Preview: Battle of Whitney Ave 2022 Part Two


Photo: Kaylyn Terry

Matt Mugno

The Quinnipiac Bobcats. The Yale Bulldogs. Eight miles typically separate the ECAC rivals. On Tuesday night, they will be lining up inches away at center ice for the Battle of Whitney Avenue.

On Jan.. 8,  the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team and Yale Bulldogs were set for what would have been the first matchup with an uncertain student section, the game scheduled over Quinnipiac students’ winter recess.

The Bobcats have won seven straight contests since 2018. Yale won the biggest matchup in Battle of Whitney Avenue history on April 13, 2013, when they won 4-0 in the NCAA Frozen Four tournament. Nearly a decade later, they are 1-14-3 since the Frozen Four tournament victory over their ECAC rivals. The last matchup in Hamden, on a cold February leap day in 2020, was a dominant 5-0 victory for the Bobcats, their last home matchup before the pandemic shut down the sports world. This season, the Bobcats defeated the Bulldogs at Ingalls Ice Rink 3-0 on Nov. 5, 2021.

The Bobcats have been skating on thin ice recently, victorious in eight of their last 10 matchups dating back to Jan.. 26. They have scored 16 goals in seven games and their powerplay, which has had trouble all season, has seen little improvement. The powerplay currently sits at 11.5% which makes for ninth in the conference.

The Bobcats defense allows them to thrive on their depth contributions. A few returning Bobcats played in last season’s matchup against Minnesota State where the Bobcats lead 4-2 heading into the third period but lost momentum and ended up being eliminated. Minnesota State is now the No. 1 team in the entire country. The Bobcats will be facing teams of this caliber shortly after Tuesday’s date with the Bulldogs. The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team’s toughest test this season was against North Dakota back in October, and most recently against Clarkson who has crept behind them in the conference standings and defeated the Bobcats 3-1 last Saturday.

The last ranked opponent they played was Cornell who defeated them as well as losing to Harvard 1-0 on Saturday. This matchup against Yale can be a major bounce back with all 3,386 seats occupied on Tuesday. Will Yale pull off a major upset and take advantage of the recently dull Bobcats? Or, will the Bulldogs re-energize the No. 5 team in the nation?

The People’s United Center will be rocking and rolling for puck drop at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The Bobcats will remain home for the last two regular season games on Feb. 25 against No. 9 Cornell and Saturday, Feb. 26 against Colgate.