Preview: RPI at Quinnipiac
The Engineers return from their bye week and jump back into ECAC play
Quinnipiac Team Outlook
Quinnipiac is the best team RPI will play all year, full stop. Whatever metric you want to use has them among the best teams in the country. Currently, the Bobcats are 2nd in the pairwise and 2nd in the USCHO poll. This is an elite team that will be challenging to take down.
Offensively, they are averaging 3.7 goals per game on 33.2 shots per game. They have not had any issues generating lots of chances and goals, both at even strength and on the power play. The power play has a 23.1% success rate and has produced 18 goals in 16 games. They have a whopping 7 forwards averaging 0.75 or more points per game, showing off both star power and depth. The offense is potent and will be tough for the Engineers to shut down.
Defensively, the Bobcats have been just as elite. They only allow 1.9 goals per game and 22.6 shots per game. The penalty kill isn’t as amazing as the power play is, but it is still quite solid at 81.5%.
Just overall, Quinnipiac doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses. They’ve got the offense, the defense, and the special teams to win a national championship. They’re elite at controlling play with a 58.6% corsi, score almost double the number of goals they allow and have quality goaltending in Yaniv Perets. This is a formidable team.
Zach Metsa (#23, D) surprisingly chose to play a 5th year instead of going pro, and he is just as elite as ever. He has 11 points in 15 games and a crazy +15 rating. Metsa remains the best defenseman in the ECAC, and the ice tilts way in Quinnipiac’s favor when he’s on the ice.
Collin Graf (#11, W) leads the team in scoring after transferring over from Union. He has been absolutely lethal on the power play from the flank, which is a big part of their success on the man advantage. He in general just has a nose for the net with 7 goals, 13 assists and 20 points in 16 games.
Ethan de Jong (#10, W) is another top player who returned for a 5th year. He’s been very productive for the Bobcats every year he’s played there, and this season is no different. He has 6 goals, 7 assists and 13 points in 16 games.
What to Watch For
What style does RPI try to play?
With Quinnipiac’s prowess on both ends of the ice, I’m intrigued to see how RPI chooses to attack them. Do they try to buckle down and play a very low-event defensive slugfest? Do they try to open things up to keep up offensively? I’d assume they try to turn this into a really low-scoring game because they’ve never really been a team that tries to get into shootouts.
Does RPI play up to their level?
The Engineers played a great game against the other top team they faced in Harvard. They really took the game to them for the first 2 periods and were in position to win. Can they repeat that effort against the Bobcats? They will need to in order to win.
Overall, this will be a very tough game, but we’ve seen how RPI can compete even against the best teams. Hopefully, they bring their A game once again.
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