ECAC Notebook: Friday
by Avash Kalra/Staff Writer
On Thursday, the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award were announced, and among them were Dartmouth junior forward David Jones and St. Lawrence senior defenseman Drew Bagnall. On Friday, both star players suffered losses in their respective semifinal games, setting up a matchup between arguably the two best players in the league.
Adding to the intrigue is that Jones - despite scoring 42 points, including points in 26 of 31 games played this season heading into Albany - was held scoreless in both regular season meetings against Bagnall and the rest of the Saints defense. St. Lawrence swept the season series, with Bagnall scoring a goal and adding an assist on the game-winner the last time the two squads faced off.
Both are team leaders and will look to motivate their team in a game where the winner could advance to the NCAA tournament.
The last five times the Dartmouth Big Green has advanced to the ECAC Final Four, it has found itself playing on Saturday afternoon for third place instead of Saturday night for the league title.
The routine for coach Bob Gaudet and his team may be getting tiresome, especially after Friday's heartbreaking semifinal loss to Clarkson, giving up the game-winning goal with less than a minute to play.
Earlier in the week, Gaudet commented on what the consolation game can mean.
"Sometimes, it's really really tough to come back and play," said Gaudet. "It's a very emotional time because guys are playing in their last game, and they know it. I'm torn with it. I think that you make a positive out of it if you're in that situation, but you'd rather not be. There's still a lot of pride involved in it."
QUOTES OF THE DAY
"That was probably the biggest thing we put in this week [in practice], but I don't want to comment specifically on what I did because I don't want them to read it and use it next year to adjust to us." — Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold, on developing a strategy to neutralize the St. Lawrence forecheck.
"Two years ago, everyone was talking about what we lost in the University of Vermont. Now, everyone's talking about what we've gained [in Quinnipiac]. They're certainly a team that has distinguished themselves this year, going to the finals in just their second year in the league. They have a great young team, a great young coach, and a wonderful facility. My hat's off to them." — St. Lawrence coach Joe Marsh, praising Rand Pecknold and the Quinnipiac Bobcats.
"I've always felt like their agenda has mirrored our agenda as a coaching staff, from how they conduct themselves off the ice to how they would bounce back from something like this." — Marsh, discussing the leadership on his team.
"We had to fend them off a few times. We got a little lucky a few times, and you have to get lucky sometimes." — Shawn Weller, after he and the Clarkson Golden Knights defeated Dartmouth.
"I thought the guys kind of picked him up tonight. I told him that the reason we got to the next level is because of him." — Clarkson coach George Roll, on his junior goaltender David Leggio, who allowed more than three goals in a game for only the fourth time in 35 appearances this season.
"Nobody's going to feel sorry for us. We're a hockey team. We have to prepare and go out and play. I'm not letting the guys feel sorry for themselves. They're disappointed because they wanted to get a championship, but maybe we'll get a bounce if we keep on working." — Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet, on preparing for Saturday afternoon's consolation tilt against St. Lawrence.
"We play in a great league, and to come up one game short again this year, it's tough to take." — Dartmouth captain Tanner Glass, after losing an ECAC semifinal game for the third time in his Big Green career.