10 Games to Watch: Men and Women’s Ice Hockey
Hockey East is a conference riddled with talented teams that have seen great success throughout NCAA hockey history. While the Minutemen didn’t post the most stellar record this past season (13-18-5), they still pose a threat to the Bobcats. Last season, Quinnipiac defeated Massachusetts by a score of 4-2 in its lone matchup of the season. Massachusetts is one of three teams the Bobcats will face from Hockey East. The Bobcats and Minutemen will meet on Nov. 24.
The Bobcats will face the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks at home for a two-game series Dec. 29th and 30th. The Mavericks, part of the Western Collegiate Hockey Conference, hold a 2-1-0 record on the season thus far. Out of all the teams the Bobcats play, the Mavericks will make the farthest trip with an estimated 1,325 miles traveled from Omaha to Hamden. Let’s see if the Mavericks can make this trip worthwhile.
Last season, the Union Dutchmen were the top dogs of the ECAC posting a 26-8-7 record overall and a 14-4-4 record within the conference. Union also had the most goals for (143) and the lowest goals against (75) in the ECAC last season. These statistics reflect on the high-powered offense and sound defense the Dutchmen possess. Last year, the Bobcats lost once and tied once with the Dutchmen. Quinnipiac will face Union twice this season, their first matchup on home ice being on Jan. 12.
Another dangerous team and a conference opponent that the Bobcats will face this season is Cornell. The Big Red put up a 19-9-7 record overall last season and a 12-4-6 record in the ECAC. Quinnipiac’s matchups with Cornell in the previous season, the Bobcats lost both games. The reason for this being ranked second on the list of must-see games is because of one key factor: revenge. It’s time for the Bobcats to avenge their losses to Cornell last season and show them this year’s Quinnipiac team is a force to be reckoned with.
The team that grabs the top-spot as an opponent in an absolute must-see game for the Bobcats when they face their in state conference rival Yale. The Quinnipiac-Yale rivalry is rich in history and brings an undeniable excitement to not only the ECAC but the world of collegiate hockey as a whole. These matchups are unforgettable in that there’s always bad blood between the two teams. Quinnipiac will face Yale for the first time this season at Ingalls Rink in New Haven on Saturday, Feb. 2. Last season, Quinnipiac got the better of the season series as they defeated Yale in their first matchup 2-1 and tied them 2-2 in the second matchup. These games never disappoint in the excitement department, and they’re incredibly unpredictable which makes this the number one must-see game of Quinnipiac’s 2012-13 season.
On Jan. 5, the McGill University Martlets of Montreal will face-off against the Bobcats in an exhibition game. While exhibition games don’t hurt or benefit Quinnipiac’s record, it will most definitely be a fun experience playing a team from Canada as the country prides itself on being the home of hockey. Quinnipiac has never faced McGill, another exciting factor to note.The Martlets finished their season at 31-10-1 and had an impressive 28-4 record against Canadian university opponents. McGill also took home bronze last season in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championship.
Quinnipiac and Harvard square off this Friday evening. Harvard comes into the matchup ranked no. 9 on the USCHO.com poll for women’s division 1 hockey. Last season, the Bobcats tied Harvard 3-3 and fell to them in their latest matchup in February 4-2. Quinnipiac will look to avenge the loss and battle their ECAC foe.
#3 St. Lawrence
The St. Lawrence Saints finished last season posting a 24-10-4 record overall and a 14-6-2 record in the conference, landing them 5th in the conference. St. Lawrence is currently 0-4 on the season. Last year, the Saints split the regular season series with the Bobcats, each team winning one game. Despite not being much of an imposing team during the regular season, St. Lawrence pulled off an upset by defeating top-ranked Harvard and Cornell to be crowned champions of the ECAC Tournament last year. Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence will square off twice this season, first on Nov. 17 and later on Feb. 15.
Cornell University women’s hockey team is one of the top ranked team in collegiate hockey. The Big Red finished last season with an unbelievable record of 30-5-0 overall and a 20-2-0 record in the ECAC. Last year, Cornell defeated the Boston University Terriers in a wild 8-7 triple overtime win during the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. They were later defeated in the Frozen Four by the eventual champions, Minnesota. The Big Red beat the Bobcats in all 3 meetings last season,one of which was a 5-1 win in the ECAC Tournament semifinals. Cornell outscored Quinnipiac 16-3 last season.
#1 Boston College
The Bobcats will square off against the Boston College Eagles in the Nutmeg Classic Tournament on Nov. 23. The Eagles are currently ranked fourth in the nation and are a consistently dangerous team. In Quinnipiac’s first matchup against BC last season, the Bobcats were shutout 5-0. Quinnipiac redeemed itself by stealing a 2-1 overtime win from the Eagles. BC finished last season with a 24-10-3 record and an impressive 15-4-2 record in the Hockey East Conference. This team will be one of, if not the biggest, challenge of Quinnipiac’s season.