Saturday, April 22, 2017

Chase Priskie named captain for 2017-18 season

Chase Priskie (photo by Matt Dewkett, SBNation)
Rising Quinnipiac Bobcats sophomore defenseman Chase Priskie was named the 45th captain of the program by his teammates and coaches for his junior season as announced by head coach Rand Pecknold at the teams annual postseason hockey banquet where other award winners were also announced. Along with Priskie, senior defenseman Kevin McKernan was named the teams assistant captain for next season.

Both players were in the QHockeyBlog poll for who should be the program's next captain. Chase Priskie won with 43% of the vote while McKernan tallied 9% of the vote. Both are deserving of leading the program in the 2017-2018 campaign as the team will have a lot of new faces on the ice. Priskie, a draft pick of the Washington Capitals will be the first junior captain in seven years since Scott Zurevinksi in the 2010-2011 season and only the eighth junior all-time to serve as the captain of the program.

Other award winners in the evening were Tim Clifton as the teams Most Valuable Player while Alex Whelan was named the Rookie of the Year. Both Tommy Schutt and Connor Clifton won the Coaches Award and Craig Martin was named the winner of the 7th Player Award. Derek Smith won the teams Academic Award following his win as the ECAC Hockey Academic Award winner.

Congratulations to the next captain Chase Priskie and the assistant captain Kevin McKernan along with this year's banquet award winners.

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

Friday, April 21, 2017

Corey Clifton signs National Letter of Intent

Corey Clifton signing his national letter of intent to play at Quinnipiac
Corey Clifton, the younger brother of graduating seniors Connor and Tim Clifton has officially signed his national letter of intent to play hockey for the Quinnipiac University Bobcats. The 1999 forward had verbally committed to Quinnipiac on April 22, 2016.

Clifton split his season playing for the North Jersey Avalanche 18 under team that made it all the way to USA nationals. In 48 games split between Tier I and the AYHL, Clifton had 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists). He added 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist) in 6 combined playoff games between both leagues. In 3 combined games at USA nationals, Clifton had a goal and 2 assists but North Jersey did not advance out of pool play. He was a teammate of fellow Quinnipiac commit in goaltender Justin Robbins. As a senior at Christian Brothers Academy High School in New Jersey, Clifton had 23 points (13 goals, 10 assists) in games played as he helped lead the team to the state semifinals.

Clifton is expected to play at least one senior, possibly two of junior hockey before enrolling at Quinnipiac. It is not known at this point where he will play for junior hockey next season. Congratulations to Corey and his family on his signing with Quinnipiac.

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

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sam Anas called up to the Minnesota Wild

Sam Anas (photo courtesy of Iowa Wild)
Former Quinnipiac Bobcat standout forward Sam Anas was called up to the Minnesota Wild along with 14 other players for the teams postseason push as put out in a press release by the organization. It is the first NHL call up for Anas who had 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists) in 66 games played for the Iowa Wild (AHL). He is the fourth former Quinnipiac player called up to the NHL following Michael Garteig (Vancouver Canucks), Matthew Peca (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Connor Jones (New York Islanders).

Anas was an integral part of three Quinnipiac teams that reached the NCAA tournament and the 2016 team that reached the Frozen Four before falling in the National Championship game. He finished his Quinnipiac career with more than a point per game average (1.09) as he had 132 points (69 goals, 63 assists) in 121 games played.  He was the NCAA top collegiate rookie as freshman back in the 2013-2014 season as well as the ECAC rookie of the year. He was a two time second team All-ECAC player (2014, 2015) and was on the first team All-ECAC in 2016. In 2014-15 he was a second team East All-American.

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

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Rand Pecknold named assistant for US National Team

Rand Pecknold (photo by Matt Dewkett/SBN)
Quinnipiac University men's ice hockey coach Rand Pecknold has been named as one of the assistant coaches for the United States National Team that will compete at the 2017 IIHF Men’s World Championships May 5-21 in Cologne, Germany and Paris, France as was announced today by USA Hockey. Pecknold will serve under Detroit Red Wings Head Coach Jeff Blashill and serving along side former RPI head coach Seth Appert as well as former New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano who will also serve as assistants on the staff.

Pecknold was selected from an advisory group led by Jim Johannson of USA Hockey along with Stan Bowman (Chicago Blackhawks), Dean Lombardi (USA Hockey), David Poile (Nashville Predators) Ray Shero (New Jersey Devils), Dale Tallon (Florida Panthers) and Don Waddell (Carolina Hurricanes).

In 23 seasons at Qunnipiac, Pecknold has won 469 games which ranks 5th among active coaches and is also a school. He has won three ECAC regular season championships (2013, 2014, 2016) and one ECAC tournament championship (2016) and taken the Bobcats to the five NCAA tournament appearances (2002, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), two Frozen Fours (2013, 2016) and two national runner-ups (2013, 2016). He was named the 2016 Spencer Penrose National Coach of the Year after leading Quinnipiac to a 32-4-7 record.

Congratulations to coach Pecknold along with his family on this great achievement in his coaching career.

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

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Michael Lombardi signs National Letter of Intent

Michael Lombardi signing with Quinnipiac
Kimball Union Academy 1998 forward Michael Lombardi made it official today when he signed a national letter of intent to play hockey at Quinnipiac University. The Barrington, Rhode Island native had 51 points (19 goals, 32 assists) in 39 games helping Kimball Union win its first title in 35 years in the elite division of the New England Prep Championships.

A three year player at Kimball Union, Lombardi also played for the Boston Jr. Bruins Under 18 short season team this year, where he had 22 points (9 goals, 13 assists) in 14 games played. This coming fall, Lombardi has signed to play for the BCHL's Chilliwack Chiefs who are currently in the league championship finals. He is expected to play one season for Chilliwack before enrolling in Hamden in the fall of 2018.

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

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Keith Petruzzelli named 2nd ranked North American goaltender

Keith Petruzzelli (photo by Muskegon Lumberjacks)
Incoming Quinnipiac University men's ice hockey freshman goaltender Keith Petruzzelli has been named as the number two ranked goaltender according to the final NHL Central Scouting rankings that came out today. He fell one spot behind Boston University's Jake Oettinger who finished an impressive freshman season with the Terriers going 21-11-3 with a 2.11 goals against average, a .927 save percentage with 4 shutouts and helping lead them to the NCAA West Regional final.

Petruzzelli is in the midst of his own impressive season with the USHL's Muskegon Lumberjacks where in 35 games played he went 22-10 with a 2.40 goals against average and a .918 save percentage with two shutouts. His 22 wins and .918 save percentage led all USHL rookie goaltenders. Muskegon is in the USHL Clark Cup playoffs where it is expected Petruzzelli will get the majority of the starts for the Lumberjacks.

With a high central scouting ranking and scouts raving about his size and talent he should at least be a second round selection and possibly could slip into the back of the first round depending on the team. Should he go higher than the 4th round, he will he become the highest selection ever by a Quinnipiac player followed by Devon Toews who was selected in the 4th round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders.

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

Monday, April 10, 2017

Quinnipiac recruiting notes 4/10/2017

The college hockey season is officially over and the Denver Pioneers won their 8th national championship and first since 2005 with a 3-2 win over Minnesota Duluth. Denver is a worthy champion as they were best team all season long. Right now the only hockey being played is obviously the NHL and junior leagues that are heading to or are currently in the playoffs. There were a bunch of Quinnipiac commits that played this past week including multiple commits playing in the USA Hockey National Championships in many age brackets. Let's take a look at how a bunch of the future Bobcats did.

Ethan Phillips
2001 forward Ethan Phillips had a strong tournament with 4 goals, 1 assist in four games played as the the Selects Academy 15 under team fell in the semifinals 5-4 in heartbreaking overtime fashion to the same Yale Bulldogs squad that stunned them in the New England regional championships. He had a shorthanded goal in the semifinals and setup Selects first goal of the game. His teammate P.J. Fletcher, another 2001 forward had two assists in four games played with both of them coming in the tournaments first two games against the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes and Oakland Jr. Grizzlies.

Victor Czerneckianair, a 2002 forward playing for the Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers had one goal in three games played as his team went 0-3 in pool play in the 14 Under division. His goal came in the team's final game, a 5-3 loss to the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes.
Corey Clifton (photo by Chris Rotolo, Asbury Park Press)
Corey Clifton had a solid tournament in the 18 under division for the North Jersey Avalanche 18U team. In three games played, the 1999 forward and the younger brother of Connor and Tim Clifton had 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) as the team finished 2-1 in pool play but did not advance. His teammate, 1999 goaltender Justin Robbins played in two games going 1-1 with a 2.50 goals against average and a .898 save percentage. Both players will be moving on from the Avalanche next season. Clifton's destination is unknown at this point while Robbins was an affiliate player of the Chicago Steel and has a good chance of being there next season.

1997 forward Odeen Tufto finished the regular season with an impressive 48 points (16 goals, 32 assists) in his first USHL season. After starting the season with the Fargo Force and getting traded to the Tri-City Storm, Tufto was traded once again to the western conference leading Sioux City Musketeers where in 21 games had 20 points (8 goals, 12 assists). His team opens the Clark Cup playoffs on Friday against the Des Moines Buccaneers.

Top goaltending prospect Keith Petruzzelli finished the season on a strong note with a 36 save performance in 5-2 win over the Chicago Steel on Friday. Petruzzelli finished the regular season 22-10 with a 2.40 goals against average and a .918 save percentage and had two shutouts. He will lead Muskegon into the first round of the Clark Cup playoffs starting Friday against the Dubuque Fighting Saints.

Matt Cassidy's season has come to an end. The 1999 forward out of Medford, New Jersey finished his first season with the Springfield Jr. Blues with 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists) in 56 games played. Its unknown if Cassidy will return to Springfield or head to the USHL as he was on the affiliate list this season for the Green Bay Gamblers.

1996 defenseman Joe O'Connor and the Brooks Bandits have moved on the the AJHL finals where they will face the Whitecourt Wolverines in a best-of-7 series. O'Connor did not have any points over the last two games as his playoff line remains at 2 goals, 6 assists in nine games played for the Hamden, CT native.

We highlighted this yesterday but both Dom Fensore and Connor Tait were selected in the OHL Priority Draft on Saturday. You can read more about it here.

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