By Marty Joseph, QBSN Staff Writer
The men’s ice hockey head coach Rand Pecknold announced juniors Connor Jones, Kellen Jones and Cory Hibbeler have been named assistant captains for the 2012-13 season.
“Connor, Kellen, and Cory epitomize Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey,” Pecknold said. “All three student-athletes display great character on and off the ice. They are excellent students and outstanding players. Along with our captain, Zack Currie, they will lead us in 2012-13.”
Connor led the Bobcats with 41 points on 13 goals and 28 assists and also posted a team-best 12 multiple-point games in 2011-12. Connor was the Bobcats first 40-point scorer since the 2008-09 season. He also earned his way onto the All-ECAC Hockey Third Team, becoming just the fourth Bobcat to do so since the team joined the ECAC seven years ago.
Kellen Jones tallied 36 points on 14 goals and 22 assists in the 2011-12 season. He ranked second on the team in goals and third in assists, as he and his twin brother were the only Bobcats to hit double digits in both goals and assists this past season.
Hibbeler emerged as a key player for the Bobcats both on and off the ice this past season. After originally coming to Quinnipiac as a defenseman, Hibbeler played the entire 2011-12 season as a forward for the Bobcats, adding depth to the team’s top four lines. Hibbeler scored career-high six goals and two assists in his second season with the Bobcats.
By Brian Farrell, QBSN Staff Writer
He is soft-spoken, modest, and holds a 3.74 grade-point average as an athletic training major. He’s a Division I athlete, but don’t let sports stereotypes trick you into thinking he is a runner or a golfer. Zack Currie is in fact the newest captain of Quinnipiac’s men’s ice hockey program.
The junior soon to be senior is the 27th captain in the program’s history and the 12th since becoming a Division I program.
“When we were recruiting him, we loved him as a two-way player,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “He is really good on the penalty kill, has good anticipation and most of all, he has great character.”
Currie first started playing hockey when he was five years old, a somewhat late bloomer for a boy growing up in British Columbia. Like most Canadians though, the love of the game started in the Major Juniors.
“When you are that young, those guys are like heroes to you,” Currie said. “I remember going into the locker room after a game and looking around thinking how great it would be to be able to play like those guys.”
Currie no longer has to daydream about playing hockey at a highly competitive level – he is living it.
After playing three seasons for the Cowichan Valley Capitals in the BCHL, Currie elected to attend school at Quinnipiac University.
“From a young age my parents always preached education first,” Currie said. “I wanted a school with a good hockey program, and I also wanted to go to an academic program where I could come out with something that I could see myself doing for the rest of my life when hockey ends.”
On the ice, the Bobcat defenseman from Victoria, British Columbia has made great strides over the past three seasons to continue to become one of Quinnipiac’s top two-way players.
In his freshman season, Currie was good for five points, one goal and four assists. The following season he doubled his point total and added another for 11 points. Not too shabby for a defenseman whose main goal is to keep it simple.
“I don’t key in on any one thing,” Currie said. “I just stick with the basic things that I know that I can bring to the team and the things I do well.”
Currie’s game got a little more complicated this year when he scored nine goals and pocketed another nine assists.
“I think can bring a solid defensive presence, and I guess this year I brought some offense,” Currie added with a smile. “It’s not something that I key in on with my game – it just kind of came this year, which is a nice surprise.”
In addition to putting points on the board, Currie was one of just five Bobcats that played in all 40 games. Of the five Bobcats that played in all 40 games, four were defensemen.
Defense was a key to the Bobcats’ success throughout the season. QU finished the year ranked as the nation’s 13th best defensive unit and the second best penalty killing squad.
With the defense’s stellar play in mind, it makes sense that the team’s captain for next season is a player like Currie. But Currie still plans to utilize what he learned from his two former captains, Jean-Marc Beaudoin and Scott Zurevinski.
“Jean-Marc was pretty laid back … but he had that aura about him that when he spoke, it was a serious matter. With Zurvy, he was much more vocal guy and in your face … he really stood up for what he believed in and that’s something that I want to carry on.”
Now entering into his senior season, Currie is looking for something neither of his former leaders could capture: a championship.
“It’s game on for next season. It starts right now and we have got a lot of work to do,” Currie said. “We have that championship in mind, and you have to start now.”
By Marty Joseph, QBSN Staff Writer
Seniors Scott Zurevinski and Dan Clarke signed professional contracts and joined teams in the America Hockey League this past week.
Zurevinski, the former captain of the Bobcats, signed with the St. John’s IceCaps, the top affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Winnipeg Jets.
In his four years as a Bobcat, Zurevinski totaled 46 goals and 46 assists for 92 points in 155 career games, placing him fourth in Quinnipiac history. Zurevinski was the seventh junior in Quinnipiac ice hockey history to be named captain and in the 2008-09 season, he was named the program’s Rookie of the Year.
Clarke signed with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the top affiliate of the NHL’s New York Islanders.
Clarke’s best year came as a sophomore in 2009 when he posted a 15-15-2 record with a 2.52 goals against average and a .913 save percentage. He broke the Quinnipiac single-game and ECAC Hockey single-game record with a 73 save performance in a five-overtime victory against Union in the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals. He was named Quinnipiac’s Most Valuable player at the end of his season. In his career, he finished with a 32-32-5 record with a 2.62 GAA and a .902 save percentage. His 32 wins and goals against average both rank third in Quinnipiac’s Division I history while his five career shutouts also rank third all-time.
By Marty Joseph and Mark Spillane, QBSN Staff Writers
#10. RPI Engineers at #1. Union Dutchmen:
The Engineers of Rensselaer head to Schenectady, N.Y. to face-off against their archrival the Union Dutchmen. RPI and Union squared off three times this season with the Dutchmen taking each game, outscoring the Engineers 15-4.
The two-time defending Cleary Cup champion Dutchmen open postseason play as one of the most dangerous teams in the nation. Union has enjoyed tremendous success in 2012, finishing the season on an 11-2-2 tear, outscoring opponents 60-25 in the 15 games. The Dutchmen are among the nations best in both the offensive and defensive zones ranking first in team defense and sixth in team offense. Their offense is one of the most balanced in the nation as well, 12 skaters have recorded at least 10 points for the Dutchmen this season. The team also ranks in the top 15 on the power play and penalty kill.
The Engineers travel to Union loaded with confidence after defeated Clarkson in the first round in what can be considered as the biggest upset of the opening round. RPI’s offense was the story in last weekends upset over the Golden Knights. RPI clearly caught Clarkson off guard in the opening game of their first round series scoring four first period goals. The Engineers head into Union with one series already under their belts and with confidence. Look to see if RPI comes out with the same intensity early on Friday night and take the Union crowd out of the game early as they did last weekend.
Obviously after last season’s disappointing loss in the quarterfinals to 12th seeded Colgate, the Dutchmen are on upset alert again this weekend. RPI already has its legs going after one playoff series and have played well in its last two weekends. Union cannot let the pressure of being the top seed get to it. Last season’s early playoff exit and the changes that took place in the offseason may have been the wake up call the Dutchmen needed.
Kelly Zajac, Jeremy Welsh, and Nolan Julseth-White were leaders on the team last year and experienced the defeat first hand. Now in his first year as the starting goaltender for the Dutchmen, Troy Grosenick has an opportunity to lead Union to taking the next step by advancing to Atlantic City. Grosenick’s play in net is what will make the difference for the Dutchmen. \
As good as Union was all season long, the team was 0-5 in one goal games and failed to win a game that went past regulation. Playoff hockey is completely different than the regular season and goals are few and far to come by no matter the situation. The Dutchmen’s best period all season was the first period, outscoring opponents 53-19 in the opening frame. When they have the lead they need to capitalize on opportunities to extend it and cannot sit back and allow the Engineers to keep it close. Going into the intermission with the lead will be huge for the Dutchmen if they can execute, as the team only lost twice all season when they led after the first or second periods.
Goal scoring is RPI’s biggest key in this series. There is no single player on this team who has carried the offense and the Engineers will need balanced scoring in this series against a team who gives up very few. If RPI fails to convert on its best opportunities, the Dutchmen will run away with this series.
The Engineers need to manufacture as many shots as possible in order for good things to happen. Union was only outshot in four games this season while on the other side of things RPI was 3-13-3 when outshot. Facts prove that RPI will need to throw as many pucks on net as possible and not pass up any chance to do so.
All the pressure is on the Dutchmen to win and move onto the ECAC semifinals, especially after last season’s upset at the hands of Colgate. RPI needs to stick to its game plan and focus on the task at hand one game at a time. As the first round proved, at the end of the day, the better team in the series will move on.
#9. Dartmouth Big Green at #2. Cornell Big Red:
The puck will drop at Lynah Rink in Ithaca, N.Y. when the second seeded Cornell Big Red will play host to the ninth seeded Dartmouth Big Green. The two teams split the season series with each team winning on their home ice by just one goal.
Cornell will head into the series off a bye week with its last two games resulting in a weekend split against Union and RPI. By looking at the names, it would seem obvious that Cornell defeated RPI and fell to Union, but the Big Red actually beat number one seeded Union at home to pull into a first place tie with the Dutchmen before falling to the Engineers of Rensselaer and settling for the second seed.
Dartmouth enters the series on fire after jumping all over the St. Lawrence Saints to sweep its series last weekend. The Big Green entered the final twelve minutes of game one locked in a 3-3 tie with the Saints before exploding for three goals in under five minutes to seal the 6-3 win. In game two, Dartmouth scored twice in the first period and never looked back as it held on for the 4-1 series clinching victory.
A major key for Cornell is to start quickly in these games. Dartmouth is coming in with a lot of momentum, while the Big Red players have not played in nearly two weeks. The Big Green scored first in both games against St. Lawrence, so they have been used to playing with a lead. Cornell must disrupt that by opening each game well.
The other key for Cornell is to get their typically strong play out of Andy Iles. He will have to be his usually self in this series, because if he falters, Dartmouth’s momentum may be enough to carry them.
As important as it will be for Cornell to score early, it is even more crucial for Dartmouth because of the Cornell crowd. The Big Red fans will be out in full force and will certainly make plenty of noise, so the Big Green will be forced to play against not only the Big Red, but the atmosphere as well.
Along with starting quickly, Dartmouth must continue to get scoring from multiple places on the roster, as well as strong goalie play. If the Big Green are forced to adjust their goalie situation it may be too late, and it will need to be an all-hands-on-deck effort offensively to defeat Cornell.
#6. Yale Bulldogs at #3. Harvard Crimson:
The Ivy League rivalry and one of the oldest rivalries in college sports is renewed this weekend. The Bulldogs will travel to Cambridge, Mass. to take on the Crimson in what will be the 236th meeting between the two teams.
The Crimson enjoys most of the success historically with a 138-78-19 record in the all time series and is 30-4-3 at the Bright Hockey Center against the Bulldogs. The Crimson have also taken all six ECAC playoff meetings between the teams, most recently coming in 2007 in a two-game sweep of Yale.
The teams split the season series as Harvard took the first game in Cambridge, 4-3 before Yale answered with a 7-1 victory in New Haven, Conn. Yale’s victory was the last time Harvard lost in ECAC action during the regular season. Harvard closed the season by going 5-1-5 in its final 11 games, securing the third seed in the ECAC tournament. Yale ousted Princeton in the first round and heads into the weekend with only one loss in its last seven games.
The storyline is set between these two teams. The rivalry is one of the best in all college sports, both teams are playing very well, and neither team wants to be eliminated from the tournament by the other. Simply put, it will be the most intense series of the ECAC quarterfinals.
Harvard’s power play needs to stay hot. Heading into the weekend series with Yale, the Crimson are ranked second in the nation on the power play, converting nearly 28 percent of the time. Against a dangerous offensive team in Yale, the power play could be the difference in this series.
The Crimson needs a strong performance in net this weekend, no matter who Coach Ted Donato chooses to go with in the games. Recently we have seen Steve Michalek struggle which opened the door for Raphael Girard. Girard has played well this season with a 3-1-3 record, 2.38 goals against average and a .922 save percentage in 11 games. He allowed three goals in two wins in the final weekend of the regular season to catapult the Crimson into third place in the ECAC. Expect Girard to get the game one start for Harvard, but if he struggles expect Donato to go right back to Michalek as he has done several times this season.
Yale’s offense has been its biggest strength this season, so its key heading into this series will be to tighten up defensively. Junior goaltender Jeff Malcolm needs to step up to shut down the offense of the Crimson especially on the penalty kill.
Special teams will be the difference maker for both teams in this series. Yale is among the top teams in the nation on both the powerplay and penalty kill so expect them to have the special-teams advantage heading into the opening game.
Yale also plays really well with the lead, heading into the third period with the lead this season Yale is a flawless 9-0-0. The Bulldogs will come out on top in this series if they can hold the leads heading into the final period of games.
By Angelique Fiske, QBSN Publishing Editor
March 4, 2012
After a three-game, up and down series, the Quinnipiac men’s hockey team (19-12-6) eliminated Brown University (9-18-5) in a 4-2 victory, sending the Bobcats to Colgate next week for the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals. The Bobcats remain the only team in ECAC Hockey to win a post-season series every year since Quinnipiac joined seven years ago.
The Bobcats showed no hesitations to continue the momentum started in game two. The line of seemingly endless scoring of Kellen and Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) and freshman Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) carried on what it does best – put the puck in the net. This time, Kellen earned the primary point and his 14th goal of the season on a power play only one minute and 16 seconds in to the opening frame, taking a shot from beyond the faceoff circles. Peca earned his 27th assist of the year, tying Connor Jones for the team’s lead.
Bobcat senior Kevin Bui (Edmonton, Alberta) earned his third goal of the season halfway through the first period. After a quick succession of passes from Bryce Van Brabant (Morinville, Alberta) and Mike Dalhuisen (Nymegen, Holland), Bui shot from close-range between the legs of Brown keeper, Michael Clemente. The assists were Van Brabant and Dalhuisen’s third and sixth respectively.
In the name of spreading the wealth, junior Clay Harvey (Gull Lake, Saskatchewan) landed his second of the season after Zack Currie (Victoria, British Columbia) intercepted a pass, gave it off quickly to Spencer Heichman (Yorba Linda, Calif.), leaving Brown’s end of the ice completely unattended. Heichman drew Clemente out to the keeper’s left and sent a quick pass to Harvey who skated to the right, ripping the puck for Quinnipiac’s third of the game.
“It was a nice break for us,” Harvey said of the goal. “We’ve been working hard all weekend.”
Despite having a 3-0 advantage going into the third period, the Bobcats felt pressure from the Bears whose desperate offensive pressure paid dividends to the tune of two goals in a little over a minute.
In the opening minutes of the third period, Brown came out with strong willed on a power play goal by Bobby Farnham. Jeff Buvinow laced a shot from between the faceoff circles and Farnham knocked it by Bobcat net minder Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.).
Matt Harlow, in similar fashion, sent the puck by Hartzell from the same area to bring the score to 3-2, putting pressure on the Bobcat bench.
“As we scored those two goals, we went in a little bit of a lull thinking it is going to be easier than it is,” head coach Rand Pecknold said. “Brown kept coming. I give them credit.”
Regardless, the Bobcat defense came through on the stick and kneepads of Hartzell who earned 35 saves in the game.
“Hartzy is one of the best goalies in the league, so if he sees the puck, he’s going to stop it,” Harvey said.
While the road to the final game victory may not have been the smoothest for the Bobcats, they managed to pull the lesson out of the moments of chaos.
“We can use that to learn how to close teams out when we have them down,” Harvey said.
Even though the game “wasn’t they way [they] drew it on the board,” according to Pecknold, when it comes down to it, the team recognizes that a victory is just that.
“It doesn’t really matter how pretty the wins are as long as they come,” Heichman said.
With the Raiders staring in the eyes of the Bobcats as they look to the next round, Quinnipiac can only hope that the less-than-pretty win is either enough or a thing of the past.
By: Taylor Massey, QBSN Staff Writer
March 3, 2012
The first-game battle against Brown was not the way the Quinnipiac men’s hockey team wanted to start its post-season. The Bobcats looked tired as Brown skated away with the 4-1 victory. Game two was crucial to keep Quinnipiac in the playoffs and the team delivered, taking a 3-0 victory. Junior Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.) posted his fifth career shutout to seal the win and send the Bobcats into a third deciding game.
The Bobcats appeared to be a whole new team tonight with renewed energy. Seconds into the game the crowd was on their its as Reese Rolheiser (Edmonton, Alberta) narrowly missed getting the first goal of the game. Even though it didn’t result in a goal, it gave a spark to the crowd and the team that carried throughout the game.
The first goal came at just two minutes and 11-seconds into the first period from the seemingly unstoppable line of Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) and Connor and Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia). Excellent, on-target passing set Connor up for a perfect power play goal as he easily sent the puck around Brown goalie Michael Clemente. This was the eighth consecutive goal on which Peca tallied an assist and he wasn’t done yet.
“He’s on a little bit of a roll right now” said head coach Rand Pecknold of Peca’s success, “It’s pretty impressive for an 18-year-old to be this good and consistent.”
Quinnipiac achieved its next goal halfway through the first period off the stick of Loren Barron (Glendora, Calif.), his ninth goal of the season. Barron found the puck outside the left face-off circle and fired away. His shot ricocheted off a Brown defenseman and hit the back of the net to give the Bobcats a 2-0 lead. Peca collected his ninth consecutive assist and Kellen nabbed his second of the game.
The second period saw a bit of a lull in scoring as Brown fought back against the aggressive Bobcat offense. Despite the extra pressure, Hartzell continued to make key saves to keep Brown off the board. He made a total of 16 saves throughout the game for the shutout, which was a drastic change from last night.
“Our season was on the line tonight, and so we didn’t really have a choice but to come out full power, and we did that and got the job done” said Hartzell.
Into the third period, Peca finally grabbed his own goal on the power play. His goal was another result of a Brown defender being in the right place for the Bobcats. Peca took a pass from Zack Currie (Victoria, British Columbia) and went straight to the net. His shot bounced off a Brown defender and popped into the goal. Kellen Jones had his third straight assist.
Peca attributed much of his success to his talented line.
“Even when Barron and Currie are on the ice with us, all five of us read off each other well,” Peca said.
The Bobcats also upheld their nationally ranked penalty kill as they shut down both of Brown’s power-play opportunities. They even had a repeat from Friday night’s game by killing a Brown five-on-three advantage. Along with killing Brown’s power plays, the Bobcats capitalized on two of their four power play opportunities.
Quinnipiac and Brown will fight in the deciding game on Sunday at 7 p.m.
By Mark Spillane, QBSN Staff Writer
March 2, 2012
The Brown University Bears defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats, 4-1, Friday night at High Point Solutions Arena in Hamden, Conn. in the first game of a best-of-three-series in the First Round of the ECAC Hockey playoffs.
Play was physical early, that was shown when senior forward Spencer Heichman (Yorba Linda, Calif.) went to the box for elbowing, but the nation’s second best penalty killing unit went to work and kept the game scoreless after eight minutes passed.
After some back and forth play, Quinnipiac got its first power play opportunity when Chris Zaires committed a slashing penalty with 7:42 to play in the first. The Bobcats cashed in when sophomore Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) sent a spinning backhand pass across the crease to junior Zack Currie (Victoria, British Columbia) who shot it top shelf over Mike Clemente’s right shoulder.
The goal was the Bobcats’ sixth power play goal in the last three games, and freshman Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) was given credit for the secondary assist, giving him a helper on a school record seven consecutive Quinnipiac goals.
“We’re just sticking to our game, the power play is playing well and we’re keeping simple and mixing it up at the same time,” Peca said of his great vision of late.
Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Peca’s line has been the only one to score lately, and that bad luck continued a few minutes later when Quinnipiac nearly made it 2-0. Heichman rang a slap shot off the post to Clemente’s right side. The rebound kicked out to Brown, and was cleared away to safety.
The Brown Bears finally netted their first goal with two minutes remaining in the first. With Hartzell screened and unable to see, freshman Kyle Quick received a pass from Zaires, and let a shot fly from just inside the blue line that found the top right corner of the net to knot the score at one.
Quinnipiac then opened the second frame back on its heels and allowed a flurry of shots just over two minutes in, but Hartzell made several impressive pad saves. Just seconds later, Brown went back on the man advantage after junior Zach Tolkinen (Lino Lakes, Minn.) was penalized for hooking. The Bears maintained two minutes of solid pressure, but the Quinnipiac penalty kill came through again.
The Bears came right back and took a 2-1 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the middle period. Ryan Jacobson scored on a two-on-one rush after receiving the pass from Brown’s captain and leading scorer, Jack Maclellan. Matt Lorito was credited with the second assist.
Coach Rand Pecknold was adamant after the game that his team was outworked in the game.
“I am literally shocked,” Pecknold said, continuing by saying his “guys were not ready to play tonight.”
The third and final frame opened the same way the second ended, with intense play and the Bears winning the physical battles. With 13:10 remaining, Maclellan was called for hitting from behind, and sophomore Reese Rolheiser (Edmonton, Alberta) nearly knotted the game at two, but a centering pass went just out of his reach. Despite the good cycling and quality opportunity, the Bobcats failed to convert yet again.
The teams continued to trade quality chances, with none coming to fruition before a boarding penalty was called against Quinnipiac freshman, Bryce Van Brabant (Morinville, Alberta), with 7:15 to play. Halfway through the initial penalty kill, Currie joined Van Brabant in the box for hooking. The second penalty gave the Bears nearly a full minute of a five-on-three advantage, but the Bobcats came through again by killing off both penalties and nearly producing a breakaway for Van Brabant as he exited the penalty box.
The crucial kill appeared to give Quinnipiac a jolt of energy, but Zaires sapped all vitality from the building when he scored his second goal of the night off a rebound from Hartzell. The call was initially reviewed but eventually upheld to give the Bears a 3-1 lead, with Quick and Bobby Farnham getting the assists.
The lack of energy was a problem for Quinnipiac all night.
I think maybe we were a little tired, not that we weren’t competing, but that we were a little tired,” Peca said.
In a desperate attempt to tie the game, the Bobcats pulled Hartzell with two minutes and 27 seconds remaining. Brown then won the faceoff in its own zone, and Jacobson sent the puck down ice where Farnham was able to corral the puck and notch his second goal of the game with the open net to seal the victory for Brown.
Quinnipiac will need a better all around team effort on Saturday if they want to force a game three.
“Tonight four forwards played well, and eight stunk,” Pecknold said.
The Brown victory makes game two on Saturday night a must win for the Bobcats and a possible series clincher for the Bears. The Bobcats will need to find some energy to overcome their lack of hustle and fatigue quickly because the puck will drop at 7 p.m.
By Angelique Fiske, QBSN Publishing Editor
The Heroes Hat game, by the right of rivalries, holds high expectations for unusual plays, freak-show goals, and dramatics of soap opera proportions. Even though scoring was limited to the confines of the second frame and ended in a 2-2 deadlock between the Quinnipiac Bobcats (17-11-6, 9-8-5 ECAC) and the Yale Bulldogs, (13-13-3, 10-10-2 ECAC) the game lived up to the hype in the form of an overtime thriller, backed by the electric crowd that filed in 90-minutes before the puck dropped.
The Bobcats ended the first period with the small remainder of a power play on the clock. As the advantage expired at the beginning of the second period, Yale’s Jesse Root shot out of the penalty box directly into what became a breakaway goal just 29 seconds into the frame.
Junior Loren Barron sought out an equalizer just less than nine minutes later on a power play goal assisted by Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) and Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario).
Barron’s eighth goal of the season, however, did not give the Bobcats the lead for long. Root would net another breakaway goal halfway through the period with help from Clinto Bourbonais. This score came on a shorthanded venture after junior Antoine Laganiere was ejected due to a game misconduct. The ejection resulted in a five-minute major penalty, but it did not stop the Bulldogs from capitalizing.
Before the advantage ended, the line of Kellen and Connor Jones and Peca dug in yet again. Kellen ripped a pass from the far side to a wide-open Connor on the right side of the crease. Connor wristed the puck by Yale’s Nick Maricic for his ninth goal of the year and second in as many days.
In spite of the intensity and a Yale goal that crossed the line just seconds after the game’s final buzzer rang, neither team could force the other to break outside of the middle stanza.
“It certainly wasn’t a perfect game, but I thought we played well tonight,” head coach Rand Pecknold said. “We had a lot of energy in the third.”
The extra pep found in the third is credited in part to the Bobcat fans that filled the stands.
“It’s definitely fun to play in front of,” Connor Jones said. “You get that extra energy from the crowd.”
The spirit of the crowd, however, cannot take credit for Connor and Kellen accounting for four of the six goals Quinnipiac scored this weekend against Brown and Yale.
“It’s a lot to ask of two sophomores, but they carry a lot of the load of the team,” Peca said. “They’re heavily relied on in a lot of situations.”
While Peca gave praise to Connor and Kellen Jones, he himself managed to factor in on all six scores on the weekend.
Personal accolades aside, with the tie, the Bobcats secured the fifth seed in ECAC Hockey. Because both Colgate and Clarkson lost, Quinnipiac could have jumped to fourth with a win, but rather than take the chance and pull the goalie in the final moments of regulation, Pecknold kept his lines as they were.
“I did put a lot of thought into it, but as much as we wanted the bye, I don’t think it’s fair to our fans if we give up an empty-net goal at the end,” Pecknold said of his decision.
Even though Quinnipiac can say it did not surrender its tie for a loss in the name of full offensive press, it still failed to satisfy.
“I feel like we should have won it,” Connor Jones said. “I think everybody feels like we should have won it. It’s nice to get a point, but what we wanted was a victory.”
As the Heroes Hat is now in an objective of the past, the Bobcats can refocus to take on Brown at home in a best-of-three set starting March 2.
“We’re excited and we’re not going to dwell on the fact that we didn’t get a top four spot or anything like that,” Peca said. “We’re just going to prepare like we did every other weekend.”
With the recent game against Brown ending in a 4-1 Quinnipiac victory, the Bobcats, according to Peca, have a certain level of confidence against its opponent. This is something Quinnipiac hopes can generate enough power to push it through to the next round of the playoffs.
By Marty Joseph, QBSN Staff Writer
February 24, 2012
The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team defeated Brown, 4-1, on Senior Night at the High Point Solutions Arena at TD Bank Sports Center. Three power play goals in the third period proved to be the difference as Quinnipiac (17-11-5, 9-8-4) broke away from Brown (8-16-4, 5-13-3) in what was a highly physical contest.
Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) and Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) led the Bobcats with four points each as the team netted four un-answered goals including three in the final period. Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) and Zach Tolkinen (Lino Lakes, Minn.) also each had a goal and an assist for Quinnipiac.
The first period consisted of quality back and forth action for both teams, but the game remained scoreless through one period of play. The Bobcats outshot the Bears 17-10 in the first period.
Brown was able to break through on the score sheet, netting the first goal of the game one second shy of twelve minutes into of the second period. Sophomore Garnet Hathaway was standing in front of the net when freshman Massimo Lamacchia shot the puck over the net and off the glass behind Dan Clarke (Belleville, Ontario). The puck bounced off the glass and came back out in front, where Hathaway jammed it into the net for the goal.
The Bobcats answered four and a half minutes later when Tolkinen ripped a wrist shot past Brown goaltender Marco De Filippo. Tolkinen’s goal was assisted Kellen Jones and Peca, capping off a shift that contained tremendous offensive pressure for the Bobcats.
The teams went into the third period tied, 1-1, and Brown came out strong in the final frame. The turning point of the game came halfway through the third. Brown forced Quinnipiac to take an icing, resulting in an offensive zone face-off for the Bears who had the Bobcats on the ropes.
Following the puck drop Brown’s Hathaway took an interference penalty to put the Bobcats on the powerplay. Forty-seven seconds later, Dennis Robertson was called for slashing, and the team was also given a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct that resulted in Brown head coach Brendan Whittet being ejected from the game.
With a five-on-three advantage, Kellen Jones put the Bobcats up 2-1 after one-timing a pass from his brother, Connor by De Filippo for the goal. Still on the two man advantage, the Bobcats went up 3-1 this time Kellen setting up Connor for the goal. The goals came just 59-seconds apart with Peca also assisting on both goals.
Kellen put the icing on the cake for the Bobcats with his second goal of the game also coming on the powerplay. Kellen wristed a shot by De Filippo from the blue line with assists from Tolkinen and Peca.
“The first one on the five-on-three there was a great play by Connor to get me the puck, and I just wanted to squeeze it by the goalie,” said Kellen Jones about his two goals. “Second one I just wanted to get the puck to the net, and there was a great screen in front, so I didn’t have to do too much work to get that.”
Clarke made 20 saves for the win while De Filippo stopped 44 shots in a losing effort.
Head coach Rand Pecknold decision to start Clarke was no question.
“It was senior night, and he’s had a great four years for us and I didn’t even hesitate, it was his game and I knew he would play well tonight and he had a great game.”
The Bobcats wrap up the regular season schedule tomorrow night at 7 p.m. when the team hosts the Yale Bulldogs at the High Point Solutions Arena. The game marks the 10th anniversary of the Heroes Hat Championship.
By Mark Spillane, QBSN Staff Writer
February 4, 2012
One night after relinquishing a two lead goal to fall to Harvard 6-3, the Quinnipiac Bobcats men’s ice hockey team defeated the Dartmouth Big Green 2-1 tonight in Hamden in a pivotal ECAC matchup for both teams. The win improves Quinnipiac’s record to 14-9-5 (6-6-5 ECAC), while Dartmouth falls to 9-10-4 (6-7-3 ECAC).
Senior Dan Clarke (Belleville, Ontario) got the start in net and played tremendously well, stopping 32 of 33 shots to earn his first victory since Dec. 9 against Sacred Heart.
Sophomore Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) got the scoring started just over two minutes in to the first period, when he received a pass from junior Zach Davies (Smithers, British Columbia) and sent his wrist shot through the legs of Dartmouth goalie Jody O’Neill to give Quinnipiac the 1-0 lead.
After a Dartmouth penalty for hitting after the whistle, the Bobcats expanded their lead about five minutes later with a power play goal by junior Ben Arnt (Oakdale, Minn.). Senior Yuri Bouharevich (Montreal, Quebec), and Davies were credited with the assists, as Arnt knocked in the open rebound chance from the right side of the net.
Quinnipiac then committed a penalty of its own, as Connor Jones was sent to the box for holding with just over eleven minutes remaining in the first frame. The Big Green nearly netted their first goal on the ensuing power play when the puck was knocked behind Clarke, but after a further review the no goal call was upheld.
The score remained 2-0 after one, but Dartmouth’s Brandon McNally nearly scored by hitting the crossbar on a wrist shot over Clarke’s left shoulder just under three minutes into the period.
Neither team gained control over the next several minutes, and the Bobcats nearly extended their lead when Connor Jones found himself all alone in front of the Dartmouth net, but O’Neill made a strong save to keep the score 2-0.
O’Neill then faced and stopped a flurry of shots from the Bobcats, before the loose puck kicked away to Dartmouth junior Mark Goggin (Glen Ellyn, Ill.). Goggin then went on a breakaway before being tripped and brought down by Davies. A rare penalty shot was called and Goggin tried to shoot for the top right corner, but Clarke made a fantastic glove save, causing the home crowd of 3,208 to roar at High Point Solutions arena.
Some very physical play persisted and each team was assessed a two minute minor penalty, forcing the teams to skate four-on-four for a few minutes before the Bobcats were given another man advantage when senior Connor Goggin was penalized for slashing. Though Quinnipiac failed to convert on the opportunity, it took control of the game by outshooting the Big Green 17-to-8 in the period.
The third stanza opened with the Bobcats still leading 2-0, and following a cross-checking penalty on Dartmouth senior captain Mike Keenan, Quinnipiac went back on the power play, but were once again unable to convert, allowing the Big Green to remain within striking distance.
Following a Connor Jones penalty for roughing with 14 minutes and 41 seconds to play, Dartmouth had its own chance with the man advantage, but the Bobcats used their nationally third ranked penalty kill and several key saves from Clarke to protect the two-goal lead.
With just fewer seven minutes remaining, the Bobcats nearly put the finishing touches on the win, when Bouharevich skated behind the net and was nearly able to finish a wraparound attempt. The Big Green quickly responded when freshman Jesse Beamish’s shot was redirected by sophomore Eric Robinson past Clarke for a goal. Sophomore Taylor Boldt’s received credit for the secondary assist, as Quinnipiac’s lead was cut to just one.
Dartmouth pulled O’Neill for the extra attacker with one minute and 18 seconds to play, but the Bobcats were able to sustain the Big Green pressure and hold on for the 2-1 victory. The physical contest ended with emotions running high among both clubs, and a shoving match behind the Quinnipiac net. However, the Bobcats will certainly trade the physicality in the final seconds for the all-important two points.
The Bobcats continue their ECAC play when they travel to St. Lawrence on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m.
By: Taylor Massey QBSN Staff Writer
February 3, 2012
After 20 days without a game the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team (13-8-5, 5-5-4 ECAC) returned to a roaring crowd at the TD Bank sports Center this Friday night. After a strong start the Bobcats slowly fell 6-3 to the Harvard Crimson (6-6-9, 5-4-7 ECAC) in an ECAC match-up.
The first period started out with a bang for the Bobcats as they scored two back-to-back goals in the first four minutes of play.
The first came just two minutes into the period when junior Jeremy Langlois (Tempe, Ariz.) caught the rebound of a shot by freshman Bryce Van Brabant (Morinville, Alberta). Thinking he had the save, Harvard goalie Steve Michalek stood in search for the puck, and in doing so, caused it to cross the line for the goal.
The second goal came a short minute and a half later off the stick of sophomore Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia). Following a blocked attempt by sophomore Zach Tolkinen (Lino Lakes, Minn.) freshman Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) picked up the rebound and sent it over to Jones. Jones charged forward and fired into the upper left corner of the net.
Harvard finally made it onto the board with five minutes remaining in the period. Marshall Everson tapped the puck in after a bounce off Eric Hartzell’s (White Bear Lake, Minn.) pads. The assist was credited to Patrick McNally.
Quinnipiac came right back with a power-play goal by junior Loren Barron (Glendora, Calif.) and Peca with his second assist of the game in the last 30 seconds of the period. The first period came to an end with the Bobcats in the lead 3-1.
After letting three goals pass, Harvard decided to pull Michalek from goal and replace him with Raphael Girard. This proved to be a smart move as the Crimson made a stunning comeback.
Late in the period Harvard took their turn at back-to-back goals. In only twenty seconds, Harvard went from trailing by two to tying the game.
Following a struggle in front of the net, a pass to Harvard’s Eric Kroshus left him with a wide-open shot that he took full advantage of. Colin Blackwell and Luke Greiner were awarded the assists.
Seconds later, Harvard tied up the game with a miraculous shot by Danny Biega. Hartzell seemed to have to puck in his glove, but it slipped over the edge and into the net.
Harvard entered the final period with a noticeable boost from its late come back goals. They used their renewed energy to slide into the lead with a goal by Greiner. With the score standing at 4-3, Hartzell was replaced with senior goalie Dan Clarke (Belleville, Ontario).
With two minutes remaining Quinnipiac opted to pull Clarke from the goal and add a sixth man on the ice.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to lead them to a win. Biega sealed the fate of the Crimson with the game-winning goal from across the ice with 17.9 seconds left in the game, for the final score of 6-3.
Already looking toward the future, senior captain Scott Zurevinski said, “Obviously there’s not a lot of time left in the season. We’re a good team and we know it. We just have to move on.”
Quinnipiac returns to the ice tomorrow, Feb. 4 to take on Dartmouth in another ECAC match-up.
By Angelique Fiske, QBSN Web-Editor
The Quinnipiac community mourns the loss of former ice men’s hockey head coach Jim Armstrong who passed away on January 21 at the age of 68. Armstrong was at the helm of the Bobcats for 14 years, spanning the entirety of the 80s until 1994. A Peterborough, Ontario native, Armstrong had been living in Hamden for over 40 years.
“The entire Quinnipiac University community wishes Coach Armstrong’s family our deepest sympathies. For 14 years, Coach Armstrong’s coaching and leadership put Quinnipiac in an excellent position to transition our men’s hockey program to the NCAA Division I level and ECAC Hockey,” said Director of Athletics and Recreation Jack McDonald. “We are all very grateful for everything that Coach Armstrong has done for our student-athletes and Quinnipiac University.”
Under Armstrong, the Bobcats held a record of 140-183-8. In the process of triple-figured wins, Armstrong’s teams broke the program’s record of goals-scored in a season in four different seasons. The first team broke the record with 129 goals in 1981-82, but by the 1986-87 season, the record was shattered at 186 goals on the season that remained intact until the 1999-2000 season. The same year, the Bobcats won 22 games, also breaking a program record.
“Jim was a great coach that I was privileged to follow here at Quinnipiac,” current head coach Rand Pecknold said. “His work helped make Quinnipiac hockey what it is today. He will be greatly missed.”
Before his coaching days in Hamden, Armstrong spent 1963-74 playing for the Seattle Totems and the Salt Lake Golden Eagles in the Western Hockey League, the Toledo Blades and Saginaw Gears in the International Hockey League, and the New Haven Blades, Long Island Ducks and Rhode Island Eagles in the Eastern Hockey League.
Aside from his achievements on the ice, Armstrong is remembered for his kind disposition that extended beyond the rink.
“All of us who played for him had such admiration for his warmth, kindness and concern for us as people,” said Michael Barrett, a former Bobcat captain (1981-85). “His love and bond for his family was just so strong, and he treated all of us, his former players, the same way. Today, we lost a great coach, colleague, father figure, friend, husband, father and grandfather.”
By Angelique Fiske, QBSN Web-Editor
January 13, 2012
The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team (12-8-5, 4-5-4 ECAC) lost to No. 9 nationally ranked Cornell (10-4-2, 7-1-1 ECAC) Friday night in Hamden, 3-2, despite holding a one-goal advantage heading into the final period. The Bobcats surrendered their lead on two short-handed, third period goals. Even though the Bobcats fell to the first place team in the ECAC, they remain tied in second place with Colgate, after it lost on the road at Princeton, 6-2.
Cornell opened up the scoring when Locke Jillson put the puck past Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.) in the first period for his third of the season. Cole Bardreau and Dustin Mowrey were credited with their third and fourth helpers respectively.
As the seconds winded down in the first period, junior Jeremy Langlois (Tempe, Ariz.) netted his team-leading 13th goal of the season to level the playing field going into the second period with help from seniors Spencer Heichman (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Mike Glaicar (Kamloops, British Columbia).
Sophomores Kellen and Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) set junior Zack Currie (Victoria, British Columbia) up in the second period for the one shining moment of the Bobcats’ special teams – a power play goal. Currie followed up Kellen’s initial shot and put it past Cornell’s keeper, Andy Iles for the lead.
This lead, however, barely made it into the final frame as Cornell came out with a vengeance, even when the odds were stacked against them. Just over two minutes into the third period and again ten minutes later, the Big Red managed two short-handed goals, the first coming on a breakaway by Sean Collins. Joel Lowry scored the second goal that took the Bobcats out of the game. Collins earned his second point of the period on the assist, and Braden Birch also earned a point of his own.
“We’ve got to play better defense than that,” head coach Rand Pecknold said of the third period performance.
In spite of the final score, Quinnipiac outshot Cornell, 33-16. The Bobcats’ inability to convert was in large part thanks to Iles, who managed 31 saves.
“If you’ve got a goalie like that, you’re going to win a lot of hockey games,” Pecknold said.
Quinnipiac has another chance to prove itself in the ECAC as the very team it is tied with in the standings, Colgate, comes to Hamden, Saturday at 4 p.m.
By Mark Spillane, QBSN Staff Writer
January 6, 2012
On Friday night it was the Quinnipiac Bobcats, not the Yale Bulldogs that looked as though they were the No. 20 ranked team in the nation when they defeated their rivals 2-1 at Ingalls Rink in New Haven, Connecticut.
Junior defensemen Loren Barron (Glendora, Calif.) and senior forward Kevin Bui (Edmonton, Alberta) led the way with a goal apiece, as junior net-minder Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.) turned away 24 of the 25 shots he faced to secure the victory.
The Bulldog’s only goal came from their senior captain Brian O’Neill.
The victory helps the Bobcats improve to 12-7-4 overall and 4-4-3 in ECAC play while the loss drops Yale’s overall record to 7-6-1 and 4-3-0 in conference. The Bobcats remain in third place in the ECAC, but the race to the top of the conference is tight. Quinnipiac now sits just two points back of first place Cornell and one point behind Colgate in second place. Yale remains five points back, tied for fifth place with Clarkson, each with eight points.
The Bobcats came out strong, and Bui got the scoring started with just over a minute and a half remaining in the first period when he found the back of the net after receiving a pass from junior Zack Currie (Victoria, British Columbia). Quinnipiac used the momentum of the first goal to open the second period with a lot of energy, and the effort was rewarded just one minute and five seconds into the frame. With the Bobcats on the power play, Currie set it up again, this time for Barron who knocked it in for his fifth goal of the season.
The Bobcats kept the pressure on and almost expanded their lead to three when sophomore Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) hit the pipe with approximately eight minutes and 30 seconds remaining in the middle frame. The game remained evenly contested for the rest of the period, and no goals were scored.
After a few scoreless minutes passed in the third and final stanza, Quinnipiac appeared to be playing things a bit more conservatively than earlier in the game. Yale capitalized as sophomore Kenny Agostino set up O’Neill for a backhand goal just over eight minutes into the period. Hartzell made several key saves in the ensuing minutes and had a little bit of luck on his side as well. With just over eight minutes remaining in the game, Agostino fired a shot that rang off the post and slid out of harm’s way for the Bobcats.
Agostino’s near goal is the closest the Bulldogs would ever come to tying the game, as Quinnipiac held off Yale’s six on five effort for the final 44 seconds to get the win. The shots in the game were even at 25, but the Bobcats managed to get two past junior Jeff Malcolm while Hartzell stopped all but one to earn his sixth victory of the season.
The Bobcats get back out onto the ice tomorrow night, Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. on the road against the Brown Bears in another ECAC showdown, while Yale returns to action tomorrow night as well at home against the Princeton Tigers.
By Angelique Fiske, QBSN Web-Editor
Sophomore John Dunbar of the men’s ice hockey team has left Quinnipiac to return to the Alberta Junior Hockey League as a member of the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. A statement by the Quinnipiac Sports Information Department, headed by Ken Sweeten, revealed that Dunbar left the Bobcats “for personal reasons.”
Dunbar is no stranger to the Alberta Junior Hockey League, having played for the Calgary Canucks previous to his days as a Bobcat. Dunbar participated in his first full practice with the Oil Barons on Thursday and is expected to play in the weekend series against the Sherwood Park Crusaders, according to Fort McMurray Today.
Dunbar notched two goals and four assists in 21 games played for the Bobcats this season.
By Kevin Noonan, QBSN Staff Writer
December 31, 2011
The undefeated month of December is over for the Quinnipiac Bobcats. The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team lost to the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 4-1 in the series finale. This marks the Mavericks first ever victory against the Bobcats. Quinnipiac drops its record to 11-7-4 overall while Nebraska-Omaha improves to 10-8-4.
Quinnipiac had not lost since Nov. 19 at Cornell before the loss in front of a crowd of 6,034 at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha.
The Bobcats played from behind for most of the afternoon while struggling to get many shots on goal for the second time in as many days. Although they outshot the Mavericks 26-23, it is still tied for their second lowest shot total of the season. The previous night Quinnipiac recorded its lowest number of shots in a game with 22.
Nebraska-Omaha took its first lead of the series early in the game with a power play goal by Jayson Megna coming less than two minutes into action. Megna’s one-timer was a product of a cross-ice pass from teammate Bryce Aneloski, who earned his ninth assist of the year. Terry Broadhurst also received his ninth assist of the season
Quinnipiac tied the game in the latter stages of the first period. Junior Zack Currie (Victoria, British Columbia) also recorded a power play goal of his own at the 15:47 mark. Currie received a pass from sophomore Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) off the face-off for his fifth goal of the season. Jones got his 14th assist of the season on the goal
The Mavericks took the lead for good with one minute remaining in the first period when Brent Gwidt one-timed a shot passed Quinnipiac junior goaltender Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.) for hisfifth goal. Johnnie Searfoss notched his eighth assist on the goal when he took the puck down the right side of the ice and passed it across the ice to Gwidt.
Nebraska-Omaha added insurance to their lead in the second period with a short-handed goal off the stick of Matt White. Jayson Megna recorded his 13th assist by stealing the puck from Quinnipiac and passing up the ice to White. White beat Hartzell in the one-on-one situation for his 10th goal of the season
With Quinnipiac trailing 3-1 in the final stages of the game, the Bobcats pulled their net minder to try a quick offensive attack. Johnnie Searfoss scored an empty net goal for his second of the season. Brent Gwidt and Jayson Megna were each credited with assists, their fifth and 14th, respectively.
Hartzell stopped 20 of 23 shots in the losing effort, while Maverick goaltender Ryan Massa recorded 25 saves on 26 shots to earn the victory.
Both teams spent plenty of time on the power play throughout the game. Quinnipiac recorded 10 penalties, tallying 34 minutes while Nebraska-Omaha got nine penalties for 26 penalty minutes.
The Bobcats return to action next Friday, Jan. 6 with an ECAC rivalry game vs. the Yale Bulldogs at 7:00 p.m.
By Kevin Noonan, QBSN Staff Writer
December 30, 2011
The Quinnipiac Bobcats tied the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 2-2 in overtime Friday night to remain undefeated in the month of December. It’s the first of a two game series between the teams on the weekend.
Playing in front of 9,117 at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb., the Bobcats and Mavericks traded goals throughout regulation before ending the overtime game tied at two. The Bobcats gave up the game-tying goal at the 11:42 mark in the third period of regulation.
Quinnipiac had all of its offensive weapons back in action in the contest with the return of both Connor and Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) to the lineup. Despite their return, Nebraska-Omaha outshot Quinnipiac, 36-22. It was the lowest shot total on the season for the Bobcats, with the previous low being 26 against Harvard on Nov. 5.
The first goal for the Bobcats came off the stick of junior Russell Goodman (Saskatoon, Sask.) halfway through the first period. Junior Jeremy Langlois (Tempe, Ariz.) had beaten two Maverick defenders before being tripped up and making a no-look pass from the seat of his pants to Goodman. The goal was Goodman’s third of the season, with Langlois getting his eighth assist and junior Ben Arnt (Oakdale, Minn.) notching his fourth.
At the 16:04 mark of the first period, the Mavericks tied the game up with a goal of their own. Brent Gwidt received a centering pass from Johnnie Searfoss. Gwidt’s goal was his fourth of the season, while Searfoss was credited with his seventh assist.
The game remained scoreless until 19:04 into the second period when the Bobcats regained the lead with a goal from senior Yuri Bouharevich (Montreal, Quebec). Kellen played the puck up the ice to brother, Connor. Bouharevich wristed the cross-ice pass from Connor to score his fifth goal of the season. Connor was awarded his 13th assist and Kellen got his 10th.
Nebraska-Omaha was unable to retaliate until 11:42 had been played in the third period, where they tied the game for good on Ryan Walter’s seventh goal of the season. Zahn Raubenheimer’s initial shot was deflected by Bobcat junior goaltender Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.). The rebound went straight back to Walters, who beat Hartzell with his shot.
Both Quinnipiac and Nebraska-Omaha had many good opportunities to win the game in overtime, but neither side was able to capitalize.
Hartzell stopped 34 of the 36 shots he faced in the game, while counterpart John Faulkner stopped 20 of the 22 shots from the Bobcats.
Quinnipiac recorded its fourth tie of the season, although the Bobcats have not won a game in overtime. The Bobcats are now 0-1-4 in overtime on the 2011-2012 season.
Quinnipiac’s record is now 11-6-4 overall, with Nebraska-Omaha’s record at 9-8-4. The weekend series concludes Dec. 31 for a New Year’s Eve showdown with the puck dropping at 3:37 p.m. (EST).
By Marty Joseph, QBSN Staff Writer
Preview of Second Half:
The Bobcats get back into action on Dec. 30 and 31with a two-game set at Nebraska-Omaha. ECAC actions starts back up on Jan. 6 with a huge match-up against rival Yale. The Bulldogs have been talked about as the biggest disappointment in the ECAC to this point, so look for it to be a statement game for both teams.
The Bobcats need to continue their home-ice success in a four-game home stand that brings Cornell, Colgate, Harvard and Dartmouth to High Point Solutions Rink in late January and early February. The home stand could turn around the team’s season in the ECAC and allow the team to move up in the Conference. Following the home stand, the Bobcats travel to St. Lawrence, Clarkson, Rensselaer and Union in mid-February for their final road trip of the regular season. The stretch could make or break the Bobcats’ season, but look for the team to be motivated heading into the road trip.
The Bobcats wrap-up regular-season play with a pair of games on Feb. 24 and 25 as they host Brown and Yale. The High Point Solutions Rink will be packed on that Saturday in the game against Yale for the 10th Anniversary of the Heroes Hat Championship. The game marks the sixth time the Bobcats and the Bulldogs will battle for the Championship. The Bobcats have won eight of nine Heroes Hat Championships, but look for revenge from last year’s 6-1 loss to Yale in the game.
What Needs to Be Continued:
The obvious strength of the Bobcats thus far has been the team’s play at High Point Solutions Rink. The team owns an 8-1-2 record on home ice which makes them the most dominant team at home in the ECAC. The Bobcats have been a dominant team in the first period of games all season long, out-scoring opponents 27-7 in the opening frame, and they own a 10-1-2 record when leading after the first period.
The team needs to continue its dominance in the shot category. Out-shooting opponents 737-445 this season gives the Bobcats one of the top offensive attacks in the nation in the category. One of the most underrated statistics the Bobcats have succeeded with this season is the team’s ability to kill penalties. The team has killed 89.4 percent of its penalties, which ranks the team fifth in the nation.
The Bobcats need their top players to continue to contribute the way they have been. Jeremy Langlois (Tempe, Ariz.) leads the team with 12 goals and 19 points; the tandem of Connor and Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) rank second and fifth respectively on the team with 17 and 14 points, and goaltender Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.) has been on one of the most dominant streaks in his career. Hartzell has gone eight consecutive starts holding the opposition to two or fewer goals and is currently ranked among the top goaltenders in the nation with a .911 save percentage and 2.02 goals against average. Look for these players to continue their play in the second half for the Bobcats.
What Needs to Be Improved:
ECAC Conference play is first on the agenda if the team looks to be in the discussion as one of the threats to win the Conference. The Bobcats did not play well in conference games during the month of November posting a 1-4-2 record, as goal scoring was the clear problem during the entire month. The team got it together in December posting a 2-0-1 record in the ECAC and owns the third seed in the conference but a sub .500 record in the ECAC is not where the Bobcats would like to be at the end of the season.
Sixty-minute efforts in games have been a small problem for the Bobcats as well. Jumping out to big leads is what the team has been doing all season, but recently the team has allowed opponents to get back into games. The team held a 2-0 lead against Union, but was unable to hold off the Dutchmen and the game resulted in a 2-2 tie. In their final game before the break, the Bobcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead against Princeton and barely hung on for a 3-2 win. It hasn’t killed the Bobcats to this point, but look for the Bobcats to improve upon sustaining leads in games and not allowing opponents to get back into games in which the Bobcats own big leads during.
Struggling to score goals was the biggest reason for the Bobcats slump during the month of November. Recently it has looked like the team has solved the problem rolling into the break with a 4-0-1 record in its past five games. The Bobcats need to come out of the break focused on getting back to offensive force they were in October with key ECAC games in the month of January.
By Marty Joseph, QBSN Staff Writer
Recap of First Half:
The story of the Bobcats’ first half (11-6-3, 3-4-3) can be told simply as two streaks book-ending a slump. The team jumped out to a 7-2-0 start and was ranked No. 19 in the USCHO.com National Poll on Oct. 31, 2011. A five-game October winning streak was highlighted by wins at Ohio State and home blowouts against Canisius and Bentley. Despite October success, the Bobcats struggled in the month of November.
The team started ECAC Conference play on Nov. 1 with a 5-2 victory at Princeton but failed to get a win in conference play for the rest of the month. Goal scoring was the team’s greatest success in the month of October but the team’s Achilles’ heel in November. In a key stretch of conference games against Clarkson, St. Lawrence, Colgate, and Cornell, the Bobcats could only net two goals despite strong offensive efforts in the shot department.
The Bobcats stuck to their game plan going into a pivotal non-conference game against Massachusetts and were able to jump out to a four-goal lead and hang on for a 4-2 win.
“We knew we haven’t been scoring many goals as of late and I think we just needed one to get in for us and we just started rolling,” said sophomore Connor Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) of the team’s play following the game saying. “Getting those two goals in early was something we haven’t done all year and it gave us a bunch of confidence.”
The confidence Jones spoke about seemed to slowly come back to the team as the month of December rolled around, as the Bobcats closed out the first half of the season with a five game point streak going 4-0-1 down the stretch. As well as the win against UMass, the Bobcats tied nationally ranked Union before rolling off three straight wins against Rensselaer, Sacred Heart, and Princeton. Despite a slow start in conference play, the Bobcats sit in third place currently in the ECAC going into the break.
Forwards Scott Zurevinski (Saskatoon, Sask.) and Yuri Bouharevich (Montreal, Que.) both go into the break riding multi-game point streaks. Zurevinski has a four-game point streak in which he has recorded two goals and three assists. Bouharevich has a five-game point streak in which he has recorded two goals and five assists, including a game-winning goal against Rensselaer with 2.4 seconds remaining in the contest.
Goaltender Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.) is playing as well as any other time in his career of late. Hartzell has gone eight straight starts holding opponents to two or fewer goals in every start. Hartzell has posted a 3-2-3 record with
By Angelique Fiske, QBSN Web-Editor
At the tail end of November, the British Columbia Hockey League released a listing of the Top 50 Players of All-Time, broken down by decade. While it may not be a surprise to anyone who has seen them play the game, sophomores Connor and Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia) both suffered a modest shock when they discovered they were among those listed in the 2000s for their time with the Vernon Vipers.
“I would’ve never expected such a great honor because the teams I had played on in Vernon had so many great players who are all doing well in their respective leagues and teams now,” said Kellen. “But to be recognized with the other top players is quite a great feeling.”
While “it definitely hasn’t sunk in yet,” according to Kellen, the significance of the names that accompanied theirs on the list is undeniable.
“It’s pretty special to be alongside names like Duncan Keith, Tyler Bozak, and Jamie Benn who all play in the NHL,” said Connor.
Connor and Kellen did not earn this title just by luck. Kellen scored 60 goals and 169 assists in his four seasons, including playoffs, while his brother had a total of 104 goals and 153 assists. With such noticeable talent, it is no surprise that they caught the eye of Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold.
“We recruited them because they are impact players at this level, possess great character, and are excellent academically,” said Pecknold.
The pair contributed to two national titles in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons with the Vipers.
“When you spend almost three years and over 200 games with the same teammates and coaches and to make it to nationals two years in a row and win was amazing,” said Connor.
The two championship titles left an incredible impact on both Connor and Kellen, so much so that Kellen expressed his desire to repeat at Quinnipiac.
“I want to try and bring what I did with my team in the BCHL to the team here at Quinnipiac,” said Kellen. “…From hard work, leadership, offense and defense, I want to win a championship with the Bobcats because there is no feeling like that.”
By Michael Desjardins, QBSN Staff Writer
December 9, 2011
Junior center Jeremy Langlois (Tempe, Ariz.) had two goals and junior defenseman Loren Barron (Glendora, Calif.) recorded a goal and two assists, as the Quinnipiac Bobcats men’s hockey team crushed the Sacred Heart Pioneers on Friday, 6-1.
The first period went back and forth as the two teams traded blows. However, halfway into the period, the Bobcats went on a tear, as they shot 10 times in the final seven minutes.
The Bobcats almost got their first goal with 4:43 left in the period. Senior captain Scott Zurevinski (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) took a shot that bounced off the right post, but did not cross the goal line. It was originally recorded as a goal, but was quickly reversed.
However, despite the reversal, the Bobcats did not let up on offense. With one minute and 32 seconds left, Barron scored (Glendora, California), with assistance by junior Ben Arnt (Oakdale, Minnesota) and senior Yuri Bouharevich (Montreal, Quebec). It was Barron’s fifth goal of the season.
“As a defenseman, we’re not really a highlight position,” said Barron. “The defense gets overlooked, but that’s just the way it is. We’re there to support our offense, to support our goalies. I feel when we’re playing good, the team is usually playing good as well. So, if we’re doing our job, they’re doing their job, and we should be getting wins.”
The Bobcats would score again before the end of the period. Langlois chipped in the puck after a shot from junior defenseman Zach Davies (Smithers, British Columbia) rebounded off Sacred Heart goalie Steven Legatto. Freshman forward Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) was also credited with an assist. The goal was Langlois’ team-leading 13th of the season.
Sacred Heart got its goal only in the second period. Freshman Will Rayner recorded the goal, with assistance from Anthony Yelovich (Little Falls, New Jersey).
A minute later, Langlois answered back with his second goal of the night and14th of the season to put the Bobcats up 3-1, thanks to another assist from Peca.
Late in the second period, the Bobcats were down three players thanks to some penalties. However, despite this, senior goalie Dan Clarke (Belleville, Ontario), who played in his first game since Cornell on Nov. 19, and the Bobcats’ defense, prevented the Pioneers from scoring another goal.
“Our issue tonight was taking bad penalties; I think we left them in the game for a little while,” says Head Coach Rand Pecknold. “Lucky, our three-on-five kill is good. We need to clean that up, though.”
In the third period, Sacred Heart tried to increase the tempo, but Quinnipiac defense continue to prevent it from scoring.
Midway through the period, a brawl between Zurevisnki and the Pioneers’ Ryan Stainmir broke out to the point where Zurevinski was knocked down and had his helmet off.
Despite this, Zurevinski continued to play and 50 seconds later, recorded a goal of his own, with help from sophomore defenseman Zach Tolkinen (Lino Lakes, Minnesota). Zurevinski also led the game in shots with seven.
A few minutes later, Bouharevich recorded a goal with the assistance coming from senior forward Spencer Heichman (Yorba Linda, Calif.) to put the Bobcats up 5-1.
The Bobcats sealed the deal with three minutes and four seconds left in regulation. Sophomore Cory Hibbeler (St. Charles, Missouri) recorded the goal with another assist from Barron.
In total, Quinnipiac outshot Sacred Heart 40-23. Clarke had 22 saves.
With their third win over the last four games, the Bobcats are now 10-6-3 overall, while Sacred Heart falls to 1-15-1.
The Bobcats’ next game is at home against ECAC-conference opponent Princeton on Sunday, Dec. 9 at noon.
By Jacob Nadeau, QBSN Staff Writer
December 3, 2011
Yuri Bouharevich (Montreal, Quebec) scored with 2.4 seconds left to lift the Quinnipiac Bobcats (9-6-3, 2-4-3 ECAC Hockey) past the Rensselaer Engineers (3- 12-0, 1-6-0 ECAC Hockey) with a final score of 3-2. This marks the first time Quinnipiac has registered a win against the Engineers since 2008. It is also the first time Quinnipiac has won this season with the score tied after the first period.
Quinnipiac came into the game after a 2-2 overtime tie with Union College on Friday. Rensslaer comes into the game following a 5-3 loss to Princeton University.
Quinnipiac took the ice without their star brothers, Connor and Kellen Jones (Montrose, British Columbia), who each had five goals apiece and were one and two in the assist column with 12 and nine respectively.
Rensslaer freshman goalie Scott Diebold started his fourth game of the season and had 35 saves, while junior Bryce Merriam sat out after giving up five goals to Princeton University Friday night. The last time Diebold was in net, he took 25 shots and shut-out Rochester Institute of Technology.
Quinnipiac’s first goal came with seven minutes remaining in the first after Quinnipiac freshman center Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) took a hard slap shot a few feet inside the middle of the blue line. The puck bounced off Diebold and slid into the right playoff circle, where Russell Goodman (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) one timed it over the shoulder of Diebold and into the back of the net. It was Goodman’s first goal in over a month and his third of the season.
Rensslaer then scored with 2:50 remaining in the first period off a shot by Nick Balilen, which was redirected by Jacob Laliberte and found its way into the back of the net, evening the score at 1-1. It was Laiberte’s second goal of the season. Laliberte scored his first collegiate goal the night before at Princeton University. The goal extended Laliberte’s point streak to five games. It was Balilen’s fifth assist on the season, which leads Rensslaer.
Two minutes into the second period, Rensselaer defenseman Luke Curadi was ejected from the game after a vicious hit on Quinnipiac center Cory Hibbeler (St. Charles, Mo.), which knocked Hibbler out for the rest of the game.
The game remained tied until four minutes into the third when Rensslaer right wing Zach Schroeder picked up a shot from Brock Higgs that was blocked in front of the net by a diving Quinnipiac defenseman and quickly passed it by Quinnipiac’s Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.) who was on the opposite side of the crease. It was the freshman, Schroeder’s first goal of the season and the fifth assist for Higgs on the year.
Quinnipiac’s Scott Zurevinski (Saskatoon, Sask.) answered back about two and a half minutes later. Following some jousting in front of the net, the puck was kicked out past the right faceoff circle by Zach Davies (Smithers, British Columbia) to Zach Tolkinen (Lino Lakes, Minn.) who quickly centered the puck to Zurevinski. He then ripped a hard slap shot past a disordered Diebold. It was the captain’s fourth goal of the year.
With time winding down in the third period Quinnipiac’s left wing Ben Arnt (Oakdale, Minn.) broke away past the blue line into the Rensslaer zone. Before being sandwiched between two defenders, he poked it out to Bouharevich who teed the puck up and knocked into the top shelf for the score with 2.4 seconds remaining, sealing the game for the Bobcats. Bouharevich said the goal was “long overdue.” His last goal was scored Oct. 22 against Robert Morris.
RPI had 11 penalty minutes, but Quinnipiac could not capitalize on any of their four power plays due to the loss of the Jones brothers.
“Our 5-3 was terrible tonight. We just didn’t have any time to practice it,” said head coach Rand Pecknold. “We didn’t have any of our guys set to what we wanted to do. Both our power plays were bad. Losing those two guys just threw everything out of wack.”
Bouharevich rightfully described this win as “huge” for the Bobcats as they improve to 2-4-3 in ECAC Hockey play and 9-6-3 overall. In contrast, Rensselaer falls to 1-6-0 in ECAC Hockey and 3- 12-0 overall.
Quinnipiac takes on Sacred Heart University (1-14-1) Friday Dec. 9 at High Point Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center.
By Angelique Fiske, QBSN Web Editor
December 2, 2011
After a much needed win against Massachusetts on Nov. 26, the Bobcats (8-6-3) ECAC matchup against the Union Dutchmen ended in a 2-2 draw, extending into one five minute overtime period. The overall series matchup between the two schools remains at a deadlock of 9-9-2.
The first period proved to be a scoreless endeavor, neither team making any moves to get them on the board. It wasn’t until the second period that either team broke onto the scoring scene. A tripping penalty against Union’s Charlie Vasaturo set the Bobcats up to draw first blood on the heels of sophomore Zach Tolkinen (Lino Lakes, Minn.) for his second of the year. Four minutes and 23 seconds into the second period, Tolkinen shot a laser from the right side that hit the back of the net before Union keeper Colin Stevens could attempt a save. Senior Yuri Bouharevich (Montreal, Quebec) and junior Loren Barron (Glendora, Calif.) were credited with the assists.
It did not take long for the Bobcats to capitalize on yet another Union penalty. Junior Zach Davies (Smithers, British Columbia) knocked in his first of the season on the power play just over six minutes into the second period. Senior captain Scott Zurevinski and junior Jeremy Langlois (Tempe, Ariz.) were responsible for the helper.
“Special teams are pretty big,” said Zurevinski of the pair of power play goals. “If they’re doing well, then you’re probably going to win a lot of games.”
The Dutchmen managed to get a goal of their own to cut the lead in half. Ten minutes and 26 seconds into second period play, Brian Yanovitch got off a quick shot in front of the net past junior goaltender Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.). Assists were given to Kevin Sullivan and Greg Coburn on the play.
Union eventually found enough momentum to land an equalizer in the early minutes of the third period. Jeremy Welsh sent a Josh Jooris pass right between the legs of a sprawled Hartzel to tie the game up at 2-2, where it would stay.
“You’ve got to give them credit. They did a good job,” said Zurevinksi. “They had a little bit more energy coming out of the gates.”
The rest of the third period displayed strong defense on both ends. Both keepers made crucial saves to keep the score even, including a scuffle in front of the Bobcat net late in the game that nearly resulted in a Union goal.
“Things happen so fast, especially the closing minutes of the game,” said Hartzell. “You don’t really think about it, you just kind of do it. We’re lucky it didn’t go in.”
Despite the two goal advantage early on, head coach Rand Pecknold knew it would not be enough to stop a strong road team, as Union is 6-1-1 on the visiting side of the ice.
“This is a pretty good team. You got to get at least three if not four,” said Pecknold. “We certainly had our chances.”
With another ECAC game this weekend, the Bobcats must put the tie behind them and prepare for Rensselaer to come into Hamden.
“We’ll have our hands full tomorrow night, but right now we need to get some food in the boys, get them healthy, and get ready to roll again,” said Pecknold.
The Bobcats take on the Engineers at the High Point Solution Arena on Saturday at 7 p.m.
By Nick Sczerbinski, QBSN Staff Writer
Standing at 5-feet-6-inches, Spencer Heichman is one of the four shortest players in Division I men’s ice hockey, but he hasn’t let that get in his way.
Heichman has excelled during his time here at Quinnipiac, playing on the men’s ice hockey team for all four years after coming here on scholarship. After three seasons of significantly contributing to the Bobcats’ success, Heichman was recently named the team’s assistant captain for the 2011-12 season.
Heichman has never let his size stop him from reaching his goals. He was a five-sport varsity athlete during his high school career at Bishop Heelan Catholic in Yorba Linda, Calif., playing tennis, lacrosse, field hockey, cross country, and his main sport, ice hockey.
He then continued on to the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League where he was the team captain in 2007-2008 and led the team with 23 goals and added 24 assists to finish third on the team with 47 points.
He has seven points in 16 games this year, and has totaled 35 points in his career for QU and said he has found a way of play that works for him and doesn’t see that changing any time soon.
“I have overcome my size obstacles by committing to being the hardest working player on the ice at all times. I have a never say ‘never’ attitude in which I motivate the attitudes of my teammates,” said Heichman.
Heichman’s work ethic and personal drive have made the task of stopping him no small order.
“I like to think my size doesn’t play any obstacles to me. I like to tell myself that I have other benefits and features that other players don’t have,” he said.
He is also a believer that there is nothing holding back other players that may lack size on the ice.
“The message I have is to never listen to any one who says you can’t do that because you’re too small,” said Heichman. “I always told my doubters that I may not be the biggest player out there, but my heart’s way bigger than anyone else.”