NCAA East Regional Preview

PROVIDENCE, R.I. | DUNKIN’ DONUTS CENTER
SATURDAY-SUNDAY, MARCH 30-31

Saturday: Quinnipiac vs. Canisius, 5:30 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, ESPN3)
Saturday:
Boston College vs. Union, 9 p.m. ET (TV: ESPNU)
Sunday: Regional Final, 6:30 p.m. ET (TV: ESPNU)

quinnipiacNO. 1 SEED QUINNIPIAC BOBCATS
Location: Hamden, Conn.
Record: 27-7-5 overall (17-2-3 ECAC Hockey, first)
Qualified: At-large bid
NCAA Championships: None
NCAA Appearance: Second (most recent, 2002)
Head Coach: Rand Pecknold
Key Players: Jeremy Langlois, F, Sr. (38 GP, 12-18—30); Jordan Samuels-Thomas, F, Sr. (39 GP, 14-11—25); Loren Barron, D, Sr. (39 GP, 3-13—16); Eric Hartzell, G, Sr. (27-6-5, 1.52 GAA, .934 save pct.)
What You Need To Know: The Bobcats’ 11 seniors—sans goaltender Eric Hartzell—have combined to score 61 goals and 166 points this season. Only Colorado College (70 goals and 170 points) got more offensive production from its senior class.

Burning Question: After winning the ECAC Hockey regular-season title and clinching the top seed in the NCAA Tournament with relative ease, have the Bobcats taken their collective foot of the gas in the last couple weeks? Quinnipiac charged to the top of the national rankings—driven by voters and computer data—thanks to a 21-game unbeaten streak. Flanking that 18-0-3 run, however, were stretches during which the Bobcats were 3-3-1 and 6-4-1, respectively. That last stretch included an overtime loss to a pretty bad Harvard team and a shutout loss to a mediocre Brown squad in last week’s ECAC Hockey semifinals.

Most Recent Quinnipiac Line Chart
Left Wing Center Right Wing Notes
24-Travis St. Denis
10-Connor Jones
15-Kellen Jones
The youngest player on the Bobcats’ roster, sophomore forward Matthew Peca, turns 20 on April 27. The oldest, senior forward Kevin Bui, turns 26 on April 21.
39-Clay Harvey
17-Jeremy Langlois
11-Russ Goodman
12-Bryce Van Brabant
7-Ben Arnt
19-J. Samuels-Thomas
9-Kevin Bui
6-Cory Hibbeler
16-Brooks Robinson
Defense Defense Goalies
3-Zach Davies
27-Zach Tolkinen
33-Eric Hartzell
Canisius goalie Tony Capobianco and Hartzell rank first and second, respectively, in the country in minutes played.
22-Danny Federico
8-Alex Barron
34-Mike Garteig
4-Loren Barron
23-Zack Currie
35-Jacob Meyers

bcNO. 2 SEED BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES
Location: Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Record: 22-11-4 overall (15-9-3 Hockey East, second)
Qualified: At-large bid
NCAA Championships: Five (1949, 2001, 2008, 2010, 2012)
NCAA Appearance: 32nd (most recent, 2012)
Head Coach: Jerry York
Key Players: Johnny Gaudreau, F, So. (34 GP, 20-30—50); Steven Whitney, F, Sr. (37 GP 26-19—45); Michael Matheson, D, Fr. (35 GP, 8-17—25); Parker Milner, G, Sr. (22-10-4, 2.59 GAA, .912 save pct.)

What You Need To Know: The Eagles posted a 14-5-1 record against teams with sub.-500 records and a 8-6-3 mark against opponents with winning records this season. Since Christmas, Boston College’s record against plus-.500 teams is 2-5-2.

Burning Question: Can the defending champions fix the areas that led to their 10-9-3 record following a Dec. 29 win against Alabama-Huntsville at the Mariucci Classic in Minneapolis? Over that 22-game stretch, the Eagles rank tied for 32nd in scoring defense (2.86 goals per game) and have faced 107 opponent power-play chances, more than any team in the country, which explains their lackluster ranking (tied for 36th) since Dec. 29 in power-play goals allowed.

Most Recent Boston College Line Chart
Left Wing Center Right Wing Notes
13-Johnny Gaudreau
24-Bill Arnold
17-Destry Straight
Whitney has scored 17 of his 26 goals since New Year’s Day, tied with North Dakota’s Danny Kristo for the most in the nation during that span.
27-Quinn Smith
11-Pat Mullane
21-Steven Whitney
18-Michael Sit
23-Pat Brown
14-Brooks Dyroff
2-Colin Sullivan
15-Cam Spiro
9-Brendan Silk
Defense Defense Goalies
4-Ted Doherty
6-Pat Wey
35-Parker Milner
The Eagles have never played against any of the three teams joining them in the East Regional this weekend.
5-Michael Matheson
3-Patch Alber
29-Brad Barone
7-Isaac MacLeod
10-Dan Linell

unionNO. 3 SEED UNION DUTCHMEN
Location: Schenectady, N.Y.
Record: 21-12-5 overall (10-8-4 ECAC Hockey, fourth)
Qualified: ECAC Hockey tournament champion
NCAA Championships: None
NCAA Appearance: Third (most recent, 2012)
Head Coach: Rick Bennett
Key Players: Wayne Simpson, F, Sr. (37 GP, 16-17—33); Kyle Bodie, F, Sr. (38 GP, 9-24—33); Greg Coburn, D, Sr. (38 GP, 8-18—26); Troy Grosenick, G, Jr. (16-9-5, 2.06 GAA, .928 save pct.)

What You Need To Know: The Dutchmen were perilously close to missing the NCAA Tournament altogether when Rick Bennett benched, among others, leading scorer Wayne Simpson for the team’s Feb. 23 game at Cornell. The Dutchmen lost that game, but Bennett’s message was received. Since that night, Union has won six in a row (outscoring its opponents, 26-5, during that span) en route to its second straight ECAC Hockey playoff title.

Burning Question: Which Union team will show up in Providence—the one that during a 9-11-4 stretch between Nov. 11 and Feb. 22 ranked 52nd in scoring offense at 2.26 goals per game or the one that’s averaged 4.33 goals per game during its current six-game winning streak? We know the Dutchmen will bring the defense; they’re tied for sixth in the country in scoring defense at 2.08 goals per game.

Most Recent Union Line Chart
Left Wing Center Right Wing Notes
17-Dan Ciampini
12-Kyle Bodie
21-Wayne Simpson
Union is the first team to win consecutive ECAC Hockey playoff titles since St. Lawrence did it in 2000 and 2001.
9-Dan Carr
7-Josh Jooris
19-Matt Wilkins
15-Matt Hatch
18-Max Novak
16-Kevin Sullivan
23-Cole Ikkala
26-Dave Roy
11-Sam Coatta
Defense Defense Goalies
20-Greg Coburn
14-Shayne Gostisbehere
1-Troy Grosenick
Grosenick has allowed a total of five goals in his last five starts, and has a sparkling .966 save percentage during that run.
3-Ryan Forgaard
28-Shawn Stuart
30-Colin Stevens
22-Mat Bodie
24-Sebastien Gingras
31-Dillon Pieri

canisiusNO. 4 SEED CANISIUS GOLDEN GRIFFINS
Location: Buffalo, N.Y.
Record: 19-18-5 overall (12-13-2 Atlantic Hockey, tied for seventh)
Qualified: Atlantic Hockey tournament champions
NCAA Championships: None
NCAA Appearance: First
Head Coach: Dave Smith
Key Players: Kyle Gibbons, F, Jr. (41 GP, 20-22—42); Preston Shupe, F, Sr. (42 GP, 16-12—28); Ben Danford, D, Jr. (42 GP 2-16—18); Tony Capobianco, G, Jr. (18-18-4, 2.35 GAA, .930 save pct.)

What You Need To Know: Prior to advancing to the Atlantic Hockey championship game last week, Canisius hadn’t been to a league tournament final since 1999, the first season of the now defunct Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Burning Question: The Golden Griffins climbed from seven games below .500 to one game above .500 on the strength of an eight-game winning streak fueled by an offensive explosion. Canisius has scored 36 goals in its last eight games, an average of 4.5 goals per game. Can they get that kind of scoring and a typical outing from goaltender Tony Capobianco?

Most Recent Canisius Line Chart
Left Wing Center Right Wing Notes
14-Preston Shupe
94-Matt Grazen
93-Ralph Cuddemi
Gibbons, Canisius’ leading scorer, didn’t pick up his first point until the team’s 10th game of season.
20-Cody Freeman
26-Pat Sullivan
15-Kyle Gibbons
13-Stephen Miller
8-Mitch McCrank
49-Tyler Wiseman
10-Torrey Lindsay
91-Carl Larsson
12-Ryan Bohrer
Defense Defense Goalies
4-Ben Parker
3-Doug Jessey
31-Tony Capobianco
Capobianco leads the nation in starts, minutes played, shots faced, and saves. He’s tied for sixth in the country with four shutouts.
21-Duncan McKellar
16-Ben Danford
33-Keegan Asmundson
27-Logan Roe
5-Stephen Farrell
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