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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Ryan Solomon’s Division I call up a ‘dream come true’

Quinnipiac club hockey goaltender promoted to D1 squad in the wake of injury
Jack Muscatello
Ryan Solomon, the starting goaltender for Quinnipiac’s club hockey team, stretches during warmups of his first Division I game against Yale on Nov. 11.

Forty-five minutes before Quinnipiac men’s hockey stepped on the ice to renew its rivalry with Yale on Nov. 11, junior Ryan Solomon sat in his locker room stall, staring at the Bobcats logo in the center of the jersey he was holding. 

That stall had been his for less than two weeks. That jersey — less than two days. 

“My dad told me before the game, ‘Just savor that moment when you put it on,’” Solomon said. 

It was not the first time Solomon put on a Quinnipiac jersey, nor the first time he took the ice at M&T Bank Arena. But this time, the atmosphere was a bit bigger. 

More than 3,600 fans stared down at him as he stepped out of the tunnel and took his first strides as a member of the Division I team. 

“It was pretty surreal,” Solomon said. 

In the wake of a long-term injury to junior goaltender Noah Altman, head coach Rand Pecknold turned to Solomon, the starting netminder for Quinnipiac’s club team, to fill the spot. 

“I met with him, I said, ‘Hey, you’ve got a 14-day tryout and we’ll see how it goes,’ and he’s been great,” Pecknold said. 

Solomon was officially added to the roster on Nov. 10, a day before the Bobcats’ biggest home game of the season. The next morning, Pecknold delivered the news: he was going to dress. 

“To be out there tonight for QU-Yale, it’s something you dream of as a kid,” Solomon said. “It’s just a dream come true.”

He didn’t see a second of game action and faced just six shots in warmups. But none of that particularly mattered to Solomon, a Durham, Connecticut, native who’s been watching Quinnipiac for most of his life. The moment was a testament to everything that came before it.

“To see how far I’ve come in my hockey career, this is again, a moment you dream of,” Solomon said. “It’s an honor to wear that logo, especially with these guys. Great group, led by a great coach.”

Solomon’s five older siblings went to Quinnipiac. He frequented games as a kid and looked up to Eric Hartzell and Michael Garteig, goaltenders who helped lead the Bobcats to national championship games in 2013 and 2016, respectively. His family’s reaction to watching him take the ice can be summed up in a single word.

“Chills,” Gary Solomon, Ryan’s father said. “I lean over next to my wife while we’re watching and I go, ‘Your son’s on the ice right now.’ It’s like we’re watching somebody’s else’s story.”

And the team’s excitement after learning Ryan would dress made the moment even more special.

“When you get put in a situation like this, these are some of the best hockey players in the country and you wonder how he’ll be accepted,” Gary said. “And just to see the reaction of the team after coach made that announcement — you can’t fake that.”

Ryan knows his role. He’s also aware that his opportunity came because of another’s injury. None of that is lost on him.

“The circumstances aren’t the best, seeing Noah go down,” Ryan said. “He’s obviously a very popular guy in the room, well respected. He’s been awesome to me.”

But for now, and at least through the end of December, Ryan can relish in his own underdog story — and turn to others, fictional or not, for inspiration.

“I made him watch ‘Rudy’ Monday night before his first practice,” Gary said.

Whether Ryan’s story ends with him being carried off the ice on the shoulders of his teammates remains to be seen. Regardless, the 20-year-old marketing major has forever etched his name in the Bobcats’ records books as a Division I hockey player.

“It’s just an unbelievable opportunity for him,” Gary said. “Something that was outside what I’m sure he’s ever imagined or what my wife and I have ever imagined.”

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About the Contributors
Cameron Levasseur
Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor
Jack Muscatello
Jack Muscatello, Digital Managing Editor

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