The games of the week will be on the USCHO’s schedule rotation which is Thursday to Wednesday. I will be showcasing one game of the week that can be streamed for free (when possible) and one game that requires a paid subscription.
Yes this is a bit of a homer pick given my schooling at Clarkson and my ongoing love affair with Quinnipiac and the high quality free hockey streams they provide. And with my love of the ECAC and being able to watch 11 of the teams for $16 a month.
But this is legitimately probably the most compelling game of the week with the biggest NCAA tournament question mark being just who is going to emerge from the ECAC. Clarkson and Quinnipiac are tied in second place with 28 points, one point behind Harvard who travels to play #10 Cornell this weekend. A regular season title obviously doesn’t matter as much as the conference tournament and its auto-bid, but it might be one of the most important determining factors when at-large bids are selected, especially if the regular season winner and conference winner are different.
Quinnipiac has a 1-0 conference win and a 3-1 non-conference win over Clarkson that are basically two one goal games. (They scored an empty netter in the latter at 19:56.) Both teams have some pretty gaudy shot totals, but a lot of that comes out of a hard backcheck and limiting opponents’ offensive zone time instead of maintaining zone time for themselves. This one could feature lots of ugly neutral zone play.
Minnesota-Duluth continues their brutal run through the best teams in the WCHA, having gone 0-2-2 with two shootout losses to North Dakota and Wisconsin in the past two weeks. That might be enough to damage their NCAA tournament cred irreparably if they do anything short of heroic these next two weeks (Ohio State being the final opponent) and in the WCHA tournament. But they can at least salvage a bit of the end of the season with a good showing against Minnesota.
The Bulldogs are one of the few teams that isn’t completely out of its element against the WCHA powerhouses and while their 0-4-2 record with a shootout win against Minnesota and Wisconsin isn’t stellar, it’s more than most teams can boast against arguably the two best teams in the country.
If they can’t scrape a win or a draw against Minnesota I’d feel pretty comfortable calling them cooked.