Keys to Friday’s men’s ECAC Hockey rivalry matchup between Quinnipiac and Yale


Connor Lawless

The No. 6 men’s ice hockey team will travel to Yale on Friday for the season’s first installment of the Battle of Whitney Avenue.

Cameron Levasseur, Staff Writer

Editor’s note: Correction — Yale’s hockey team formed over Christmas break in 1894-95. It was originally published as 1893.

The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team will make the eight-mile journey into New Haven on Friday to renew its regional rivalry with Yale that the Bobcats have historically dominated.

Here’s a look at a few of the storylines dominating the matchup.


Dubbed “The Battle of Whitney Avenue” because of the campuses’ close proximity along the road, the rivalry found its inception in 2006, when the Bobcats made the move to join the ECAC Hockey.

Despite being the oldest existing collegiate hockey program in the U.S., having been founded in 1896, Yale has had minimal success against Quinnipiac, a team founded 82 years later.

In the past 10 years, the Bulldogs have only managed to win a measly two games in 24 matchups with the Bobcats, and have only seven wins in 36 all-time meetings.

Unfortunately for Quinnipiac, one of its two losses to the Ivy League school since the 2011-12 season came in the 2013 National Championship game, where Yale held the Bobcats scoreless en route to their first national title in program history.

Headed into this Friday, Quinnipiac holds a six-game winning streak over the Bulldogs since 2018, outscoring them 25-5 in that span. However, the two teams have not faced off since February 2020 as a result of the Ivy League cancelling the 2020-21 winter sports season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Players to watch

Quinnipiac senior defenseman Zach Metsa was on fire in October, being named ECAC Hockey Player of the Month. He averaged a point per game (two goals and six assists for eight points) while leading the No. 6 ranked Bobcats to a 5-1-2 record including the overtime game-winner against AIC last weekend. His +10 plus-minus rating this month is tied for second best in the nation.

Metsa, along with senior center and captain Wyatt Bongiovanni, junior winger Ethan Leyh and junior centerman Skyler Brind’Amour, were responsible for four of the five goals scored in the Bobcats’ rout of Yale the last time the two faced off.

Senior forward Justin Pearson will be a key piece for the Bulldogs this season. One of three top-15 scorers returning from the 2019-20 team, Pearson tallied 14 goals and 10 assists over that campaign to finish second on the team in points. He will need to come up big for Yale this weekend for them to stand a chance against a top-10 team in the nation after being shut out against a less than stellar Brown team to start the season.


On the back end, Quinnipiac has split time between graduate student Dylan St. Cyr and sophomore Yaniv Perets, with the former starting five and the latter three. Both have been solid in net for the Bobcats, as St. Cyr has posted a 1.70 goals against average (GAA) and a .910 save percentage (SV%). Perets sits at a 1.17 GAA and a .934 SV%.

For Yale, freshman Luke Pearson is the only one of its goaltending trio to have played a game of collegiate hockey. That game being last weekend’s loss to Brown, where he stopped 23 of 25 shots. Junior Connor Hopkins, expected to be the team’s No. 1 goalie coming into the season, missed his freshman year with injury and last year with the season cancellation.