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East Regional Preview

Top seed Quinnipiac leads the way in Providence

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The East Regional will take place at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. The two Round of 16 games will take place at 5:30pm EST and 9:00pm EST on Saturday evening. The regional final will take place on Sunday evening at 6pm EST.

Top seed Quinnipiac will meet fourth seed and first time tournament participant Canisius in the first round, and second seed Boston College will take on Union College.

Here's a look at the four teams this will make up this regional.

Quinnipiac University

Head Coach: Rand Pecknold (Connecticut College '90)

Nickname: Bobcats

Location: Hamden, CT

Enrollment: 8,400

At-large berth

Leading Scorers: Sr. Jeremy Langlois (12 goals and 18 assists), Sr. Jordan Samuels-Thomas (14 and 11), So. Matt Peca (11 and 14)

Top Goaltender: Sr. Eric Hartzell (27-6-5, 1.52 GAA, .934 sv. pct)

Rand Pecknold's team struggled down the stretch, comparatively speaking. The Bobcats lost three of their seven games in the month of March. The stigma of playing a weak schedule in the ECAC will carry with them until they can prove otherwise.

Senior goaltender Eric Hartzell, a Hobey Baker Award Finalist, is a big reason the Bobcats have been so successful this season. As the top overall seed, Quinnipiac will almost certainly draw Canisius in the first round. If the Bobcats can take care of business against the Golden Griffins, a much tougher opponent will await for a trip to the Frozen Four on the line.

Canisius College

Nickname: Golden Griffins

Location: Buffalo, NY

Enrollment: 3381

Automatic Bid - Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament Champions

Leading Scorers:

Jr. Kyle Gibbons (20 goals and 22 assists), Sr. Preston Shupe (16 and 12), So. Mitch McCrank (5 and 16), So. Cody Freeman (12 and 8)

Top Goaltender: Jr. Tony Capobianco (18-18-4, 2.35 GAA, .930 sv pct)

Dave Smith's club finished below .500 in conference play and had lost five in a row heading into the month of March. Since then the Golden Griffins have won eight consecutive contests.

Canisius won the AHA Tournament by beating Bentley at home in the first round by scores of 4-0 and 2-1. Their reward was a trip to Colorado Springs to face one of the league's perennial powers in Air Force. Junior goaltender Tony Capobianco stopped 89 of 95 shots on the weekend as Canisius swept the Falcons on the road. Next up was a date with top-seeded Niagara. With the semifinal game tied at three late in the second period, Canisius would score a power play goal with just 20 seconds left in the frame. An insurance goal just 1:58 into the third gave the Golden Griffins some insurance. Kyle Gibbons and Ralph Cuddemi each scored twice as Canisius routed Mercyhurst, 7-2, in the championship game for the school's first AHA Championship and first bid to the NCAA Division I Tournament.

Boston College

Head Coach: Jerry York (Boston College '69)

Nickname: Eagles

Location: Chestnut Hill, MA

Enrollment: 9,110

At-large berth

Leading Scorers: So. Johnny Gaudreau (20 goals and 30 assists), Sr. Steven Whitney (26 goals and 19 assists), Sr. Pat Mullane (16 goals and 27 assists), Jr. Bill Arnold (17 goals and 18 assists)

Top Goaltender: Sr. Parker Milner (22-10-4, 2.59 GAA, .912 sv. pct)

Boston College had an outstanding first half, but slipped some in the second half. The Eagles are always dangerous, but lack the depth they have enjoyed over the past few seasons. Jerry York's team has also been hit by injuries. The key will be for the Eagles to use their top two lines and limit the exposure of the bottom lines.

Johnny Gaudreau, Steven Whitney, Pat Mullane and Bill Arnold are as dangerous as they come up front. Freshman defenseman Michael Matheson is a talented young blue liner.

Union College

Head Coach: Rick Bennett (Providence)

Nickname: Dutchmen

Location: Schenectady, NY

Enrollment: 2,194

Automatic Bid - ECAC Tournament Champions

Leading Scorers: Sr. Wayne Simpson (16 goals and 17 assists), Sr. Kyle Bodie (9 and 24), Jr. Daniel Carr (16 and 14)

Top Goaltender: Jr. Troy Grosenick (16-9-5, 2.06 GAA, .928 sv. pct)

Second year bench boss Rick Bennett has led his team to back-to-back ECAC Tournament Championships. The Dutchmen suffered through a tough stretch midway through the season, but could be peaking at the right time.

Junior goaltender Troy Grosenick is a big part of the team's success. If he is on his game, he can steal a contest or two in the NCAA Tournament. Shayne Gotisbehere, a Philadelphia draft pick, is one of the best offensive defensemen in the nation. The sophomore was on the United States team at the World Junior Championships in January. Mat Bodie is another solid blue liner for the Dutchmen.

(WCH's Jeff Cox also contributed to this post.)