Quinnipiac and Yale ready for the national championship

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By Brian Farrell, QBSN Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH – No seriously, it is here; today Quinnipiac and Yale will face off for the national championship. As mentioned Thursday, do whatever you have to do: poke, pinch, slap or punch to realize that these two Connecticut schools will tangle for the national championship.

courtesy of Matt Eisenberg

courtesy of Matt Eisenberg

Both sides have made it clear that there is more to this game than the rivalry, and rightfully so.

“I think the fact that it’s a rivalry game is irrelevant,” Quinnipiac’s Jordan Samuels-Thomas said. “Right now both teams are competing for a National Championship, and that’s kind of what comes first.”

For most of the college hockey world it might be difficult to get excited for a Quinnipiac-Yale national championship, but there is no argument that these are two of the hottest teams in the country. Since being shutout back to back nights in Atlantic City, N.J., Yale has rallied for three straight wins over Minnesota, North Dakota and Hockey East’s regular season and tournament champion Massachusetts-Lowell.

“What happened in the regular season in the playoffs doesn’t really matter at this point,” Yale’s Antoine Laganiere said. “It’s just a one and done.  It’s a whole new time.  I also believe that if we can do little things like we talked about earlier and stay focused on our task and our game plan and get a lot of pucks low and get to rebounds and get some traffic in front of the goalie, we’ll be successful.”

Successful is the right word to describe Yale’s play over the last three games as it has picked apart some of college hockey’s best. Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold noted just how good Yale has been, especially since arriving in Pittsburgh.

“I watched some of the game in the second and I will watch the rest of it on tape today,” Pecknold said about Yale’s semifinal game against Lowell.  “But my feeling on that game was I thought Yale played one of their best games of the year; and I thought Lowell just were flat and they really struggled to get it going.”

Coincidentally, it was Quinnipiac that got off to a fast start in its semifinal game against St. Cloud State. It has been well noted over the last two weeks that Quinnipiac is scoring in bunches in the NCAA tournament. The Bobcats scored three goals in the third period against Canisius and then three in the first period against Union and St. Cloud State.

This will also be the second time that Quinnipiac will have to deal with Yale’s No. 1 goaltender, Jeff Malcolm. Quinnipiac’s two regular season wins came against the Eli’s backup goalies. The only time the Bobcats have faced Malcolm this year was in what Pecknold deemed a meaningless consolation game in the ECAC tournament.

It’s safe to say that the difference between the last Quinnipiac-Yale game is monumental.

This is the last time we will try to tell you: It’s real – No. 1 seed Quinnipiac and No. 15 seed Yale are set for the biggest War on Whitney ever. The national championship is ready to find its home on Whitney Ave., the only question remaining is which school will house it.