by Joe Tasca on 04/13/13 at 03:00 PM ET
As a Quinnipiac graduate, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the most important hockey game on tonight's schedule:
Yale and Quinnipiac typically meet on the ice with little more than local bragging rights and the upper hand in the ECAC at stake.
Not so much the next time around.
The two schools separated by all of 10 miles of central Connecticut highway cruised to the NCAA hockey championship on Thursday. Yale edged UMass Lowell 3-2 in overtime in one semifinal, and top-seeded Quinnipiac followed by crushing St. Cloud State 4-1.
The victories set up the fourth showdown between the Bobcats and the Bulldogs since Groundhog Day. Quinnipiac is 3-0 against Yale this season, though it will hardly matter if the Bobcats (30-7-5) can't make it four straight.
It's the first time two-instate rivals have met in the NCAA championship game since 1978. On paper, this game is a huge mismatch. Quinnipiac is the top-ranked team in the country, while 15th-seeded Yale was considered an also-ran going into the tournament. The fact that Quinnipiac owned Yale in the season series further makes this game seem like a mere formality.
The Bulldogs are in the midst of an incredible Cinderella run, having defeated second-ranked Minnesota, third-ranked UMass-Lowell, and eighth-ranked North Dakota en route to the title game. Quinnipiac, on the other hand, has played three of the lowest-seeds in the tournament up to this point.
The stage is set. May the best team win.
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About Tasca's Take
Tasca's Take is written by Joe Tasca. Born and raised in Westerly, Rhode Island, Joe works as a broadcaster for seven radio stations in southern New England. Whether that's a testament to his on-air ability or because he has a desparate need for money is debatable.
Joe spends his summers playing golf, enjoying the beauty of Misquamicut Beach, and wining and dining girls who are easily awed by the mere presence of a radio personality. During the winter months, he can usually be found taking in a hockey game somewhere in North America. In the spring, he spends much of his time in botanical gardens tiptoeing through the tulips, while autumn is a time to frolic with his golden retrievers through piles of his neighbors’ leaves.