Quinnipiac Ready for Central New York Showdown
by Seth Rothman
February 13, 2007
HAMDEN — Cornell. Lynah Rink. Sold out.
Those are words that scare every coach in the ECACHL. Cornell’s Lynah Rink is the most intense building in the league. Their fans are the rowdiest in the league — think Crazy Bobcats times about 100, — their building is intimate, and all 4,223 fans that pack the rink in Ithaca, NY are chanting from warm-ups to stick salute.
“I’m certainly concerned about every game that we play, about being prepared,” Quinnipiac Men’s Hockey coach Rand Pecknold said. “You need to be prepared and mentally focused. We’ve struggled with that at times this year.”
Pecknold has watched a team falter slightly in the second half of the season, and he attributes that to competitiveness.
“What I think we need to do as we go into our last four ECACHL games is play a little more consistent. The second half of the year, we’ve been a bit erratic with our competitiveness, and it’s hurt us at times,” Pecknold said.
After the Bobcats’ dissapointing 5-4 loss against Dartmouth in Hamden on Friday, Quinnipiac dropped down to third in the ECACHL. Cornell stands two points behind in 4th, and Colgate is five points behind the Bobcats in 6th place.
It’s the wide open nature of this league, where the difference between 5th place and 12th place is only 6 points that still has the Bobcats wondering if they will even get home ice in the first round.
The Bobcats need only one point in their last 4 games to ensure a home playoff series, but the Bobcats are looking for more.
“If we want a top four seed and a first-round bye, we need to play hard and be competitive. Certainly, it’s a tough road out for us,” Pecknold said. “The four teams that we play are four of the better teams in the league.”
Winning against Cornell could do alot for the Bobcats dreams of a first round bye, and a quarterfinal matchup at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Beating Colgate in a Saturday matinee at Starr Rink in Hamilton, N.Y. will do wonders for the Bobcats chances.
Quinnipiac still controls its own destiny. That’s the good news. The bad news? These last four games of conference play will be four of the toughest the Bobcats will play this season.
“These last 4 games are going to be like playoff games,” Bobcats star forward Ben Nelson said. “That’s how we have to look at it.”