On Thursday night at 5 PM, Boston College will take on Quinnipiac for the first time in program history. The Bobcats are the #1 team in the country. Let's take a statistical look at the Bobcats, including how they compare to the great 2013-14 Union team that translated ECAC dominance in to victories over two bluebloods at the 2014 Frozen Four in Philadelphia.
Quinnipiac has one of the nation's top offenses, averaging 3.88 goals per game, good for #4 in the country. Not coincidentally, they're also 4th in the nation in shots on goal per game at 34.85. It seems like every year in recent years, QU is up near the top in terms of shot margin; they outshoot their opponents by nearly 10 shots per game on average. Their even-strength CF% is 56.3%, and 57.0% in close situations.
Quinnipiac's offense is slightly better statistically than Union's two seasons ago (3.81 goals per game). Union also was a good team in terms of shots on goal (33.52 per game, #12 in the country) but not dominant possession-wise the way QU is.
QU's power play will be key in their efforts this weekend. 45 of the Bobcats' 159 goals this year (28.3%) have come on the power play, which is #4 in the country with a 27.4% success rate. By comparison, BC has 22.7% of their goals on the PP, NoDak 20.2% and Denver just 19.7%. Union's power play wasn't as central to their offensive success as QU's is; their PP was #11 in the country that season.
While the Bobcats are known for their high-powered offense, they're also one of the nation's top defensive teams, averaging 1.90 goals allowed per game. Perhaps more importantly, they're very stingy in terms of allowing shots, with 24.9 allowed per game; they allowed just 15 against UMass-Lowell in last weekend's regional final. Unsurprisingly, they're also great on the penalty kill, #3 in the nation at 89.3%.
Union was similarly #4 in the nation in defense in 2014 and also pretty good at limiting opponents' shots (28.14/gm).
Not unlike BC this year, the Bobcats don't have anyone right at the top of the national scoring list, but have quite a few solid scorers. Sam Anas is #9 in the country with 50 points and Travis St. Denis is tied for 14th at 46, but after that there's nobody else in the top 30. However, QU has 5 30+ point scorers and 10 20+ point scorers.
The bottom line? Much like Union in 2014, the Bobcats are rightful favorites going in to the Frozen Four. Statistically, they're not just winning a lot of games in the ECAC, they're dominating. It's going to take BC's best game of the season to knock them off.