HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Quinnipiac University men’s hockey team is playing in Saturday’s NCAA championship game. 

The Bobcats defeated Michigan in Thursday’s semifinal game to advance to the finals against Minnesota.  

Quinnipiac students are pulling for their team to win its first NCAA championship. 

“I really hope they win. I watched both [semifinal] games. I think we have a pretty good chance,” said Izzy Prosper, a senior at Quinnipiac University. 

“Everyone’s been excited this entire week. Even my teachers are dressing up,” said Justin Zinger, another Qunnipiac University senior. 

Some students even traveled to Tampa. Natalie Carlson and her friends flew from New Haven and rented an Airbnb.  

Quinnipiac University hockey beats Michigan in NCAA semifinals

They plan on attending the championship game after being there for Thursday’s win against Michigan. 

“I was losing my voice screaming so much in the arena. [I was] walking out and saw people in Quinnipiac merchandise just high fiving each other and yelling and being really excited,” Carlson told News 8 via Zoom. “It was a really cool experience.” 

For those who can’t fly to Florida, there are several watch parties across Connecticut.  

Andrew Behm, general manager of Eli’s on Whitney in Hamden, said there were 250 people at Thursday’s semifinal watch party. They’re expecting 400 fans to pack the place for the championship game.  

In fact, the Hamden restaurant stopped taking reservations. It’s first come, first serve. 

“We’ve got staffed reeved up, we’re ready to go,” Behm said. “We just met with the fire marshal to make sure we’re good for capacity restrictions for Saturday. We did a walk through with him, and he gave us the thumbs up sign of approval, so we’re definitely ready to go.” 

They’re also ready to go on the QU campus. 

Quinnipiac University Spokesman John Morgan says they’re expecting a crowd at the student center and safety is top priority. 

“We’ll have extra public safety officers on board, as well as members of the Hamden police department, to make sure that everybody celebrates responsibly,” Morgan said. 

You can watch the championship game April 8 at 8 P.M. on ESPN2.