Thursday, February 6, 2014

It's February. Time for the home stretch.

A few notes and quotes from Quinnipiac and Yale as they begin the final month of the regular season.
  • Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold was among the many who attended the funeral of Hamden's Jason Pagni on Thursday morning. Pagni was an influential youth coach in the area who knew everyone and worked tirelessly to help players continue their careers. NHL players Jonathan Quick, Cam Atkinson, Max Pacioretty and Kevin Shattenkirk were all influenced by Pagni as young players in Connecticut.
  • Pecknold was unavailable this morning, so Bill Riga handled the media swarm. (Note: it was a one-man media swarm.)
  • Odd that we're into the second week of February and Quinnipiac still hasn't played Clarkson or St. Lawrence this season. The Bobcats have seen video and expect two different types of game. "I think Clarkson wants to shrink the rink, play physical and get in your face and make things difficult," Riga said. "St. Lawrence likes to go, to get the Carey kids the puck and get out in open ice and play offense with a great power play. We prepare all week for Clarkson and Saturday morning you're up for a totally different kind of game. But when it comes down to it, you have eight league games left. Or goal is to win the league. Any point on any night, home or away, is precious."
  • Quinnipiac has played only one game in the past two weeks, an 8-1 drubbing at Dartmouth. The players are rested and ready to return to their regular routine. Practices are typically intense, but the compete level tends to get ramped up with no other outlet. "You get sick of hitting the same guys, or getting hit by the same guys," Jordan Samuels-Thomas said. "You might get frustrated with a guy just competing. At the same time, last weekend everyone was really excited and it should be the same this weekend."
  • You'd think time off is time to heal, but players take their lumps in practice. Still, the Bobcats are mostly healthy. Defenseman Connor Clifton has been nursing an injury the past couple weeks, and isn't expected to play this weekend.
  • Yale's brutal stretch run continues at Union and RPI this weekend. Ex-Quinnipiac player Joe Dumais continues his four-game run as Union interim coach during Rick Bennett's suspension.
  • Medical staff at Yale is earning their money. The Bulldogs dressed every healthy player last Saturday night against Colgate, only to lose forward Stu Wilson on his first shift. Wilson, Carson Cooper, Mike Doherty, Anthony Day and Alex Ward are all on the injury report. We could see some return to action this weekend. Just won't know for sure until they come out for warm-ups.


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