that they seemingly have been hitting into way too much.

Bobcats lose intensity, game against Princeton

Bobcats lose intensity, game against Princeton
by Seth Rothman
November 24, 2007

HAMDEN — Different game, same story.

It’s hard to imagine a team wouldn’t play a hard-working game when they’re on television for the first of only six contests in front of the NESN cameras.

But that’s exactly the kind of game Quinnipiac (5-4-2, 2-2-2 ECAC) played today against Princeton (4-4-0, 3-3-0 ECAC) in men’s hockey action from the TD Banknorth Sports Center, losing 4-2 in an effort that left the 2,283 fans at “The Bank” disappointed.

“I thought Princeton was grittier than us, hungrier than us, as you can expect after we beat them twice,” Bobcats head coach Rand Pecknold said. “We played a decent first period, but I thought we struggled the rest of the game. The intensity wasn’t good.”  

“I thought we had it turned around the last couple of games, but tonight was disappointing, to say the least,” senior captain Jamie Bates said. “The effort the guys put out as a team — with the chance to move into second place, get two points; we just didn’t seem to have the heart to do it tonight.”

Bates has been a one-man wrecking machine this last week against Princeton, scoring once and helping on 7 others in the three games against Princeton.

“He’s a good power forward,” Pecknold said. “When he plays like a power forward, he’s one of the better players in the league. When he goes hard to the net, and gets his nose dirty in front. He’s got a great stick, and plays with a great level of competitiveness.”

“He’s been all over the ice; making great plays, taking hits,” junior wingman Bryan Leitch said. “Definitely the best stretch of the season for him; he’s playing really well.”

The story of this one was not Bates, however. Quinnipiac played a fast-paced first period that saw them outshoot the Tigers 10-3. But Quinnipiac was outshot 22-8 over the final two periods, and outscored 3-1 over that span.

After Leitch scored on a pretty feed from Bates nearly 8 minutes in, Princeton scored three unanswered goals. Quinnipiac’s misfortune was thanks in large part to the Bobcats perceived lack of hunger.

“The first two goals they scored, we failed to block a shot,” Pecknold lamented. “We were in the lane, but we just didn’t want to do it. It’s tough to win games when you don’t have that desire to want to commit; to make a sacrifice. That’s what usually makes us good; we have that commitment level. It wasn’t there tonight.”

“The team’s commitment to win a hockey game wasn’t there today,” said a visibly upset Bates. “Our forwards weren’t keeping the puck down low; the defensemen weren’t doing a great job moving the puck up the ice. Two goals came from us not blocking shots, which is usually the strong point of our game.” 

“I don’t think it’s lack of hunger, they just outworked us,” disagreed Leitch. “It has nothing to do with how much we want it — we want it, we just didn’t go and get it. It’s disappointing.”

For Pecknold, the story remains the same. He still feels his team isn’t competing hard enough to win consistently. After playing well in the first two games of this three game series, the Bobcats seemed to take Saturday’s game as a vacation day while Princeton was busy breaking a four game losing streak.

“[Princeton] blocked more shots, they won more pucks, they did all the little things,” Pecknold said. “You make sacrifices to win games, we did it in the first two games, we didn’t today. Give Princeton credit for rebounding, coming out and gritting a win out today.”

As the team’s captain, Bates is becoming frustrated at his team’s apparent lack of desire.

“We feel we should have beat Princeton today,” Bates said. “We were at home, and playing well lately. Pretty much, to beat Princeton all you have to do is work hard. That should be something pretty easy to do when you’re at home in front of your home fans. For some reason we couldn’t do that today.”

The captain went into further detail of one of the areas he feels the team was lacking in.

“We were talking about not getting three guys below the goal line; trying to keep a two-man cycle,” Bates explained. “They play a man-to-man defense, so when you get three guys below the goal line, you beat two guys, and that brings the third defenseman in. We seemed to have three guys low all night, so we didn’t have a goal scorer, and gave up a lot of odd-man rushes because of it.”

Early in the game, Quinnipiac was getting bodies in front of Princeton’s freshman goaltender Alan Reynolds. The Toronto native was making his first career collegiate start, so it figured he would be nervous. Putting bodies in front would have helped the Bobcats get the rebound goals a nervous young goalie tends to give up.

“We always want to get guys to the net, guys in front screening,” Pecknold said. “We did it to varying degrees tonight; we just didn’t generate a lot of offense. We didn’t get a lot of pucks on net. We had a lot of chances to shoot the puck, we didn’t shoot it. We need to get more pucks to the net.”

It’s also possible the Bobcats good play over the last week hurt them this afternoon. Pecknold explained why he thought — correctly — this game would be difficult for Quinnipiac.

“I think it makes it harder when you’ve won the first two; the team that lost the first two has the advantage,” Pecknold explained. “They’re going to come in, and there’s pride on the line. I think our guys, I wouldn’t say they’re complacent, but we just didn’t have the same energy level we had the first two games.”

That doesn’t change the bitter taste the Bobcats have in their mouths after losing a game they felt they should have easily won.

“I don’t even think Princeton played that well, and we still couldn’t get the two points,” Bates fumed. “You want to get that bye through the ECAC first round playoffs. That’s our goal,” the captain continued. “You can’t have performances like tonight.” 

Oh Hamden, where are you?

Oh Hamden, where are you?
An Opinion piece by Jeremy Schilling

Two weekends ago Quinnipiac played two powerhouses of the ECAC, Clarkson and St. Lawrence in men’s hockey action. As some of you will remember, last year I blasted the student section for leaving games early. Now, only 5 home games into the year, I would like to blast the average adult fan.

There were empty seats at the TD Banknorth Sports Center for both of those two games. I find that very troubling. For a hockey team that should get nationally ranked again really soon, I am pretty astounded. This team is nationally recognized now, nationally known, and is fun to watch, no matter what the record, or situation.

Friday night’s crowd was announced at 3,444 – the largest in the short history of “The Bank.” However, only about 2,800 people were actually in seats, or standing by the rails. Saturday night’s crowd was announced at 3,349. And once again only about 2,800 people showed up. Why? Why would about 600 people just choose to not show up?

The answer, in my opinion, lies in perception. The Bobcats came into their Clarkson/SLU weekend at 2-3-1 overall, 0-1-1 in the ECAC. They had barely beaten two opponents that they demolished last year. Meanwhile, coach Rand Pecknold was saying that his players were reading the papers and slacking off. That, in turn, probably caused some of the public to say “Ahh, I’ll just sit around and watch repeats of CSI tonight.”

However behind the headlines, behind the record, shows a team that was improving. It played well against Colgate and Cornell the previous weekend, finally appearing more like the team that almost reached the glory of the big dance last spring. If people actually read into the details, maybe they would have known to show up.

And big, raucous crowds do help. As Senior Forward Jamie Bates told WQAQ’s Seth Rothman Friday night following the victory over Clarkson, “The fans were great tonight…reminds me a lot of last year at the end of the season. It definitely gave us a boost.”

However, he is most likely referring to the student section. Always jam packed, always loud, always boisterous. All the way through the game – start to finish, no stopping. Why the public won’t turn out in full, sold out force is beyond me. Folks, you’re seeing top level NCAA hockey. Skip the repeat of CSI, and come support a team that could be something really special!

Top Line Feasts on Tigers, Quinnipiac Defeats Princeton 5-2

Top Line Feasts on Tigers, Quinnipiac Defeats Princeton 5-2
By Jamie Palatini

PRINCETON, New Jersey — When your first line combines for four goals and six assists, it makes winning that much easier.

That was the case Wednesday night as Quinnipiac (5-3-2, 2-1-2 ECAC) traveled to historic Hobey Baker Rink and beat Princeton (3-4-0, 2-3-0 ECAC) 5-2 for their second win against the Tigers in four days. The win put the Bobcats in a tie for third in the conference.

Quinnipiac’s line of Bryan Leitch, Ben Nelson, and team captain Jamie Bates accounted for nearly all of the offense in this game. Coach Rand Pecknold spoke highly of his first line.

“They played really well tonight. It was definitely the best game of the year for them. They got it done when we needed it.”

Leitch and Bates had a goal and three assists apiece, and Nelson chipped in with two goals and an assist. Bates’ four point night tied his career high which he accomplished last year against RPI. The Captain certainly recognizes the chemistry this line has.

“We’ve played together now going on three years, and we definitely have some good chemistry going,” Bates said. “We were a little slow at the beginning of the year, but it’s really starting to kick in for us now.”

Quinnipiac dominated Princeton in the first period. Bryan Leitch started the scoring for the Bobcats with a power play goal 8:13 into the stanza. Ben Nelson put a wraparound past Princeton goaltender Zane Kalemba four and a half minutes later, and it was 2-0 Quinnipiac.

Princeton came out firing in the 2nd period though, scoring two goals of their own to tie the game at two. Mike Kramer and Lee Jubinville each scored five minutes apart to swing the momentum back in Princeton’s favor.

The turning point of the game came with just one minute remaining in the second period. Ben Nelson hit a slap shot into the top right corner for his second goal of the game, giving Quinnipiac a 3-2 edge before heading into the second intermission. It was a lead they would not relinquish. Coach Pecknold felt a big difference for the Bobcats has been the commitment of his forwards to get back on the defensive end.

“Yeah, we’ve been working a lot on it. One of our biggest weaknesses is our backchecking, so we’ve been focusing on that,” Pecknold said. “We’re obviously a better team when we backcheck and pick up their guys.”

This was the second of three games in eight days between the two teams. Pecknold understands that despite wins in the first two games for the Bobcats, the final one against Princeton will be very difficult.

“Princeton’s going to come out hard. It’s going to be a difficult game for us… even though it’s at our rink on Saturday, I think Princeton has the advantage,” Pecknold said.

These games are very important for Quinnipiac not only for the ECAC standings, but for RPI rankings as well. Prior to playing Quinnipiac, Princeton recorded wins at Cornell and at Colgate. Three consecutive wins against Princeton will be helpful in boosting Quinnipiac’s RPI ranking and at-large status. Quinnipiac and Princeton end their three game series Saturday afternoon up at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. The puck will drop at 3:36 PM, and will be televised live on the New England Sports Network (NESN).

Bobcats stumble, bumble, fall to Maine

Bobcats stumble, bumble, fall to Maine

By Michael T. Lyle, Jr.
WQAQ.com Sports
November 21, 2007

HAMDEN — DeMario Anderson and Louis Brookins did all they could in trying to help Quinnipiac make up for another slow start on Wednesday night, this time against Maine.

In the end, it was the visiting Black Bears who got the better of the Bobcats as Mark Socoby’s 29 points led Maine to their third-straight win, a 64-59 victory, at TD Banknorth Sports Center.

And for coach Tom Moore, it was a loss he blamed solely on himself.

“I’m responsible for the way we played”, said a visibly upset Moore. “Maine’s a great team and seemed to be hungrier at the start.”

DeMario earned his first career double-double as a Bobcat with 29 points and 10 rebounds, but the story of this night belonged to Socoby, who also shot 5-of-10 from beyond the arc and went a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line.

“That’s our team’s fault because I thought we were playing too soft on him early”, said Moore. “We didn’t play good defense and allowed him to hint at his shot.”

After a lackluster, low-scoring first half for both teams, the Black Bears (3-2) got their offense going behind Socoby. He sparked an 11-2 run with a pair of three-pointers to open up a 49-34 advantage mid-way through the second half.

But Brookins keyed a 14-0 rally with a bucket to cut the deficit to 55-45 at the 6:18 mark of the contest. DeMario followed that up with a sick cross-over and conversion, and suddenly, Quinnipiac made a game of it at 55-47 with a little over three minutes remaining.

The Bobcats (1-2) had a chance to inch closer, but a costly decision by Casey Cosgrove led to a three-point play by Maine’s Junior Bernal. With Quinnipiac trailing by five with 31 seconds left, Cosgrove found himself alone on the left wing and thought about firing a three-pointer. Feeling a sure block coming from a Maine defender, Cosgrove reluctantly threw it into the hands of Bernal at the peak of his attempt, who then drove the other way for the score and the harm that sealed the win for Maine.

Bernal contributed 14 points while Brookins also poured in 14 for Quinnipiac, who shot of 3-of-12 from three-point range.

“We had a lot of different guys step up tonight”, said Maine coach Ted Woodward. “Fortunately we played well enough to win when we started to struggle late.”

DeMario couldn’t find his touch early, as he finished the first half with 12 points on an abysmal 4-of-11 shooting.

Bernal and Socoby attributed for the team’s struggling offense in the period, as they scored on consecutive buckets to help Maine turn and 18-13 contest into a 28-24 halftime lead.