Pepe’s, Sally’s and hockey: The governor's dilemma

When two teams play for a national championship, the governors from their respective states often make bets on who will win, with the loser providing a well-known culinary specialty from their state to the victor.

The usual approach presents a dilemma for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Saturday, when Hamden-based Quinnipiac University and New Haven-based Yale University face off for the NCAA Division 1 national college hockey championship.

The governor’s office is having a little fun with the situation, sending out a press release with the headline: “Gov. Malloy guarantees Connecticut victory in NCAA hockey championship game.”

That’s certainly a safe prediction.

Pepe’s or Sally’s ... or perhaps Modern

Malloy has come up with a solution, based partly on the proximity of the two college campuses.

“The [Quinnipiac] Bobcats and the [Yale] Bulldogs hockey teams have created what is becoming a New Haven-area backyard rivalry the likes of which is becoming on par with the great battle of Sally’s vs. Pepe’s,” Malloy said. “And seeing as it’s become tradition over the years for the governors of the two opposing states who make it to national championship games to make friendly wagers with each other, I’m going to have to make a unique arrangement in this circumstance.

“If Quinnipiac wins, I think I will treat myself to some pizza at Pepe’s, and if Yale wins, I’ll head on over to Sally’s,” Malloy said. “And if after regulation it’s tied, perhaps I’ll take myself to Modern.

"Either way, it’s a win for Connecticut," he said.

Pepe’s and Sally’s are legendary pizzerias in New Haven, and Modern is another pizzeria with a long history and strong following in the Elm City.

‘Center of the college hockey universe’

Malloy is congratulating both the Quinnipiac and the Yale hockey teams on their respective Frozen Four victories last night that made them eligible for the all-Connecticut national championship game. “Saturday night will mark the first time that two teams from the same state played each other in the NCAA hockey championship since 1978,” he said.

The governor said having two teams from this state in the title game has “made Connecticut the center of the college hockey universe."

He said each team’s players and coaches — Quinnipiac’s Rand Pecknold and Yale’s Keith Allain — must "be commended for their impressive victories this season, and I wish them the best in Saturday night’s championship game.”

The championship game will be played in Pittsburgh, Pa., beginning at 7 p.m. It will be broadcast on the national cable-TV sports network, ESPN, which — of course — is based in Connecticut.