Thursday, March 27, 2014

Practice day in Bridgeport

Four teams, four practices, four press conferences. Some notes and quotes from a day spent at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.
  • Ticket sales have been swift, but there are still plenty remaining. Vermont, Providence, Union and Quinnipiac all took its allotment of 400 tickets, Union and Quinnipiac asked for more. As of Thursday morning, roughly 6,200 had been sold in a building that seats around 8,500 for hockey. A potential Union-Quinnipiac final would be best case for a packed house on Saturday.
  • ESPN dictates game times, and Bridgeport got the short end of the stick with 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. puck drops on Friday. No question that will affect Friday sales and will certainly keep actual attendance down for the early game Friday.
  • The Union coaching connection in the East Regional is impressive. Rick Bennett took over for Nate Leaman, who took over for Kevin Sneddon. All three are coaching here this weekend. Ben Barr, a former Union assistant, joined Leaman at Providence. Quinnipiac assistant Bill Riga arrived from Union six years ago.
  • Jon Gillies made a season-high 45 saves back in November when Providence played Quinnipiac to a 3-3 tie in Hamden. He said the reason the Bobcats had so many shots was that he left too many rebounds that night. "Quinnipiac is four lines deep," Gillies said. "You have to be aware. Their top two lines have as much skill as anyone in college hockey. Our d-core and our commitment to defense, I think we'll be able to handle them just fine."
  • Vermont assistant Kyle Wallack is familiar with Connecticut hockey. The West Hartford native coached at UConn, Quinnipiac and Yale, including two trips to the East Regional with the Bulldogs in 2009 and 2011.


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