The beast of the east will be the Bridgeport regional in 2023. Quinnipiac (ranked third in the polls and second in Pairwise) is the favorite to win this bracket and go to the Frozen Four, although the results of several of these games could be decided by a coin toss.
According to polls and the pairwise, Quinnipiac is most likely the clear favorite to win this regional, but Merrimack shouldn’t be written off. The Warriors are a team that had a strong start to 2022–23, struggled in the spring, but recovered well enough to qualify for the national tournament without receiving an automatic bid.
How to watch Quinnipiac vs. Merrimack Ice Hockey from US & Canada
What: 2023 NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament
Who: Merrimack vs. Quinnipiac (2)
When: Friday, March 24, 2023
Time: 5:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: GamePass
There is a live streaming service that you can access easily to watch the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey – Bridgeport Regional Semifinal if you are unable to see them on television. To access the streaming site just check out GamePass.
The Bobcats’ overall record this season is 30-4-3; their losses have come against Cornell, Maine, and Colgate (twice). Quinnipiac doesn’t have the most difficult schedule in the ECAC, but they have a few impressive wins, including their 6-2 road victory over North Dakota in October. Nonetheless, their defeats by Maine and Colgate may cause some concern.
Collin Graf, a sophomore and Union transfer, has scored 55 points so far this season to lead Quinnipiac. With 37 and 35 points, respectively, first-year Sam Lipkin (an Arizona Coyotes draftee) and fifth-year Ethan De Jong have also drawn attention. The team’s best defenceman has been Zach Metsa. Yaniv Perets, a finalist for the Richter award, has been a tremendous asset in goal this season, earning a.929 save % and 1.52 goals against average across 37 games.
In 2022–2023, Alex Jefferies, a prospect for the Islanders, leads Merrimack with a team-high 27 assists and a team-tied 14 goals. Ottoville Leppanen (RPI), Will Calverly (RIT), Ryan Leibold (Holy Cross), Tristan Crozier (Brown), and Blackhawks prospect Slava Demin (Denver/UMass) were all recruited by the Warriors this offseason through the transfer portal. With the Warriors, this season, Hugo Ollas (NYR) and Zach Borgiel have alternated time in goal.
MERRIMACK VS QUINNIPIAC PREVIEW
The Warriors defeated UMass Lowell 2-1 in double overtime on Friday to advance to the championship game after Merrimack defeated Boston College in the quarterfinals.
In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine College Hockey Poll in December, Merrimack, one of the season’s early surprise teams in college hockey, was placed as high as No. 5 in the nation.
After a 2-8-1 start to the new year, the Warriors recovered and finished strong, including a weekend sweep over Boston University on February 17–18.
The Warriors lost to Notre Dame 4-3 in overtime in Merrimack’s previous NCAA Tournament participation, which was in 2011.
As a mixed Division I/Division II team, the Warriors again advanced to the Division I NCAA Tournament in 1988. In the quarterfinals that year, Lake Superior State defeated Merrimack 8-5.