Last weekend wasn’t great for the Quinnipiac men’s hockey team, but it didn’t really matter. The Bobcats, who lost to Brown, 4-0, in the ECAC Tournament Semifinals and defeated Yale, 3-0, in the tournament’s third place game, earned the No. 1-seed overall in the NCAA Tournament.
Quinnipiac (27-7-5, 17-2-3 ECAC) will face Canisius College, of Buffalo, N.Y., in the tournament’s first round. The puck will drop at 5:30 Saturday night at Providence’s Dunkin Donuts Center. The game will be broadcast in New England on NESN and nationally on ESPN3, and can be heard on AM 1220 WQUN.
The two teams last played each other in January 2011 at Canisius, where the Bobcats won one game, 7-3, with the other game ending in a tie. The Bobcats lead the all-time series against the Golden Griffins, 15-7-4.
The Griffins (19-18-5, 12-13-2 AHA) lost five in a row between February 9 and February 23, but have been streaking lately. They’ve won eight straight, with their last loss coming February 23 at Robert Morris, 6-3.
Canisius clinched the NCAA Tournament’s No. 16-seed after winning the Atlantic Hockey Tournament last weekend, beating Mercyhurst, 7-2. The Golden Griffins should not be taken lightly by the Bobcats, despite their less than remarkable record. Quality games by Canisius this season include two wins over No. 15 Niagara, and a 1-0 road loss to Minnesota, who was No. 1 in the country most of the year.
The Bobcats have been a bit shaky lately, going 6-3-1 in the 10 games they’ve played since their 21-game unbeaten streak ended February 15 against St. Lawrence. Did the Bobcats peak too early? Are they on the decline?