We are little over 2 weeks from the beginning of the 2016 Northern Irish Connections Friendship Four on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th November.
Check out how this year’s four tournament teams got on in their recent action..
Quinnipiac University Bobcats
On Friday the Quinnipiac Bobcats opened ECAC Hockey play with a 5-3 win against Clarkson at Cheel Arena in Potsdam, New York.
The Bobcats benefited from a pair of three-point nights from Tim Clifton and Craig Martin. Clifton had two goals and an assist and Martin dished out three assists. Kevin McKernan scored once and assisted on another goal while Tanner MacMaster and Karlis Cukste also scored for Quinnipiac. In goal, freshman Andrew Shortridge tallied 24 saves to improve to 2-1-0 on the year.
Saturday was a different story as Quinnipiac lost to St. Lawrence, 2-0, in an ECAC Hockey match-up at Appleton Arena in Canton, New York. With the loss, Quinnipiac drops to 5-3-1 overall and 1-1-0 in ECAC Hockey play.
Quinnipiac goalie Chris Truehl took the loss despite a 32-save performance on St. Lawrence’s 34 shots on goal. Truehl turned back the first 24 shots he saw before a Drew Smolcynski breakaway late in the second period. Quinnipiac was 7-for-7 on the penalty kill and have now killed 23 of the last 24 penalties it has been whistled for.
Quinnipiac return home on Friday & Saturday for back-to-back home games against Dartmouth and Harvard.
St. Lawrence University Saints
It was two wins in as many games for St.Lawrence University last weekend over Princeton & Quinnipiac!
Senior defenseman Gavin Bayreuther and junior goaltender Kyle Hayton had record-tying nights as the Saints shut out Princeton 4-0 at Appleton Arena in Canton, N.Y. in its ECAC Hockey opener.
Bayreuther tied Brian McColgan’s 28-year-old record for career goals by a defenseman with his 31st in the second period, while Hayton’s 29-save shutout performance tied Bill Sloan’s 60-year-old record for career shutouts with nine.
On Saturday, Junior Kyle Hayton made 25 saves en route to his record-setting 10th career shutout, as St. Lawrence upset No. 6/7 Quinnipiac 2-0 to complete a weekend sweep of ECAC Hockey opponents at Appleton Arena.
The first goaltender to post back-to-back shutouts since current volunteer goaltender coach Alex Petizian did it on Feb. 27-28, 2009 at RPI and Union, Hayton broke Bill Sloan’s 60-year program record with career shutout number 10 on Saturday night.
The Denver, Colo., native got help from goal scorers Drew Smolcynski and Michael Ederer as well as 19 blocked shots by the Saints in a total team win against the Bobcats.
With the win the Saints improve to 5-4-1 overall and 2-0-0 in conference games. They will now go on the road for two games, facing Union College and Rensselaer this Friday & Saturday.
University of Massachusetts Minutemen
University of Massachusetts hockey battled back from an early 2-0 deficit to earn its first Hockey East point of the season with a hard-fought 2-2 tie against UConn on Friday night at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen trailed 2-0 just 3:10 into the contest, but rallied with goals in the second and third periods.
Next up for UMass is a road game this Friday against Merrimack before travelling back home for a ‘Friendship Four’ clash against Vermont on Saturday.
University of Vermont Catamounts
Vermont lost both weekend games against 2015 Friendship Four champions, UMass Lowell.
C.J. Smith scored a pair of goals to lead sixth-ranked UMass Lowell past Vermont 3-1 on Friday night at Tsongas Center to snap the Catamounts’ four-game unbeaten streak.
Lowell held off Vermont for a 4-2 Hockey East victory on Saturday night at Tsongas Center to sweep a weekend series. UVM dropped to 4-3-1 (1-2-0 HEA), while the River Hawks improved to 6-2-2 (2-0-0 HEA).
Vermont will face UMass this Saturday on the road before a home game on Tuesday against Dartmouth.
NI Connections Friendship Four Tickets
Prices for the 4-Game Weekend Pass, which is the only way to access all four NI Connections Friendship Four tournament games, are on sale now at: Adult – £40, Concession (Student/Over 65s) – £30, Child (16 & Under) – £20 and Family (2 Adults & 2 Kids) – £99. Click here to buy online.
The Weekend Pass is also available for the ‘Super Seats’, Centre Ice on South Side, at: Adult – £50, Concession – £40, Child – £30, Family – £139
Tickets are now on sale for both 7:30pm games on Friday & Saturday, click here for UMass v Vermont on Friday and click here for Saturday’s Friendship Four final game. Tickets for the individual games are on sale at: Adult – £16, Concession – £11, Child – £9, Family – £44.