Regular Season Ends with Tigers, Cats, Opportunity
Yale ends the regular season this weekend by hosting Princeton and No. 5 Quinnipiac at Ingalls Rink with an opportunity for major accomplishments. The Bulldogs, who enter the weekend in 5th place but can finish anywhere from 1st to 7th in the standings (2nd to 7th in seedings), can earn a first-round conference playoff bye if they are among the top four. The Elis (13-11-3, 11-8-1 ECAC), host the Tigers on Friday before the Bobcats come to the Whale Saturday (game sold out). Both games are 7 p.m. faceoffs airing live on ESPN+ and on Stretch Internet (international).
Yale's first meeting with the Tigers dates to 1900, and the Bulldogs have a 143-107-10 record against the guys from New Jersey. Quinnipiac has a 21-7-5 advantage in the Yale series since the first meeting in 2006.
The teams went a combined 0-9 on power plays, but Princeton came out on top of Yale 4-1 at Baker Rink earlier this season. Sam Tucker had 28 saves in net for the Elis. Quinnipiac, which won 4-0, outshot the Bulldogs 50-23 at Hamden last month, though Yale's Corbin Kaczperski stopped 46 shots and all 4 advantages.
This is the last home regular season games for Yale seniors Charlie Curti, Andrew Gaus, Ted Hart, JM Piotrowski, Joe Snively (team-high 13-17-30), Sam Tucker (2.39 GAA, .921 SP) and Anthony Walsh. They are hoping to help the Blue gain momentum heading into a home playoff series either next week or the following one. Yale is coming off losses at Dartmouth and Harvard last weekend.
The Tigers are coming off a 3-point weekend at home that included a tie with Clarkson and a win over St. Lawrence and still have a shot at hosting a playoff series next weekend. Senior F Ryan Kuffner (20-19-39) is second in the nation in both goals and points per game, while his squad has used a pair of netminders this year. Senior Austin Shaw (2.96, .904) picked up the win in net against Yale last month, but sophomore Ryan Ferland (3.07, .904) has most of the games played for Princeton.
Sophomore Odeen Tufto (14-27-41) and senior Chase Priskie (17-22-39) lead a Bobcats squad that has won 8 of its last 10 games. Quinnipiac scored 10 goals last weekend but only got a home split with SLU (W) and Clarkson. Junior goalie Andrew Shortridge (1.43, .944) has most of the decisions, though sophomore Keith Petruzzelli (2.42, .904) has also had much success this year.
ECAC HOCKEY (RANGE FOR PLAYOFF SEEDINGS)
Note: If Yale were to gain 4 points this weekend, and other games went in its favor, the Elis could tie for a conference regular-season title. However, due to tie breakers, the highest seed Yale could be for the post-season tournament is No. 2.
Cornell: 1-5 (clinches bye with 1 point, #1 with 4 points)
Harvard: 1-5 (clinches bye with 1 point)
Quinnipiac: 1-5 (clinches bye with 2 points)
Clarkson: 1-5 (clinches bye with 3 points)
Yale: 2-7 (clinched home ice)
Dartmouth: 4-8 (clinched home ice)
Brown: 5-9 (clinches home ice with 1 point)
Union: 6-11 (clinches home ice with 3 points)
St. Lawrence: 12
contact: Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD/Sports Publicity - firstname.lastname@example.org