ECAC Hockey: Brosh and Cloutier break down the weekend

Ariana Stover

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Photo: Quinnipiac Athletics

ECAC Women’s Hockey Quarterfinal: RPI (8) vs. Quinnipiac (1)

Brosh: Playoff time is here for the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team. The Bobcats are the No. 1 seed in the ECAC Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament and are coming off one of their most impressive weekends they have had all year.

A 9-0 smacking of Union and a 4-0 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) has left the entire team firing on all cylinders. Quinnipiac has a 10-10 record in the playoffs in program history. Harvard defeated Quinnipiac in the Bobcats very first NCAA Tournament appearance.

But overall, the Bobcats are too hot to have a hiccup in this opening round. After rebounding after a loss against Union and a tie against Clarkson, the Bobcats have been on fire. The offense, backed by ECAC Hockey’s Player of The Week Taylar Cianfarano, is as potent as it gets.

The Bobcats had two players tally first career goals this past season, solidifying the idea that anyone wearing a Quinnipiac sweater on the ice might be able to score, besides goaltender Sydney Rossman (maybe).

Brosh’s prediction: The Bobcats will win this series. I think it will go three games due to the possibility of Quinnipiac overlooking RPI, but the Bobcats will advance to the semifinals.

Cloutier’s prediction: I disagree with Brosh. After watching their game against RPI last week, I believe the Bobcats roll over RPI in a sweep of the weekend series.

Men’s ice hockey: Brown vs. No.1/1 Quinnipiac

Brosh: Quinnipiac’s last four contests were decided in overtime, but the Bobcats have yet to have any head-scratching losses during the second half of the season (aside from a loss to No. 19 St. Lawrence).

The team continues to prove they will not die in games they seem all but out of. However, they’ve found themselves fighting for ties in games the Bobcats win on paper. The biggest battle they’ll face will be against Brown if they look past them and toward their highly anticipated game against Yale the following evening.

Offensively the Bobcats have seen production from just about everyone who has touched the ice this year, even Garteig earned two assists this season. The leader of Quinnipiac’s offense this season is Sam Anas who continues to shine in his junior year.

Anas’ 15-game point streak has been a catalyst for the team’s second-half surge, where the Bobcats have only faltered once in losing to St. Lawrence.

Cloutier: Brown is a solid ECAC opponent and there are no easy games in this conference. This matchup could potentially be a trap game for Quinnipiac with the Bobcats going into their rivalry game against Yale on Saturday night. Brown has a solid first line but defensively they are not the strongest team. Tommy Marchin is a player to watch for the Bears in this matchup in Hamden on Friday night.

Brosh’s prediction: Quinnipiac took care of Brown up in Providence when they shut them out 3-0 earlier this season after a big emotional victory at Yale the night before.

The Bobcats have had trouble with Brown in the past but I don’t see that happening this weekend. On senior night with a chance to clinch the ECAC Regular Season Championship title, this seems like a recipe for a big win. Bobcats win 5-1.

Cloutier’s prediction: Senior night and a chance to clinch the Cleary Cup? Chalk this one up as a win for the Bobcats. Although, I predict Brown will jump out to an early lead off an odd-man rush. Then, the Bobcats will storm back with three unanswered goals. Expect the first line, led by Anas and senior Travis St. Denis, to take control of this game with a +3 goal differential. This performance will finally give them the recognition they deserve as one of the best lines in college hockey.

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Photo: Rebecca Castagna

Men’s ice hockey: No.7/7 Yale vs. No. 1/1 Quinnipiac

Brosh: For many, the Yale game is the biggest matchup of the year for the Bobcats. The High Point Solutions Arena is at its best whenever the Bulldogs come to town. The players are going to play with extra energy on Saturday night. However, it is just another game. Five skaters and goalie. Nothing changes.

If you take away all the hype from the rivalry and the battle for the 14th Annual Heroes Hat, the Bobcats have dominated this series as of late. Over the past 13 meetings, Quinnipiac has lost to Yale just once and have not lost at home, posting a 3-0-3 record in front of the Quinnipiac faithful.

Yale has struck gold in freshman Joe Snively as he’s leading the Bulldogs with 10 goals and 16 assists through the first 27 games of his college hockey career. In between the pipes is a familiar face in Alex Lyon, who has posted an 18-4-4 record with a 1.51 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage this season. Lyon is not new to this battle, so the fanfare of this one shouldn’t get to him.

Cloutier: Quinnipiac has not lost to Yale since the national championship game. There are still some players on this team that have a bad taste in their mouths from that devastating loss and I think the bad blood will pour through into this matchup as it has for the past two seasons.

The game between Quinnipiac and Yale earlier this season wasn’t the prettiest. Whoever wins the physical battle will win this game. Lyon and the Bulldogs have been on fire recently and do not expect that to stop. A .941 save percentage on the season is not something to walk past. Those numbers put him in goaltending royalty.

Brosh’s prediction: The Bobcats are coming in battling hard for every victory right now. I think Quinnipiac rides the momentum from Friday night’s victory and gives their fans a reason to leave happy. Bobcats win 4-3.

Cloutier’s prediction: At home, and with the best forechecking fourth line I have ever seen in Soren Jonzzon, Tim Clifton and Scott Davidson, Quinnipiac will win the physical battle and squeak past Yale. The goal will come from Davidson in the third period after a battle in front of the net. Bobcats win 1-0.