Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Quinnipiac future schedules will feature more Hockey East

Providence will be at Quinnipiac tomorrow night in a matchup of top 5 teams. I dropped by Hamden this afternoon for an advance story for Wednesday's Register. Here are a few extra notes about future scheduling:
  • Providence is now a regular on Quinnipiac's non-conference schedule, and should be for a while. The schools are interested in increasing their commitments to two games a year. But the Friars got jammed up, and it won't happen until at least 2015-16. "Long run, eventually, it will be a two-game commitment, one at each rink, we might even go Friday-Saturday," Pecknold said. "I'm sure there will be the occasional year that it doesn't work out, but that's the plan."
  • Expect Quinnipiac's non-conference schedule to feature a healthy dose of Hockey East opponents for the next several years. In the past, the Bobcats managed one or two Hockey East opponents most seasons with the holes plugged against Atlantic Hockey foes. In 2012-13, there were three games with Hockey East; this season the number jumped to 8. Pecknold has working agreements with a number of schools that are expected to continue. UConn joins Hockey East next season, and should benefit both programs.
  • Quinnipiac will continue series with Merrimack and UMass-Lowell for at least the next two years "maybe longer." A four-year contract with Northeastern will include two games per season, one at each arena, starting next fall. UConn will also be a staple of the schedule, with one or two game series. "We'll still take the occasional trip out West if we need to," Pecknold said. "But certainly, there's enough good teams in the area."
  • The addition of Northeastern to the schedule next season means Quinnipiac will have played eight of the 12 Hockey East schools (that includes UConn.) The Bobcats have still never faced New Hampshire, Boston College, Notre Dame or Boston University.
  • Quinnipiac is also holding out for an annual all-Connecticut tournament featuring Yale, Sacred Heart and UConn. Tim Taylor, while coaching Yale in 2006, had agreed to make it happen only to be forced out a few weeks later. Three schools are in, and Yale is reportedly considering the idea. But with only seven non-conference games to play with each year, combined with the late start of Ivy League schools, Yale doesn't have the leeway of others. "It's picking up steam," Pecknold said. "I can't speak for the other three schools, but hopefully we can make it happen."
  • On the injury front, Pecknold said only one of his players is definitely out for tomorrow night. He would not specify whom, though it's most likely defenseman Zach Tolkinen, who has been out several weeks already.


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