Quinnipiac, local angles in East Regional

We got us a bracket for Friday in Bridgeport in the NCAA East Regional. And of course it involves Union. But it’ll also involve last year’s runner-up.

Union and Quinnipiac are the top two teams in the bracket, third and sixth seeds. Providence joins them, and so does Vermont, bringing in the local boy. Union-UVM play Friday at 2 p.m.; Quinnipiac-Providence at 5:30.

A quick look at the teams:

Union, 28-6-4 (@UnionHockey)
ECAC regular season/playoff champions
You know the Dutchmen. Bridgeport’s their home away from home. They’ve come here three times now in the past four years. We’ve watched Darien’s Kevin Sullivan grow up; he’s a freshman now. There are a couple of other Fairfield County kids on the roster.

Quinnipiac, 24-9-6 (@QUBobcatHockey)
ECAC, 3rd reg. season/playoff semifinals
Last year’s national runner-up. There are some changes; the Bobcats have nine freshmen this year. But they’re not bad. Junior forward Jordan Samuels-Thomas is the lone Connecticut player, from West Hartford. He’ll play at the next level.

Providence, 21-10-6 (@FriarsHockey
Hockey East, 3rd reg. season/playoff semifinals
The Friars get back in, led by sophomore goalie Jon Gillies, a Calgary draft pick and a World Junior gold medallist for Team USA. No locals, technically, but if I remember correctly Derek Army’s grandfather Tom Army either is from Bridgeport or had family here. Hope to see him down here.

Vermont, 20-14-3 (@UVMAthletics
Hockey East, 7th reg. season/playoff quarterfinals
The Catamounts were here the first time the regional was in Bridgeport, and back they come. Junior defenseman Michael Paliotta of Westport is a former National Team Development Program player and a Chicago Blackhawks draft pick.

Michael Fornabaio