Yale-Quinnipiac a Whale of a draw

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Ingalls Rink has been no stranger to sellout crowds, as the Yale Bulldogs have been a feature on the national stage for most of the last four years.

The iconic arena and the passionate locals hit the trifecta with Yale’s rise to prominence under Keith Allain, commencing in 2008-09 with a powerhouse offense that paced the Bulldogs to regular-season and tournament titles, as well as their second-ever NCAA appearance. The tickets have remained a hot commodity ever since, through one more Cleary Cup and one and Whitelaw Cup (for regular and postseason championships, respectively) and two more NCAA tournament qualifications.

Saturday’s game against Quinnipiac was a bit of a different animal. While it may not have been the most premium ticket in Yale hockey’s history, it was certainly “one of the top five by demand,” according to associate athletic director and ticket and rink operations contact Jeremy Makins.

“The Harvard game is always a big draw, given the rivalry,” he said, also noting last year’s Thanksgiving-weekend tilt against Boston College as one of the biggest demands in his half-decade in New Haven.

But this game featured two local heavyweights, which certainly raised the ante.

“This game seems to have captivated local fans more than any game I’ve ever seen,” Makins said, noting that while a sellout is a sellout, the Quinnipiac contest marked the first time Yale had ever set up an auxiliary press box behind the Sachem Street goal.

With one half of this year’s Whitney War out of the way, local fans won’t have to wait long for Round Two: The Bulldogs visit Hamden in 20 days to complete the series and award the annual Heroes Hat.

Word is that game has been sold out since September. So good luck with that.