While the Fighting Hawks had a better weekend than the Bobcats of Quinnipiac did, this weekends matchup at the Ralph Englestad Arena sets up as a battle of titans looking to go far in the postseason. What we see from these teams is a good indication of where they could go the rest of the way. Here are three things to watch.
Yaniv Perets is one of the most athletic goalies in the country, and was arguably the victim of an opportunistic LIU group and some poor play in his teams own zone in front of him. With that said, Perets is a preseason candidate for the Mike Richter award and should be a highly sought after NHL free agent. For the Fighting Hawks, they have two solid goalies in Drew DeRidder, and Jakob Hellsten Both were not really tested for long stretches against Holy Cross and both will need to be ready for the Bobcats. DeRidder is veteran of the group and has a strong hockey intelligence quotient to be in the right spot to make a lot of saves routine.
Battle of the defenders
Zach Metsa, the fifth year senior for the Bobcats, is one of the best offensive defenders in the country. He is arguably the best defender to be in the Bobcat program since Chase Priskie went pro. He is a smooth skater who knows how to distribute the puck well, and sets up the stars for the Bobcats to score and do well up front. For the Fighting Hawks, Tyler Kleven will bring his physical game to this weekend as he always does. Kleven has improved in all areas of his game and will have to work in tandem with Ethan Frisch to shut down some of the skill of the Bobcats.
Both teams played wildly different games this past weekend. The standout was on Sunday for the Bobcats. While UND did well at converting their high danger looks, the Bobcats ran into an LIU team on the upswing and would probably have liked to get more than two goals on their high amount of shots that they had. If the Bobcats can get a few more higher quality looks to go in, they could have a good weekend up in Grand Forks.
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