Preview: Playoff Seeding On Line Against Yale for Men’s Ice Hockey


Gabbi Riggi and Gabbi Riggi

While much hullabaloo has been had leading into the Yale Bulldogs’ ride up Whitney Avenue, more is at stake than Bobcats’ fans bragging rights on Friday.

Seeding for the ECAC Playoffs:
While the Bobcats aren’t worried about missing the playoffs, there is an opportunity to jump up to fourth place in the conference to secure the last home ice advantage for the conference playoffs. Paired along with a set of St. Lawrence losses, the Bobcats can stay at home for the Eastern College Athletic Conference for the fifth year in a row. The Bobcats have a few more routes to stay at fifth, where they currently sit with 23 points, three behind the St. Lawrence Saints.

Two options, two nets:
Unlike years past, Yale and Quinnipiac will not be having a battle of Mike Richter finalists staring each other down 150 feet apart. Both teams have flipped starters between seniors and underclassmen understudies.

For the Bobcats, senior Chris Truehl and Andrew Shortridge have split time in net with the Bobcats, taking individual games or weekend stretches. Shortridge, the freshman, holds the 17th best overall goaltending numbers in the country with a 7-5-0 record and 2.25 GAA. Truehl is 32nd, with a 10-8-2 record and 2.66 goals against average.

Yale’s overall team defense and goaltending numbers have risen from the lockdown tendencies of years past. The collective goals against average spiked from years past at the top of the country and now sits at 2.89 goals allowed per game.

While Patrick Spano has led the Bulldogs for 18 games this season, pitching an 8-6-4 record, it may be sophomore Sam Tucker who takes the reigns on Friday night, coming off of a 4-0 shutout of Dartmouth on Feb. 18. Tucker’s numbers may be less than flashy; holding a 3-5-1 record and a 3.02 GAA, but head coach Keith Allain may try and keep his goalie hot to reinforce the goaltending before the playoffs begin.

Players to Watch
While John Hayden and Joe Snively are always dynamic on the ice for Yale, and JM Piotrowski is hard to miss with his flashy speed and bright red tresses, there are still other parts of the Bulldogs lineup that may become a bigger factor. Forward Andrew Gaus has been hitting a hot streak at the right time, filling in some of the void left by the Class of 2016. Gaus scored a shorthanded goal against Harvard on Feb. 17, and may likely be a thorn in the Bobcats’ side.

As always when the tensions are high, penalties are sure to come about. If the Bobcats can control their energy and gain player advantages, I expect Chase Priskie to once again be dynamic quarterbacking the power play. Priskie put up two power play goals against Yale earlier in February, and holds the real potential to be a difference maker in Hamden.

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