Who: SB Nation No. 7 Quinnipiac at SB Nation No. 4 St. Lawrence (23-3-2 overall, 15-2-1 ECAC)
When: Friday, February 10, 2017 (6:00 ET)
Where: Appleton Arena (Canton, NY)
How to Watch: Saintsathletics.com
This is a huge week in the ECAC, with the top teams all getting stiff tests. With only nine points separating the top six teams, this weekend’s slate may go a long way in determining seeding and hosts for the ECAC tournament.
SB Nation No. 4 St. Lawrence (23-3-2 overall, 15-2-1 ECAC) sits just a point back of league-leading Clarkson, but is a spot ahead of the Golden Knights in the SB Nation Division I poll. The Saints have won five in a row, including a pair of 2-1 wins over Harvard and Dartmouth on the road last week, and 9 of 11 since the holiday break.
St. Lawrence boasts the nation’s fourth-ranked scoring offense (3.50 goals per game). Three Saints - junior forward Kennedy Marchment, senior forward Brooke Webster, and junior forward Hannah Miller - rank in the top seven nationally in points scored. Combined, they have 135 points in 28 games
A balanced team, St. Lawrence also sits fourth in the country in scoring defense (1.46 goals allowed per game). Sophomore goaltender Grace Harrison (.926 SV%, 1.56 GAA) is stellar. St. Lawrence struggles a bit on the power play, converting at only 16.04%, but have been solid on the kill, sitting sixth in the country at 90.0%.
SB Nation No. 7 Quinnipiac (18-7-5 overall, 11-5-2 ECAC) has been up-and-down of late. Winners of two in a row, including an astounding 9-0 walloping of Brown in Hamden last Friday, the Bobcats have struggled against the ECAC’s top teams. Five of Quinnipiac’s seven losses have come against Princeton, Cornell, Clarkson, and St. Lawrence.
Quinnipiac will look to grind down St. Lawrence. The defensive-minded Bobcats sit third in the country in scoring defense, allowing 1.43 goals against per game. Goaltender Sydney Rossman (.916 SV%, 1.58 GAA) has been fantastic this year and Quinnipiac loves to make it hard for teams to play against them.
Offensively, the Bobcats have not yet found their footing, tallying only 2.77 goals per game. Quinnipiac is decent on the power play, converting at 18.69% but are only killing at 87.1%. If they find themselves shorthanded against the Saints, it might be a problem.
St. Lawrence Players to Watch
#16 - Kennedy Marchment, F
Marchment has been a scoring machine for the Saints this year. The ECAC leader in points (48) and assists (31), Marchment has also lit the lamp 17 times this year in 28 games. The ECAC Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 2014-15, Marchment looks well on her way towards picking up honors again this year.
#26 - Brooke Webster, F
Webster, a Saints assistant captain, is third in the country in points, just behind Marchment. Averaging 1.64 points per game, Webster has scored 18 goals and doled out 28 assists in 2016-17.
Quinnipiac Players to Watch
#34 - Sydney Rossman, G
Rossman has been great for the Bobcats this year, allowing only 1.58 goals per game and winning 15 games. The 2015-16 ECAC Goaltender of the Year and a 2015-16 ECAC Player of the Year Finalist, Rossman will be severely tested by St. Lawrence’s high-octane offense.
#22 - T.T. Cianfarano, F
Cianfarano, the 2015-16 ECAC Hockey Player of the Year and 2015-16 ECAC Forward of the Year, has been Quinnipiac’s primary offensive threat this year. Thirteenth in the ECAC with 24 points in 30 games, Cianfarano grabbed three points in the blow out against Brown, but has otherwise struggled of late, tallying only two goals in her past 16 games. She’ll need to get on track this weekend if the Bobcats hope to keep pace with the ECAC leaders.
Friday’s game is critical to both teams. St. Lawrence looks to keep pace atop the ECAC with Clarkson and Quinnipiac is fighting for home ice in the ECAC tournament first round.
This will be a strength-on-strength match-up as Quinnipiac’s stifling defense seeks to ground St. Lawrence’s high-flying offense. St. Lawrence got the better of the Bobcats the last time they matched up, grabbing a 1-0 win in Hamden back in November. St. Lawrence has lost on home ice only twice all year. The great play at home continues and the Saints get the win 2-0.
Pick Record for the Season: 5-5-3