Five Takeaways from the Battle of Whitney Avenue Quarterfinal Series


QBSN Photo by: Anthony Pacheco

Matthew Mugno, Beat Reporter: Quinnipiac Men's Ice Hockey

For a decade the battle of Whitney Avenue has been one side. This remains true after the Quinnipiac Bobcats defeated the Yale Bulldogs in a two-game sweep on Friday and Saturday night. Here are five narratives to take away from the ECAC quarterfinal series.  


1. GQL Line is Metro Boomin’:

The storyline of the 2022-23 Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey season has been the breakout performances of Jacob Quillan, Collin Graf, and Sam Lipkin (GQL).  

Not every player is a playoff performer. It is part of the science of the game. From the specifics of how a player enters the offensive zone, to their habits of reconstructing their DNA every day in practice, and even to what package they bring into the ramped-up environment of a championship run.  

We may not be able to label the GQL line as playoff performers based on a two-game sample, but their skill overtook a Bulldogs team that constantly tried to slow them down in the physicality department.  

The come up: each player has a different game where they break out. The coach unites them and hardly spits up the line as- they begin to dominate their opponents. The ceiling is never high enough.  

Playoffs? No problem. Below, the statline of the three headed monster. 

2. Bulldogs Fumbled the Formula:

The Bulldogs looked like they had the Bobcats right where they wanted them in the first period of action in Game one. 

Yale did not lack in the physicality department. We saw that when they mixed it up and drew penalties out of Quinnipiac.  

It seemed like Game one just got away from them after a weak Metsa chip-in found the back of the net to start the third.   

Game two? Yale fumbled the formula. They had to win in the trenches, the cycle game, and forecheck. Instead, they took penalty after penalty rather than drawing man advantages.  

Glimpses of a winning method waned as the two-game series elapsed.  


3. Ode to the D-Line:

 Yaniv Perets is opening the history books and writing about himself at this point. Perets will always deflect his monumental efforts and credit his teammates. His genuine humility is what will be remembered. 

 The Bobcats Barrier isn’t entirely wrong. A lot of opposing goaltenders, like Luke Pearson who Perets dueled in the quarterfinal series, are often rocking poor records from team play, but steal the show in how well they perform.  

Perets is among the university elite. A notoriously historic five-shot game on Friday certainly allows Perets to stay fresh in the run for the Whitelaw.  

The defense, earning every shift. The way the Bobcats as a team fortify their end of the ice remained consistent all-season an. The d-core allowed 25 shots in 120 minutes of play.  

Perets is all that and a bag of chips, but the defense gets the nod as well for locking it down in their last home stand.  


4. Dog off the Chain-Luke Pearson:

Luke Pearson’s Game 1 performance was the best from a visiting goaltender all season. Name an opportunity he may have faced: he made the save. Graf was constantly cutting in one on four, hitting one-timers and point shot tips, taking on wide open wrap-arounds, cleaning up on rebounds. Sound, and composed.  

Barring Pearson staying in the crease for the 300-year-old research university, the Bulldogs can build from the net out. Pearson forced the Bobcats to pull off all the stops on offense to slot the puck in the net.  

If the Bulldogs recruit well for the 2023-2024 season, they can turn the ship around with a junior Pearson in net.  


5. Desi Burgart’s Health Status:

Burgart started Game 1 on a tear winning puck races and getting involved physically on the forecheck.  

His brand.  

His style. 

 All this for the first time since January 27th against Sacred Heart.  

 In Game 2 of the quarterfinal, he was listed as the extra skater. If he was on the ice during the game, the shift count may have been a one hand count.  

 The graduate’s lingering injury hasn’t necessarily hurt the Bobcats. They have succeeded without him, yes. But wat does this mean the further the Bobcats go? 

 Burgart scored the double overtime winner against St. Lawrence in the ECAC quarterfinal last season. Twenty sevens’ playoff impact is what he does off the puck. It’s like having Mike Lombardi’s twin on the ice in the manner he causes havoc for the opposition.  


We will see his status as an extra or regular skater in the Sem-Final.