On the eve of the NCAA tournament there seemed to be more teams up in the air than teams that were guaranteed spots. Entering the weekend, Quinnipiac knew it would be the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Other than that, all three ECAC Hockey teams left playing did not know their exact fate.
After an underwhelming performance Friday, Yale needed a win or a tie to keep its fate in its own hands, not to mention to give it a bit more confidence heading into the tournament.
2013 ECAC Hockey Championship
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Yale coach Keith Allain was unavailable for comment after the game. His squad went scoreless this weekend but had tons of close calls in the consolation game.
After the loss Friday night, Allain promised that his team would be better Saturday. The Bulldogs were only inches away from more than just a few goals through the first two periods, with two plays that had to go under review. The Bulldogs have gone 132:51 without a goal.
Quinnipiac, meanwhile, was able to tweak a few pieces of its game while keeping the squad healthy. Coach Rand Pecknold elected to sit defenseman Mike Dalhuisen and forward Matthew Peca, who had a few bumps and bruises. Pecknold said after the game that if it was a championship game that both would have played.
With the ECAC tournament behind them, the Bobcats are looking to the future.
“We focused a lot last night with making sure our focus in the right place. We wanted to focus tonight like it was the championship game,” goaltender Eric Hartzell said. “You can’t change the past. All you can do is look to the future, and we have the national tournament to look forward to and this was a huge game.”
Kevin Bui, last week’s double-overtime hero, agreed with Hartzell.
“Obviously, we wanted to be playing [in the championship game] but we are going to take this as a lesson heading into the national tournament because you can’t take any night for granted,” Bui said. “Now it is one and done … and we haven’t been in the national tournament so we need to learn fast. I think we are ready.”
When asked about what it is like to be entering the tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, Pecknold admitted that he’s been recording a lot of games on his DVR.
“I’ve watched a lot of Minnesota on TV this year,” Pecknold said. “That to me is the best team in the country. We might have the best record in the country, but Minnesota’s got a wagon.”