Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Connor Clifton signs contract with AHL Providence Bruins

Connor Clifton '17 (photo by Mickey Bedell, Bangor Daily News)
Former Quinnipiac Bobcats captain Connor Clifton ('17) has signed an American Hockey League contract with the Providence Bruins as first reported by Mark Divver of the Providence Journal.

Rugged defenseman Connor Clifton signs AHL contract with Providence. Arizona 5th round in 2013 opted for free agency

LT. Connor Clifton will attend rookie camp & main camp next month

Clifton, a 2013 5th round draft pick by the Arizona Coyotes elected free agency instead of coming to terms with the Coyotes. In 4 seasons for the Quinnipiac Bobcats He had 19 goals and 37 assists in 156 games played while helping the program reach three NCAA tournaments including the 2016 Frozen Four. He will give the Providence Bruins a right shot defenseman with skating ability who brings physicality to the blue line. This is a solid pickup for the baby Bruins and someone that possibly could get an NHL deal with the big club in Boston down the road with continued development.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Goaltender Josh Mayanja commits to Quinnipiac

Josh Mayanja (photo courtesy of Josh Mayanka twitter account)
The Quinnipiac Bobcats have found a third goalie for the 2017-2018 season a source confirms to the With the departure of Chris Truehl who had a year left of college eligibility, Quinnipiac returned only one goaltender from the previous season. With Detroit Red Wings third round draft pick Keith Petruzzelli joining the team in the fall that gave the Bobcats only two goaltenders on the roster. Enter Josh Mayanja into the picture as the Framingham, Massachusetts native committed to Quinnipiac this afternoon presumably for the upcoming season.

Excited to announce my commitment to play college hockey at Quinnipiac! Thanks to everyone who helped me get to this point

Mayanja is a 6'1, 165 pound goaltender who most recently played for the South Shore Kings (USPHL Premier). In 11 games played for the Kings he had a 3.52 goals against average with a .906 save percentage. Prior to joining the Kings, he played three years for the Boston Advantage U16 and U18 programs. Congrats to Josh on his commitment to Quinnipiac and welcome to BobcatNation.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Chris Truehl leaves Quinnipiac hockey program, set to sign pro contract

Chris Truehl (photo by Mickey Bedell/Bangor Daily News)
In a surprise move based on the timing, the New Haven Register's Chip Malafronte is reporting that Quinnipiac senior goaltender Chris Truehl has left the program after graduating from the university in May. However the BobcatsHockeyBlog has learned that Truehl's departure is due to him signing a professional contract in the near future but details are not yet known at this time.

With rising sophomore goaltender Andrew Shortridge entrenched as the current number one and talented freshman Keith Petruzzelli, a third round draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings joining the program this fall, Truehl was likely going to be third on the team's depth chart which makes his departure less surprising.

Truehl finished the 2016-17 10-8-2 with a 2.66 goals against average and an .899 save percentage in 21 games played with one shutout. He could head to another program as he still has a season of NCAA eligibility remaining. With the season getting underway in two months time the timing of this is not ideal and Quinnipiac should look to find a third goaltender in the juniors ranks that is willing to come in this season. The BobcatsHockeyBlog wishes Chris the best in his future endeavors and thanks you for your time at Quinnipiac the past two seasons.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Q&A with Quinnipiac commit Wyatt Bongiovanni

Wyatt Bongiovanni (photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey)
Quinnipiac recently picked a commitment for the 2018 season in Muskegon Lumberjacks forward Wyatt Bongiovanni, a Michigan native who was the 3rd overall pick in the 2015 USHL Phase I draft by the Des Moines Buccaneers. Bongiovanni made the USHL as a 16 year old which is an impressive feat to say the least. He finished his rookie season in 2015-16 with 14 points (3 goals, 11 assists) in 57 games for Des Moines. In 2016-17 he played for the Tri-City Storm and had 30 points (12 goals, 18 assists) in 59 games played. He was traded a few hours before the 2017 USHL Phase I draft along with two other players for a Phase II first round pick to the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Yet to fully blossom as a player, he is expected to be a key player for the Lumberjacks offense even after they also acquired Mathias Emilio Pettersen from Omaha for three draft picks. While Bongiovanni has yet to signed a national letter of intent, he plans to do so most likely in the fall signing period.  I had a chance to catch up with him as he graciously gave me some of his time for a question and answer session so Bobcat Nation can get to know one of the incoming players for the 2018-19 season.

Jonathan Singer: First off congratulations on your commitment to Quinnipiac. Tell us about your overall recruiting process?

Wyatt Bongiovanni: For me, the recruitment process took quite a while. I wanted to make sure I was deciding on the perfect school for me, somewhere I would love spending the next four years of my life at. When I visited Quinnipiac, I was very impressed with the school and program as a whole. The staff was spectacular and I felt extremely comfortable on the campus. On the hockey side of things, I wanted to play on a team with a winning mentality and I know Quinnipiac has that. I also want to get better as a player, and I know I will have a great opportunity to do so at Quinnipiac. With that being said, it was just a matter of saying yes to a school that I believed was a perfect fit for me.

Jonathan Singer: When was the first time that the Quinnipiac staff reached out to you? Did they scout you last year when you played for Tri City?

Wyatt Bongiovanni: I met coach [Joe] Dumais in Fargo, North Dakota in the middle of this past season and then they reached back out to me later at the end of the season.

Jonathan Singer: What other NCAA schools had offered you a scholarship on top of Quinnipiac?

Wyatt Bongiovanni: Without naming the schools directly out of respect for them, I will say I had offers from schools in the Big 10 and NCHC.

Jonathan Singer: One thing that impresses me about you is you have 116 regular season games played in the USHL and you haven't turned 18 yet. Was it a big adjustment playing as a 16 yr old in the USHL which is not common outside of the developmental program and tenders?

Wyatt Bongiovanni: It's always an adjustment when you're moving up a level, but I thought that I was physically and mentally prepared for the challenge.

Jonathan Singer: Tell us about the type of player that Quinnipiac is getting?

Wyatt Bongiovanni: The greatest players in the world play both ends of the ice along with playing hard and that's what I try to do.

Jonathan Singer: What type of role does the Quinnipiac coaching staff envision for you when you arrive in the fall of 2018?

Wyatt Bongiovanni: I think they, as well as myself, expect me to come in as a freshman, and be an impact player from day one. I want to be a reliable forward that can score. I'm confident in my abilities that I can do that for them.

Jonathan Singer: With this being your first draft eligible season, did you take part in any NHL draft combine stuff or have any contact with teams even though you were not drafted this time around?

Wyatt Bongiovanni: Unfortunately I did not have contact with any NHL teams this year.

Jonathan Singer: Following up on not getting drafted in your first draft eligible season. Will you use that as a bit of motivation to get better in order to get drafted in 2018?

Wyatt Bongiovanni: I think whenever things don't necessarily go your way you can use it as motivation, so absolutely. I still feel as if I have a lot to prove as a player.

Jonathan Singer: You were recently traded to the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Are they expecting you to be a big contributor on offense with the departure of Andrei Svechnikov to the OHL?

Wyatt Bongiovanni: Andrei is a special player, and what he did in Muskegon last year proved that. Of course expectations are high, but I'm prepared to fulfill them to the best of my ability.

Jonathan Singer: What are the things you want to improve upon in your game in your final USHL season with Muskegon?

Wyatt Bongiovanni: I have been working a lot on my skating this summer, so I'm looking forward to be able to separate myself from others with evasive speed and a powerful stride. Another thing I am working on is to improve on my scoring touch.

Jonathan Singer: You played for some elite midget programs back in Michigan such as Honeybaked, Belle Tire and Little Caesars. How much do you think these top programs prepared you for this opportunity?

Wyatt Bongiovanni: Those programs had a tremendous affect on my development at a young age. I was lucky to be surrounded by a lot of good players that helped me recognize goals that I still have today.

Jonathan Singer: You had the honor of representing our country in the 2015 Five Nations tournament where the United States came in first place. What was the experience like wearing the red white and blue and how did this experience help turn you into the player you are today?

Wyatt Bongiovanni: It was an honor representing our country in that tournament as it was an experience I will never forget. In a setting like that, when you have the best players in your age group joined together to make a team, you can build knowledge and learn from others, which is exactly what I did.

Jonathan Singer: You were teammates with incoming Quinnipiac freshman Odeen Tufto for a short time after his trade to Tri City before he was traded again to Sioux City. What are your thoughts on him as a player?

Wyatt Bongiovanni: Odeen and I sat next to each other in the locker room and we got along really well right off the bat. We built some chemistry in the short time he was there. He was one of my favorite line mates looking back on the year. He's a smart, quick, offensive minded player. I am excited to be able to play with him at Quinnipiac.

Jonathan Singer: I think Tufto and yourself will have some of the best names in college hockey in the 2018 season.

Wyatt Bongiovanni: Haha! I agree!

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Wyatt Bongiovanni commits to Quinnipiac

Wyatt Bongiovanni (photo by USHL)
The Quinnipiac Bobcats men's hockey team picked up a 2018 commitment from Muskegon Lumberjacks forward Wyatt Bongiovanni. The 6'0, 192 pound Bongiovanni is a left shot center that has already played 116 USHL games before turning 18. This past season with the Tri-City Storm, he had 30 points (12 goals, 18 assists) in 59 games played. He originally broke into the USHL with the Des Moines Buccaneers in the 2015-16 season where in 57 games with Des Moines he had 14 points (3 goals, 11 assists).

A native of Birmingham, Michigan he was selected 3rd overall by Des Moines in the 2015 USHL Phase I draft. He was recently traded to the Muskegon Lumberjacks for the 2017-18 prior to the this years USHL draft. Bongiovanni is expected to be a big part of the Muskegon offense this coming season with the departure of Andrei Svechnikov to Barrie in the OHL.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Friday, June 30, 2017

2017-2018 Quinnipiac Bobcats Schedule

BobcatsHockeyBlog stock photo

The BobcatsHockeyBlog has pieced together the 2017-2018 Quinnipiac University men's ice hockey schedule through the composite ECAC schedule release, non conference opponents releasing their schedule, leaks from other college programs and sources in the college hockey game.

Rand Pecknold's squad has a difficult six game stretch to open the season with five Hockey East teams including perennial powers Boston College and Boston University in its opening weekend. Some of the other first half season highlights include the Bobcats opening ECAC play with Cornell on November 3rd at the TD Bank Sports Center. The Battle of Whitney takes place on Saturday November 18th which is the earliest Yale home game since the season after the program reached its first Frozen Four back in 2013. Over Thanksgiving break the Bobcats will see newly minted first round draft pick Cale Makar and his UMass Minuteman in an I-91 series with each team having a home game. They wrap up the first semester with four home games in a row capping it with a non league pair against Maine.

The second half of the season begins with eight straight games away from Hamden highlighted with a trip to the desert for a pair of games with Arizona State. Quinnipiac will head to Ingalls Rink on Friday February 9th to face Yale.

Here is the full schedule below.

Sunday October 1 - Saint Mary's University (NS), exhibition
Friday October 6 – At Boston College
Sunday October 8 – Boston University
Saturday October 14 – Vermont
Friday October 20 – At Northeastern
Saturday October 21 – At Northeastern
Friday November 3 – Cornell
Saturday November 4 – Colgate
Friday November 10 – At RPI
Saturday November 11 – At Union
Friday November 17 – Brown
Saturday November 18 – Yale
Friday November 24 –UMass
Saturday November 25 – At UMass
Tuesday November 28 – At Princeton
Friday December 1 – Harvard
Saturday December 2 - Dartmouth
Friday December 8 - Maine
Saturday December 9 – Maine
Tuesday January 2 – At UConn
Friday January 5 – At Colgate
Saturday January 6 – At Cornell
Friday January 12 – At Dartmouth
Saturday January 13 – At Harvard
Friday January 19 – At Arizona State
Saturday January 20 – At Arizona State
Tuesday January 30 - Princeton
Friday February 2 – Clarkson
Saturday February 3 – St. Lawrence
Friday February 9 – At Yale
Saturday February 10 – At Brown
Friday February 16 – Union
Saturday February 17 – RPI
Friday February 23 – at St. Lawrence
Friday February 24 - at Clarkson

(Home games in bold)

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Five Bobcat players attending NHL Development Camps stock photo
Five Quinnipiac Bobcats hockey players are set to attend NHL development camps currently or in the coming weeks. The five players attending will be junior captain Chase Priskie (Washington Capitals), sophomore defenseman Karlis Cukste (San Joe Sharks), sophomore goaltender Andrew Shortridge (Nashville Predators), sophomore defenseman Brogan Rafferty (Chicago Blackhawks) and incoming freshman goaltender Keith Petruzzelli (Detroit Red Wings).

Priskie, the newly selected captain was drafted by the Capitals in the sixth round of the 2016 draft after a spectacular rookie campaign. He followed that up with a 26 point sophomore season (7 goals, 16 assists) while achieving All-ECAC Third Team honors. He will look to lead a talented Quinnipiac team back to the NCAA tournament after missing for the first time in five seasons. The Capitals camp runs from June 27 to July 1.

Cukste had a very solid rookie campaign on the defensive end with 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) while blocking a team leading 65 shots. A 5th round draft pick of the San Jose Sharks in 2015, Cukste continued to improve throughout the season and should be someone that could provide increased offensive ability this season. This past December he was part of the Latvian national team at the World Junior Championships in Canada. He will attend the Sharks camp from July 8 to July 12.

Shortridge was a big reason the Bobcats had a very good second half of the season in the 2016-17 campaign. He grabbed the goaltender reigns early in the second semester and never let go, showcasing his talent in college hockey and opening the door to possible future professional opportunities. Shortridge finished the season with a 13-7 record along with a 2.08 goals against average and a .920 save percentage. He was even stronger in league games going 7-2 with a 1.74 goals against average and a .934 save percentage. Shortridge won two postseason series against Brown and St. Lawrence before the team fell in the semifinals to eventual ECAC champion Harvard. He will attend the Nashville Predators camp from June 26 to June 30.

Rafferty had a very good offensive season for the Bobcats leading the team with 22 assists to go along with two goals. He became the first Quinnipiac freshman to lead the team in assists since Matthew Peca in 2010-11 season. He had NHL interest this past season so it is no surprise he is heading to an NHL development camp and will be looked upon to increase his production further. The Blackhawks camp runs from July 17 to July 21.

Petruzzelli recently drafted by the Detroit Red Wings with the 88th pick in the third round is the highest incoming freshman draft pick in Quinnipiac history. He comes to the program with a lot of hype and excitement after a tremendous rookie season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL. He posted a 22-10-0-1 record with a 2.40 goals against average and a .918 save percentage. His 22 wins were first among rookie goaltenders in the USHL. His play earned his All-USHL Rookie Team honors. He was the Most Valuable Player of the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game when he made 21 saves in a 27 minutes of action. He was also a member of the silver medal winning United States team at the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. The Red Wings camp will be held from July 7 to July 11.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.