The Quinnipiac Bobcats will meet the St. Lawrence Saints in the 2021 ECAC Hockey Tournament championship on Saturday.
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The game (4 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV anywhere, but anyone in the US can watch Quinnipiac vs St Lawrence live on ESPN+ right here:
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Quinnipiac vs St Lawrence Preview
The Bobcats claimed the ECAC regular season title with a 10-4-4 mark in conference action and went 17-6-4 overall.
With only four ECAC squads competing during the season and three teams in this year’s tournament due to COVID-19, the Bobcats’ place atop the division earned them an automatic berth in the title game.
Quinnipiac’s led by a pair of star seniors: goalie Keith Petruzzelli and forward Odeen Tufto. Both were named top 10 candidates for the Hobey Baker Award on Thursday.
“Keith has been, by far, the backbone of our team,” Tufto said in February, according to CT Insider.
The netminder ranks fourth in the nation in goals-against average (1.78) and ninth in save percentage (.929), and his 4 shutouts are tied for fourth.
“Keith has been great,” Bobcats head coach Rand Pecknold said in February, per CT Insider. “The last two years, he has blossomed into an elite goaltender at the NCAA level. He really reads the play well. He has been great on breakaways and shootouts. He has always been pretty good handling the puck, but I think he has taken a big jump this year. He really makes good decisions on retrievals and that just makes life easier on our D going back to play the puck.
“It’s part of the whole maturation process. He has matured each year for four years. And this year is no different.”
Tufto, the Bobcats’ captain, leads the nation in assists (38) and ranks second in points (44).
“He’s been as a good as any player offensively in a season that I’ve ever had,” Pecknold said recently, according to USCHO. “He’s been absolutely dominant. He’s a weapon for us in all three zones. When I put him on the ice, we have the puck.”
St. Lawrence went just 4-8-2 in conference play and 5-8-3 overall, but the Clarkson Golden Knights pulled out of the tournament, making the Saints the de facto second seed.
They upended the Colgate Raiders 5-4 in overtime on Thursday for the right to square off with Quinnipiac. Sophomore forward Cameron Buhl went five-hole off a feed from behind the net eight minutes into overtime.
“We’re excited. It’s a great opportunity for this group,” St. Lawrence head coach Brent Brekke said, according to College Hockey News. “It’s a special group and tight knit, and they’ll have memories of a lifetime. These are things that are pretty special moments.
“We were extremely proud as a staff. The second period we got on our heels, but we rebounded well. That’s been the group all year long, resilient.”