Quinnipiac men’s hockey set to face Colgate in ECAC Hockey Semifinals for second-straight year


Connor Coar

Quinnipiac men’s hockey defeated Colgate 3-1 in the 2022 ECAC Hockey Semifinals.

Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor

For the second straight season, Quinnipiac men’s hockey is making the nearly five-hour trek north to Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, New York, with the chance to play for the ECAC Hockey championship. 

The Bobcats fell to Harvard in overtime of the title game a year ago. This time around, not much has changed in the tournament field. 

After clinching the Cleary Cup as ECAC Hockey regular season champions for the fourth time in five seasons on Feb. 17, Quinnipiac returns to Lake Placid as the No. 1 seed. The Bobcats will meet No. 5 Colgate in the semifinal round for the second-straight season at 4 p.m. on Friday. 

“We want to dictate the pace,” graduate student forward Michael Lombardi said ahead of the matchup. “Obviously we know they have a lot of talented players over there, a lot of high speed, high skill guys … (but) we really drive the bus. We’re not waiting for them to do anything, we’re going to play our game.”

On the other side of the bracket, No. 2 Harvard will face No. 3 Cornell at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. The Big Red are looking for their first championship game appearance since 2019 after a quarterfinal upset in 2022 ended their season prematurely. 

Lake Placid is used to big upsets. The tournament venue is the site of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice,” but it would be the opposite of a miracle for Quinnipiac, the tournament favorite, to bring home its second Whitelaw Cup. 

That being said, the path to the championship game, let alone the trophy, is not easy.  If there’s one word to best describe Colgate, it’s gritty. The Raiders play every opponent tough, regardless of national ranking or offensive firepower. Since Jan. 1, 13 of their 17 games were decided by one goal, requiring overtime seven times and shootouts thrice. 

That hard-nosed style of play was exemplified in Colgate’s quarterfinal sweep of No. 4 St. Lawrence on the road, which included scoring four unanswered to stun the Saints 4-3 in overtime of Game 1. 

Both games between the Bobcats and Raiders this season ended in 3-2 final scores, each team taking a game on its home ice. In both cases, the road team took a 2-0 advantage only to surrender three-straight goals and lose the game. 

However, regardless of its opponent, nothing changes in how Quinnipiac approaches the contest. 

“Obviously the games mean more, but we got where we are because of our process,” graduate student defenseman Zach Metsa said after the Bobcats’ 6-2 victory over Yale in Game 2 of the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals. “The coaching staff will do a great job scouting them and making sure we know what to do and figuring out the game plan. Our job is to stick to it.”

A win over Colgate Friday pushes the Bobcats through to the ECAC Hockey title game at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday to face the winner of Harvard/Cornell.