A small part of the drama for Quinnipiac came from the NCAA men’s ice hockey selection on Sunday afternoon when the ECAC announced that the Bobcats were accepting the conference’s automatic offer for the tournament.
Though two of the four Regionals being contested nearby, the Bobcats ended up as far away as possible. They are the third seed in the Loveland, Colorado region and will meet with the state of Minnesota on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. (Streaming from ESPN3).
« Since Bridgeport is one of the locations, you will probably be driving 30 minutes away, » said Quinnipiac Captain Odeen Tufto.
« We can’t get on planes much. … To get to Colorado and get a new setting, all the guys seem pretty excited. I think it’s going to be a fun event. «
Minnesota and Nebraska-Omaha are the other two teams in the Loveland Regional, and the regional championship takes place on Sunday evening. The four regional champions advance to the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh April 8-10.
The Bridgeport Regional, hosted by Sacred Heart at the Webster Bank Arena, is Friday through Saturday. Wisconsin with the best seeds will face the state of Bemidji in a regional semifinal, and UMass with the second seeds will face the state of Lake Superior in the other.
There will be no public ticket sales for the Bridgeport Regional. Participation is expected to be limited to seating for guests in the teams’ travel groups.
This is the eighth NCAA tournament since 2013, when the Bobcats reached the finals. Quinnipiac made it to six of those eight, and also made it to the championship game in 2016 when it received its only other automatic bid.
The ECAC announced that St. Lawrence, the Quinnipiac, would score 3 in overtime on Saturday night : Beat 2 for the ECAC Championship, ended their season due to state and NCAA COVID-19 guidelines, and missed their first tournament spot in 14 years.
« I’m very sorry this group missed the opportunity to compete in the NCAA tournament, « St. Lawrence coach Brent Brekke said in the announcement. “It was my own test that turned out positive today. The roller coaster of emotions in the last 24 hours for everyone is unimaginable. “
The Bobcats went down the roller coaster too, from the uncertainty that they were there to the fact that they were flying across the country.
» It seems like we got a little present « , said Tufto. « We have to take advantage and understand that we have a great opportunity here this coming weekend and just prepare to face (Minnesota State) Mankato. »
Quinnipiac’s opponents came out on top in both big polls who participated in the conference tournaments, took third place. The Mavericks were upset in the second round of Northern Michigan’s WCHA playoffs. Junior goalie Dryden McKay has nine shutouts and, like Quinnipiac seniors Tufto and Keith Petruzzelli, is a top 10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.
“They only come with four lines and they all look the same. It looks like it is them, I don’t mean to say it’s a robot, but all four lines are coming, « said Joe Dumais, Bobcats deputy head coach.
» They are all physical. You are all skilled. You can score at any time. They all defend very well. It’s just a tough team to play against and plan against. «
Boston College, which led the pre-tournament polls and featured an outstanding goalkeeper, Spencer Knight of Darien, is making headlines in the Albany, New York area.
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