After an inconsistent ’07 campaign, the men’s hockey team hopes to regain their status in the top tier of the Eastern College Athletics Conference (ECAC). Last year, the team finished with a 20-15-4 record, concluding with a loss to Harvard in the quarterfinals, a team that would find itself in the ECAC Championship game. The team began shaky, hit their stride midseason and then lost six straight conference games to finish the regular season. The Bobcats took down Brown in the first round of the ECAC playoffs but was stymied by an excellent Harvard team.
This year, the Bobcats will rely on a group of freshmen to pick up the slack left by forwards Ben Nelsen, Jamie Bates and Dan Travis, a few of the top goal scorers in Quinnipiac history. These will be big skates to fill for these eleven freshman which include names like Spencer Heichman, Scott Zurevinski, Yuri Bouharevish and Kevin Bui.
The Bobcats have a few experienced forwards, Brandon Wong and Jean-Marc Beaudoin, who figure on making a big impact on this team. Quinnipiac Head Coach Rand Pecknold expects big contributions from his returning players–especially Beaudoin
“We hope a kid like a Jean-Marc Beaudoin can elevate his game and pick up the slack for the loss of Bates and Nelsen,” Pecknold said.
The Bobcats will try to improve a defense that has been inconsistent since All-American Reid Cashman left in ’07. Last year, the Bobcats defense was mired with injuries.
“It happened that every time we got someone hurt it was a defenseman,” Pecknold said.
For the ’08 campaign, Pecknold stated that “the main thing we need to do is keep them healthy.”
They return all their starters defensively and their goaltenders, Bud Fisher and Pat McGann, who now has a year of experience under his belt.
The Quinnipiac Bobcats hit the ice for their home opener on Saturday, Nov. 1, against the UConn Huskies.