Saturday, April 6, 2024

Excitement and Patience await the 2024-2025 Quinnipiac Men's Ice Hockey Team

Quinnipiac saluting its fan's after an overtime win over Wisconsin

Coming off the most satisfying four year stretch in Quinnipiac men's ice hockey history, excitement and patience await for the 2024-2025 squad. After 110 wins, four ECAC regular season titles, four NCAA tournament appearances, three regional finals, a Frozen Four which cumulated in the program's first ever National Championship in the 2022-2023 season, new challenges await for next years team.

Gone are the likes of Frozen Four hero Jacob Quillan who signed a two year entry level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He will finish out the season on an amateur tryout with the Toronto Marlies (AHL). Joining him in the professional ranks are Collin Graf who had 108 points over two seasons after transferring in from Union College. He signed a three year entry level contract with the San Jose Sharks and was immediately brought the the NHL club. Also gone is the third member of that championship line in Sam Lipkin, who gave up his final two seasons of eligibility to sign with the Arizona Coyotes, the team that drafted him in the 7th round of the 2021 NHL Draft. Anytime you lose a combined 130 points, it is going to sting. That is the price of success. Quinnipiac benefited from the Covid shutdown which helped them win the programs first ever national title. It enabled them to bring back a bunch of their own players for extra seasons along with filling some holes via the transfer portal. Now Quinnipiac will have a mini reset as they will likely bring in the biggest first year class since the 2019-2020 season. 

Other players not returning are captain Jayden Lee, CJ McGee and Zach Tupker who used a 5th Covid season this past year. Lee was a key member of the past three teams that won 93 games and went deep into the NCAA tournament in each of those years. McGee played a ton over the past two seasons in multiple different roles and will be missed. Others not returning are senior Iivari Rasanen who could have used a 5th year due to Covid and goaltender Vinny Duplessis. I thought that Rasanen was someone that might return to give the backend more experience. Duplessis not returning is not shocking. When the team got a commitment from a talented prospect in Dylan Silverstein, it was clear they were probably moving in a different direction for 2024-2025. Duplessis gave them stability in goal for one more run at championship glory but it was not meant to be. 

The scoreboard in Tampa after winning the 2023 Title

The Sherbrooke boys are both not returning as well. One day after the overtime loss to Boston College in the regional final, Christophe Fillion entered the transfer portal and two days later committed to play at Miami (OH) under new head coach Anthony Noreen. A day after Fillion entered the portal, Cristophe Tellier also put his name in the portal as well. After back to back 20 plus point seasons, he was expected to be a key member next season but now has decided to do that elsewhere. Fillion and Tellier were always a package deal especially when they committed together years ago. It is not surprising that Tellier has moved on once Fillion left first. It is not known what went into the departures of both, but it could be that the coaching staff felt it was time to bring in the committed recruits and not push them back any longer. 

Other players that have entered the transfer portal are sophomore defensemen Jake Martin (25 games), freshman defensemen Nicky Wallace (2 games) and sophomore forward Tim Heinke (6 Games). Heinke has already announced he will transfer to Holy Cross to play under Bill Riga.

Quinnipiac got some good news when they announced that both defensemen Cooper Moore (22 points, plus 26) and Travis Treloar (24 points, plus 8) were both returning for a 5th season. The Bobcats have also added transfer Jack Ricketts (35 points in 39 games) from Holy Cross. He will have one season of eligibility remaining and is strong on the faceoff dot. 

Quinnipiac celebrating after winning the 2023 National Title

The Bobcats will have some key players returning in Mason Marcellus (36 points), Andon Cerbone (26 points), Davis Pennington (24 points), Charles-Alexis Legault (24 points). Quinnipiac will need the likes of Victor Czerneckianair (14 points), Anthony Cipollone (13 points, Alex Power (9 points) and Matthew McGroarty (6 points) to take a greater leap next season if they want to remain in the upper echelon of teams not only the ECAC but nationally.

What will make or break next season for the team will be the incoming recruiting class which has a lot of talent. The gem of the class is Christopher Pelosi, a big strong center who is averaging a point per game for Sioux Falls in the USHL. A third round draft pick of the Boston Bruins in 2023, Pelosi is expected to see immediate minutes for Quinnipiac in likely a top six role along with the power play. He has the ability to challenge for the league rookie of the year with his talent. Aaron Schwartz is another standout in this class from the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL. Schwartz put up 81 points in 51 games and is a finalist for the league MVP. He is a creative play maker who also has the ability to score goals as well as he finished second in the league for goals at 34. Two other players who should play a factor in next years team are Tyler Borgula (48 points for Sioux Falls, USHL) and Ryan Smith (23 goals, 37 points for Tri-City, USHL). Noah Eyre (Sioux Falls, USHL), Andrej Kovacevic (Cowichan Valley, BCHL) and Michael Salandra (West Kelowna, BCHL) round out the committed forwards. It remains to be seen if maybe someone like Kovacevic is held back in juniors for another season if the coaching staff gets another forward from the transfer portal. Salandra has aged out in juniors so he will head to Hamden in the fall.

The back end is where the biggest concern lies. Moore, Pennington and Legault are a good start but after that they lack any experience besides Chase Ramsay who played in two games this past season. Nathan Tobey (Madison Capitols, USHL) and Braden Blace (Alberni Valley, BCHL) are coming in next season. Two other players I have listed but I am not sure they are even committed anymore in Aaron Brown (Blackfalds Bulldogs, BCHL) and Jonah Copre (Rockets Hockey Club, NCDC) This is based on Chris Heisenberg list but elite prospects does not have them listed for Quinnipiac next season. Based on how the defense only returns three players with major experience, this is where Quinnipiac should get experience via the transfer portal. They could also bring in Lucas Sorace (Penticton, BCHL) who I have listed for 2025-2026 and that's only because he missed a good portion of  the early BCHL season this year. Filling some defensive spots via the portal would be good business especially if you are going to have a young offense that may take some time to get going. 

In goal Quinnipiac will have Matej Marinov returning along with incoming freshman Dylan Silverstein (Sioux City, USHL). A talented prospect who at one time last season was enrolled at Boston College before withdrawing early in the 2022-2023 season, Silverstein has battled some injuries with some inconsistent play but has a ton of talent as he was thought highly of to play two seasons with the United States National Team Development Program. It is likely that knowing Rand's history with goaltenders, he will alternate between the two early in the season to see which one gets into a better rhythm. Fan favorite Noah Altman will be back as the third goaltender. 

Students, alumni and fans of the program need to preach patience with this new team. While the last three seasons were exciting in its own right, this next version of Quinnipiac could be just as exciting but how quickly they get there is another story. Have faith in Rand and his coaching staff to put a good team on the ice year in and year out especially if there are early season struggles due to the youthful nature of this upcoming team. 

Follow @QHockeyBlog on X for all Quinnipiac Hockey updates and news

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Quinnipiac January Recruiting Roundup

Nathan Tobey during his time with the Dallas Stars AAA program.

The month of January not only saw the Bobcats stay hot on the ice but on the recruiting trail as well. Quinnipiac picked up three verbal commits capped by a huge addition in United States National Developmental U-17 program defenseman Nathan Tobey out of Lantana, Texas. He follows in the footsteps of current Bobcat Ty Smilanic and former Bobcat Connor Clifton who both played for the USNTP. The 6'0, 161 pound Tobey is a right shot defenseman who has 4 assists in 46 games played this season. He has another season with the USNTP and will be NHL draft eligible in 2023. 

The Bobcats also picked up 2001 forward Tim Heinke from the South Shore Kings (NCDC). The 6'1, 194 pound Heinke is a native of Kensington, Connecticut who played high school hockey For Avon Old Farms prior to his time with the South Shore Kings. An offensive minded forward, Heinke has 40 points (28 goals, 12 assists) in 33 games played. Heinke will be joining the Bobcat program in the fall to bring needed offensive depth with the talent that Quinnipiac will be losing up front after this season. 

Finally the Bobcats added some more future defensive depth when they got a verbal commitment from Chase Ramsay a Granite Springs, New York native who is currently playing for the Des Moines Buccaneers in the USHL. The 2003 born Ramsay is a 6'0, 181 pound right shot defenseman who is in his first season with Des Moines after playing for Avon Old Farms. In 33 games, Ramsay had 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists). He is expected to play another season of junior hockey before heading to Hamden for the 2023-2024 campaign.

Obviously the gem of these commits is Nathan Tobey who has the ability to develop under Rand Pecknold and his staff as they have done an excellent job of developing defenseman to where they are signing NHL contracts with current defenseman Zach Metsa likely going to be the next in that pipeline following players such as Devon Toews, Connor Clifton, Chase Priskie and Peter Diliberatore. 


Nathan Tobey EliteProspects Player Page

Tim Heinke EliteProspects Player Page

Chase Ramsay EliteProspects Player Page

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Quinnipiac December Recruiting Recap

Anthony Cipollone is one of two commits this month for Quinnipiac

The Quinnipiac Bobcats picked two commitments in the month of December as earlier this month as Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL) forward Alex Power committed to the program. Power is a 6'1, 185 pound left shot forward who hails from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada which is the easternmost city in Canada. In his first full season after playing 15 games a season ago, Power has 29 points in 30 games for the Pontiacs. This is the first commit for Quinnipiac from Newfoundland and Labrador which is not considered a huge hockey hot bed in Canada. Power is also the Bonnyville Pontiac first Quinnipiac commit since Jean-Marc Beaudoin who captained the Bobcats back in the 2009-2010 season. 

Quinnipiac's second commitment has a last name that Bobcats fans should all well and know. Just three days before Christmas, Anthony Cipollone the younger brother of current Bobcat Joey Cipollone committed to the program. The younger Cipollone is a 5'6, 165 left shot forward from Purchase, New York. In his second season with the Brooks Bandits (AJHL), Cipollone has 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists) in 34 games played. Prior to playing for Brooks he played at the Loomis Chaffee School along with the Yale Jr. Bulldogs Hockey Program.


Alex Power Eliteprospects Player Page

Alex Power AJHL Player Page

Anthony Cipollone Eliteprospects Player Page

Anthony Cipollone AJHL Player Page


You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Thoughts & Observations from Quinnipiac's sweep in the New York Capital Region

Yaniv Perets has 3 consecutive shutouts for Quinnipiac

After a weekend off for Thanksgiving it was back to work for the Quinnipiac Bobcats who traveled to the New York Capital Region to face RPI and Union for the first time since the 2019-2020 season. The Bobcats took care of business in relatively easy fashion sweeping the weekend slate with back to back shutouts. This is Quinnipiac's third straight game with a shutout as prior to Thanksgiving they shut out St. Lawrence 8-0 in Hamden. The Bobcats will now wrap up the first half with a home and home with LIU. Here are my thoughts and observations from the weekend.

- It was another dominant defensive effort this weekend for Quinnipiac. They let up a total of 31 shots combined in two games including just 13 in Saturday's game against. This is the fifth time this season that Quinnipiac has held an opponent to 15 shots or fewer in a game. Quinnipiac's defense has had 11 games when they have allowed 20 or fewer shots in a game. So far in the first half of the season, the Bobcats defense has been downright dominant. 

- It has taken 16 games but its starting to look like Yaniv Perets is going to be the man in goal going forward. He started his fourth straight game and three of those games have been shutouts. Perets six shutouts are tied for first in the country and his goals against of 0.86 is by far and away tops in the country. His first half of the season has been quite impressive.

-  If there is a concern with a team that is 12-1-3, I would say the offense still has issues to me. They kept Rensselaer in the whole game until scoring a late empty net goal and the next night against Union, Quinnipiac let the Dutchmen hang around for two and half periods. To me they really should be beating these bottom ECAC teams pretty easily and not letting them hang around throughout the game. 

- For a team that is ranked second in the country not to have a player in the top 50 in scoring is pretty stunning but that is the case. Defense and goal-tending right now are the back bone of this team but the offense really needs to elevate its game because they can't just score in spurts and think everything is just fine. Consistency needs to happen on offense especially in the second half especially if this team wants to reach the Frozen Four in Boston this year.

- One thing that the coaching staff should focus on with the upcoming break is the power play. So far its been a disaster this season and for a team ranked #2 in the country to have a power play ranked 51st at 12.1% is just not good enough. They can get away with it when they are playing the ECAC bottom feeders but late in the season when the competition is going to increase they are going to need to score on the power play. This should be the number one focus this team can do to improve when they start the second half of the season.

- Quinnipiac right now is in excellent position for the Cleary Cup as they are only a point behind conference leader Cornell yet have played two less games than every team except Princeton, Darmouth and Yale who are 10,11 and 12 in the ECAC. With the way the Quinnipiac defense is playing along with seeing how other teams have played in the ECAC it would be a pretty big disappointment if Quinnipiac didn't win the Cleary Cup for the second straight year.

- The first half of the season concludes this weekend with a home and home with second year program LIU. Quinnipiac blew out LIU 7-1 a year ago and the Sharks don't have the talent on paper to compete with the Bobcats. I expect a split in goal this weekend with Perets and St. Cyr due to the quality of the opponent. 

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Thoughts and Observations from Quinnipiac's sweep of Arizona State

Quinnipiac swept Arizona State in two games this past weekend

Quinnipiac went into the weekend facing off against a high power offense in the Arizona State Sun Devils. The last time these two teams met back in the 2019-2020, Arizona State swept the Bobcats in the desert by scores of 5-3 and 4-1. It was only appropriate that Quinnipiac returned the favor this weekend and they did by having an offensive explosion scoring ten goals total in the two wins. This type of scoring has been few and far between this season. Maybe this was the weekend in which the Quinnipiac offense starts to put it together and now continues to build off this weekend as they head into the final stretch of games here in the first half of the season. Here are my thoughts and observations from the weekend.

- Lets start with my disastrous take on Friday night after Arizona State scored its third goal. I said I would be shocked if the Bobcats mounted a comeback because they have don't a big time offense that can score at will. I think up to that point you could question that, especially over the prior four games where they really struggled offensively scoring only eight goals total against some weaker opponents. Arizona State came in as one of the top offensive and power play teams in the country with some really skilled players. What I didn't expect was for Arizona State to start to lose steam in the second period and for Quinnipiac to continue to get stronger as the game on. The physical toll wore on Arizona State and the Bobcats made them pay with five unanswered goals. I have no problem eating crow and even having the team account having some fun at my expense.

-  This sweep was just massive for Quinnipiac for pairwise reasons. I know people think its early in the season still but wins like these will help later in the season. Just ask the 2016-17 or 2019-2020 teams. A couple early season losses against non-conference teams flipped to wins and those two teams are NCAA tournament teams. Note the 2019-2020 season was ended by the pandemic but Quinnipiac was still past the pairwise cut line. The Bobcats sweep pushed them to 7th in the pairwise. Had they split they would have been 12th. Had Arizona State swept they would have fell to 24th. The comeback Friday will prove big in the long run and there is no denying that.

- It is looking like the Quinnipiac power play could be turning a corner. They went 3 of 10 on the weekend with goals by Ty Smilanic, Michael Lombardi and Oliver Chau. I still think there is too much passing and not enough shots on goal along with traffic in front. I also think you need to take the fact that Arizona State is not a disciplined hockey team. They take way too many penalties and that costs a team like that in the long run. 

- One of the big things that won Quinnipiac the game on Friday was their conditioning. They are probably in the top five of top conditioned teams in the country and it showed against Arizona State as they rallied from a three goal deficit only to continue to get stronger as the game went along. That is impressive to say the least and strength coach Brijesh Patel should get a ton of credit working with these players. 

- It will be interesting to see how long the goaltender split will continue for Quinnipiac. I think Yaniv Perets has outplayed transfer Dylan St. Cyr with the eye test and frankly on the stat sheet. I am to the belief that there comes a point in the season where you need to ride one of the two goaltenders especially down the stretch. 

- Brendan Less was out of the lineup on Saturday due to an injury. Less has been a very consistent player on the back end for Quinnipiac. If there is any silver lining, its that Quinnipiac has the depth on defense this year to sustain an injury on the back end. In other years they may not but the Bobcats go at least nine deep and that doesn't include freshman Jack Babbage who has yet to see game action.

- Saturday saw the season debut of Chrtistophe Fillion who missed the first 11 games of the season. He immediately contributed with an assist on the Michael Lombardi power play goal. Fillion is expected to be a solid contributor especially after an 11 point campaign in his freshman season. He should be a boost to the lineup for the Bobcats going forward.

- Quinnipiac plays the next four games in league play with the North Country teams coming to Hamden this upcoming weekend followed by a road trip to the New York Capital region the following weekend to play RPI and Union. Friday night will see Quinnipiac play Clarkson in a match up with two of the top teams in the ECAC. The following night I expect to see Quinnipiac with some revenge in their eyes against St. Lawrence who won the Whitelaw Cup on the Bobcats home ice last March.

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Thoughts and Observations from Quinnipiac's ECAC opening weekend

Ethan de Jong had a goal this weekend in a win against Yale

It was the opening weekend of ECAC play for Quinnipiac and the Bobcats got off to the start they were expected to in conference play. They took care of business against both Yale and Brown shutting them both out on consecutive nights. Getting off to a good start in conference play is always a must as you never want to be playing catch up. Quinnipiac will now dive into non conference play with two home games against Arizona State this weekend. Here are my thoughts and observations from the opening weekend in ECAC play.

- We are almost a third of the way through this season and you can tell what the identity of the Bobcats is already. They are a defense oriented team first. When the Bobcats defense is on and playing its game it is going to be difficult to beat them because they essentially smother opponents into submission. This past weekend they gave up 24 shots total in two games. Its rare to see a team consistently give up so few shots but the Bobcats are one of those teams that just a fundamentally a great defensive team. Just ten games into this season and Quinnipiac already has four shutouts. Very impressive what they are doing on the back end. 

- For a team that is 7-1-2 you would think there wouldn't be any concerns but to me they are just struggling offensively right now. Quinnipiac has scored just eight goals in the past four games and none of these teams were world beaters either. That is just very concerning especially with the talent they have up front. This past weekend alone saw 72 Quinnipiac shots on goal and just four goals. And one of the goal was an empty net variety by TJ Friedmann in the Yale game. The offense has to improve if this team is going to be able to go toe to toe with some of the high powered offenses this year. 

- Sophomore Nick Bochen hasn't seen a ton of game action this year and a lot of that is due to the depth on the back end. He played in both games this weekend and scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Brown on Saturday. Bochen is a player who flashed last season especially on the power play. His goal on Saturday came on the power play. I wonder if Rand Pecknold will start to play Bochen more especially with the massive struggles on the Bobcats power play to the start of this season.

- Yaniv Perets saw back to back games for the second time this year and was rewarded with two shutouts on the weekend. His performance earned him ECAC goaltender of the week. He made 24 saves in two games this weekend but he was rarely challenged and didn't have to face an onslaught of shots because of his defense in front of him. Its kind of hard to get a read on his performance and Dylan St. Cyr's for that matter because the defense in front of them has been so good. 

- The power play struggles have continued and don't seem to get any better. It's same cycling of the puck that hasn't produced many results always looking for the one timer from the side. Can they get some traffic in front of the net and just fire on pucks and get some redirects? Both Ty Smilanic and Skyler Brind'Amour are big players who should be in front of the net to create space. They need to put more pucks on the net instead of always looking for that bomb from the side. 

- One thing I am concerned with almost a third of the way through the season is that while Quinnipiac is 7-1-2, ranked 5th and has beaten teams such as North Dakota, they are only 15th in the pairwise rankings. Its not a great spot to be in even though there is a ton of season left. One reason I am concerned is Quinnipiac hasn't played a great schedule to begin the season outside of Boston College and North Dakota and even Boston College has struggled so far. Looking ahead they really don't have any quality non conference games left as Arizona State is a mid tier team while Long Island is a bottom feeder and they are playing two games against them. They possibly could get a game with Connecticut should they meet in the Connecticut Ice Final. Coupled with the fact that the ECAC looks kind of weak this season gives me some concern. I don't think Quinnipiac can slip up many times remaining if at all because of where they are currently in the pairwise.

- This weekends series against Arizona State is a very important one. It is tough say to how good the Sun Devils are but they have a lot of talent especially offensively and a roster with six NHL draft picks. The last time these two teams played was the 2019-2020 season in which the Bobcats were swept out in the desert. 

You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Defenseman Lucas Sorace commits to Quinnipiac

Lucas Sorace during his time with Burnaby Winter Club

Quinnipiac this past week picked up another future defenseman commitment when Lucas Sorace of the Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) verbally committed to the Bobcats per the press release from Chilliwack. Sorace is a 6'1, 170 pound left shot defenseman. The 2004 born native of Port Moody, BC, Canada has only played in one game this season for Chilliwack and is currently skating with the North East Chiefs U18 team. He previously played for the Burnaby Winter Club in the 2019-2020 season. Not much is known about Sorace who isn't expected to arrive in Hamden until the 2023-2024 season.


EliteProspects Player Page

BCHL Player Page 


You can follow the BobcatsHockeyBlog on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.