Connecticut 4, Quinnipiac 1
Webster Bank Arena
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Game Recap: Nichols' 36 Saves Lead UConn to Victory
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Ryan Segalla, Connecticut, Soph., LW, 6-1/196, 12/29/94 (PIT '13) - Segalla, a defenseman by trade, was moved up to left wing by Huskies head coach Mike Cavanaugh to help generate some physicality and forecheck pressure. He did a good job creating pressure and throwing his body around especially on the side wall. As Cavanaugh said after the game, Segalla is a versatile player who looked good up front. He was also able to play defense on the penalty kill. He's not a pretty skater, but he moves fine and uses his size and strength to wreck havoc.
David Drake, Connecticut, Fr., LD, 6-4/220, 1/7/95 (PHL '13) - Drake is a physical presence on the backline, but he's a little clumsy on his feet. He does a good job of retrieving pucks behind his own net and is poised. He has some upside, but his foot speed will most likely limit him to a future in the AHL.
Connor Clifton, Quinnipiac, Soph.,RD, 5-11/195, 4/25/95 (Arizona '13) - It was a tough night for the Bobcat defense in general as the group as a whole made several inexcusable lapses in judgement and execution. Clifton is consistently impressive with the puck on his stick. He's a good skater and has good hands. He sees the ice well and moves fluidly with and without the puck. He maneuvers the blue line well while quarterbacking the power play. Defensively, he wasn't as solid as expected. He made several fundamental errors and was caught going backwards a few times. As Rand Pecknold said after the game, several of the Bobcats' veterans didn't perform up to standard. Clifton is certainly a better prospect than he displayed last night.
Devon Toews, Quinnipiac, Soph., LD, 6-1/174, 2/21/94 (NYI '14) - It was a tough night for Toews, a product of the Surrey Eagles in the BCHL. He was -3 and was caught out of position several times and beaten to the puck in pursuits including on UConn's third goal that really seemed to put a dagger in the Bobcats. Similarly to Clifton, Toews has good stick skills and is a smooth skater, but not as high end as Clifton. He has a little bit more, but his lack of speed is an issue. He does a nice job on the power play.
Matthew Peca, Quinnipiac, Sr., LC, 5-9/165, 4/27/93 (TBL '11) - Peca plays bigger than his size would indicate, but he was too inconsistent last night. At times he was flashy and effective last night, but for other shifts, he'd disappear. He had two shots on goal and had the secondary assist on QU's lone goal. He has a quick release and used a defensemen's legs as a screen on one of his shots on target.
Undrafted Free Agents
Derek Pratt, Connecticut, Fr., LD, 6-3/190, 3/12/94 - Having seen the Northfield Mt. Hermon alum twice now this season, there is a ton of upside. He's got good size, agility and does a good job of using the walls to chip pucks up to the forwards. Despite making a few freshman mistakes, he was +2 on the evening and certainly looked like a prospect worth watching.
Patrick Kirtland, Connecticut, Sr., LW, 6-0/195, 1/22/91 - Kirtland comes from a hockey family and it shows. He's got good instincts and a strong hockey IQ. As a team UConn did a good job of blocking shots last night, but no one was better than the senior captain in getting sticks in passing and shooting lanes and blocking shots. Cavanaugh described Kirtland as UConn's best fundamental player following the game. There might not be a spot in the NHL for him, but he'd be a good bottom six addition to an AHL organization. He's a guy that can kill penalties, do all the little things and chip in offensively from time to time.
Rob Nichols, Connecticut, Soph.,G, 5-11/181, 9/10/92 - The Dallas, Texas native has stood on his head for three of the Huskies' four games. He's got below average size for a goaltender in the modern era, but he's athletic and extremely mobile in the crease. He tends to challenge shooters and play on top of the crease. He showed off a quick glove as well as a quick right pad on a nice sprawling save he made in the second period. He flopped around some, but did a good job going post-to-post.
Sam Anas, Quinnipiac, Soph., RS LW, 5-8/150, 6/1/93 - The former Youngstown Phantoms star had seven shots on goal and was credited with the lone QU tally of the night when the puck deflected in off his skate. He's undersized, but crafty. He has good speed and skates with his head up. He has a distinctive skating stride and is a good stick handler. His size probably limits his NHL aspirations, but he could be a player strongly considered for signing by AHL teams in a few years following his senior season.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.