How many of you had Quinnipiac and Yale in the national championship game at the start of the season? At the start of the tournament?
At the start of Thursday?
Saturday’s matchup — unexpected by casual fans and experts alike — is notable for a few reasons:
• The last time two ECAC teams faced each other for the NCAA championship was in 1978. Boston University beat Boston College, 5-3, before both teams departed to Hockey East in the 1984-85 season. You have to go all the way back to 1970 to find two current ECAC members in the title game: Cornell beat Clarkson, 6-4, to cap a perfect 29-0 campaign.
• This will be the first national championship for an ECAC team since Harvard in 1989.
• Connecticut becomes the fourth state to be the home of both teams in the championship, joining Michigan, Massachusetts and New York (and not Minnesota or Colorado.)
“You can throw the 3-and-0 out the window,” said Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold after Saturday’s game.
• “It’s hard to beat a team four times in a row,” said ESPN’s Barry Melrose about Quinnipiac’s prospects against Yale. The current streak is actually five for the Bobcats, going back to last season. Quinnipiac has a 10-5-2 record against Yale all-time.
• Quinnipiac had not won a Division I NCAA game until this year’s tournament. Yale has 27 NCAA national championships: two in women’s fencing, four in men’s swimming and diving, and 21 in men’s golf.
We’ll have more on the championship game coming on Friday at USCHO.com, including highlights from Friday practices and news conferences.