Thursday, February 17, 2011

Time for another Whitney War

There's no denying the biannual Yale vs. Quinnipiac games are can't miss events in Greater New Haven. Since the long-awaited series finally began in 2006 with the Bobcats admission to ECAC Hockey, the crowds have been huge, the energy palpable and the games, for the most part, outstanding.

Friday's game at the TD Bank Sports Center has been sold out for over a week, and will be broadcast to the state on CPTV. The size of the crowd will actually be a little smaller than in years past because Quinnipiac has cut back the number of standing-room tickets to around 500 to make things more comfortable for fans in all aspects -- from parking to bathroom lines to actually being able to see the game. A crowd of around 3,800 will be announced, down from the mid-4,000 numbers we've seen in Hamden the last few years.

Both teams are excited, of course.

"We're definitely excited to play that game," Yale junior defenseman Nick Jaskowiak. "It's always fun to play in that building."

"There's definitely a buzz around campus," Quinnipiac senior defenseman Zach Hansen said. "You go into class and kids are asking 'are you going to win Friday?' I think our school and students take pride in something like beating Yale."

The Quinnipiac Chronicle, the school's newspaper, went the extra mile this week. Aside from the typical game preview, it used a two-word back page -- "Beat Yale" -- for fans to bring to the rink and flash as a handy sign. It also printed up seven chants, complete with explanations, the student section might want to use Friday. The chants range from the basic: "Beat Yale", "Rondeau, Rondeau" to the tasteless, "No means yes, yes means anal." That last chant is in reference to one used by a Yale fraternity in a You Tube video that caused controversy in October, but that doesn't make it any less offensive and classless.

In case you were wondering, the above photo was from the first Yale-Quinnipiac game at Ingalls Rink in 2006. Reid Cashman, pictured, took a crushing blow into the boards from Yale's Jean-Francois Boucher. Blood poured from the wound and literally puddled on the ice. It was like a crime scene. Gruesome. Cashman had four cuts around his eye, but only missed a shift or two after getting eight quickie stitches in the locker room. It was right around that moment that most realized this series was going to be intense.

Photo credit: Quinnipiac athletics


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