Frozen Four semifinal game 2: Quinnipiac vs. St. Cloud State



Forwards

After taking a redshirt season last year due to a broken leg, St. Cloud State's Drew LeBlanc helped carry what was sometimes an inexperienced front line. He was first among Division I players with 37 assists (in 41 games) and seventh in points (50). Joining the Hobey Baker Award finalist on the line is freshman Jonny Brodzinski, who scored a team-high 22 goals, tied for the fourth-best mark in Division I. There is also junior Nic Dowd, who recorded 39 points this season. Together, they have helped the Huskies become the No. 2 offense in Division I at 3.41 goals per game. Quinnipiac was not quite as explosive up top, as six St. Cloud State players had more points than the Bobcats' leaders, but Matthew Peca and Jeremy Langlois were able to record 30 points apiece. Advantage: St. Cloud State

PG graphic: Quinnipiac vs. St. Cloud State
(Click image for larger version)

Defense

No college hockey team in the country has played better defense this season than Quinnipiac, a large reason the Bobcats entered the NCAA tournament as the top-ranked team in Division I. They've given up just 1.63 goals per game, the best mark among Division I teams, and 21 times this season, they've allowed one goal or no goals in a game. The Huskies have not been the same sort of defensive juggernaut this season, but they were still one of the top 20 teams in the country in team defense at 2.41 goals allowed per game. In four of its past five games, St. Cloud State has given up just one goal. Advantage: Quinnipiac

Goaltending

Perhaps no player has been more integral to Quinnipiac's success this season than senior Eric Hartzell, who started in net for each of the Bobcats' 29 victories. A Hobey Baker Award finalist, Hartzell has a 1.55 goals-against average (third in Division I), a .933 save percentage (eighth) and the most wins of any goaltender in Division I. At one point this season, he even had a 21-game unbeaten streak. On the opposite end of the ice, Ryan Faragher went 24-13-1 for St. Cloud State, finished with a 2.22 goals-against average, a .916 save percentage and three shutouts. Advantage: Quinnipiac

Special teams

Throughout the season, Quinnipiac has been the best penalty-killing team in Division I, as 90.6 percent of the time the opposing team has had a power play against the Bobcats, it has not scored. That percentage is fortunately high, as Quinnipiac is fourth in the nation with an average of 15.93 penalty minutes per game. St. Cloud State is unlikely to take advantage of those minutes, as its power play is 17.65 percent successful, which is actually better than Quinnipiac's 14.72 mark. If there's a safe guess to be made in this game, it's that neither team will register a power-play goal, especially since St. Cloud State averages just 8.32 penalty minutes per game, the lowest mark of any team in Division I. Advantage: Quinnipiac

Fearless Prediction Quinnipiac 4, St. Cloud State 2

frozenfour

First Published April 10, 2013 4:00 AM


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