Offense looks anemic against ECAC foes

By Jamie Palatini

(HAMDEN, Conn.) – In their two games against Colgate and Cornell this weekend, the Quinnipiac men’s hockey team managed to take 44 shots on goal.

Of those 44 shots, none found the back of the net.

Quinnipiac lost to Colgate 1-0 on Friday night, and followed that performance up with a scoreless tie against Cornell the next night on the opening weekend of ECAC play. The Bobcats’ record now stands at 2-3-1, and 0-1-1 in the ECAC. Saturday’s game against Cornell marked the first time Quinnipiac has played to a scoreless tie in school history. Head coach Rand Pecknold saw his team’s lack of discipline as a main factor in the team’s poor play.

“Ultimately, we just took a lot of stupid penalties, really, really dumb ones. I’m not sure what’s going on,” Pecknold said after Friday’s loss to Colgate.

The two teams combined for 32 penalties in that game. The only goal scored over the weekend came late in the third period on Friday night while Colgate was on a five-on-three power play. After freshman goaltender Nick Pisellini made a series of saves, Francois Brisebois found a rebound and put it past Pisellini to give Colgate the 1-0 lead that they would not relinquish.

Quinnipiac’s game against Cornell was a case of same story, different chapter. The best scoring chance for either team came on a penalty shot by Cornell’s Evan Barlow in the second period, but Pisellini stood his ground and made one of his 23 saves in what was his first career shutout. As they did on Friday night, Quinnipiac took numerous penalties and was on the short end of a five-on-three advantage with 14 seconds remaining in overtime. Senior forward Mark Nelson won a faceoff in the Quinnipiac zone, and cleared it out as time expired to preserve the tie for the Bobcats.

Over the first few weeks of this season, the young Pisellini has shown why Pecknold started him this weekend against big ECAC opponents. Through the first four games of his career, Pisellini has a stingy 0.83 goals-against average, and an equally impressive .964 save percentage. In each of his appearances with the Bobcats, he’s allowed one goal or less. Pisellini has by no means locked up starting job, with senior Bud Fisher and sophomore Pat McGann right behind him, but Pecknold has made it clear that he’ll go with the hot hand, and right now that’s Pisellini.

“Nick (Pisellini) was amazing this weekend and I think our defensive unit played great,” Pecknold said. “Our top guys really struggled. We just need some of our top goal scorers to work a little bit harder.”

It’s not as if the Bobcats didn’t have chances to score this weekend. Quinnipiac had 13 power play opportunities over the two games, an area where they are generally successful. But this weekend was incredibly uncharacteristic of Quinnipiac hockey.

Throughout the ECAC, the Bobcats are known and have always been known as a speedy, offensive team that usually ranks near the top of every offensive category. Currently, Quinnipiac has gone 133 minutes without scoring a goal, dating back to the third period of their home opener against UConn one week ago.

They won’t have much time to figure things out either. Tuesday night, the Bobcats will look to cure their offensive woes when they play host to the Princeton Tigers, last year’s ECAC champions. That game will be broadcast on the WQAQ sports stream starting at approximately 6:50 p.m.

Click here to view the box score from Friday night’s game.

Click here to view the box score from Saturday night’s game.

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