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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac cements historic run of Big Ten dominance with win over Wisconsin

Peyton McKenzie
Senior goaltender Vinny Duplessis stops a scoring chance from Wisconsin sophomore forward Simon Tassy on March 29.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Alright, roll call: Ohio State, Michigan, Minnesota and now Wisconsin. Those are the four teams from the Big Ten, in order, that Quinnipiac has consecutively defeated in the NCAA Tournament dating back to the 2023 Bridgeport Regional Final. 

“Right now, they’re the Big Ten killers,” Minnesota head coach Bob Motzko said prior to the 2023 national championship game.

Nearly a year later, it still rings true.

This streak is the first time in the single-elimination era (since 1992) that a team won four-straight NCAA Tournament games against teams from the same conference. Union and Providence won three-straight in 2014 and 2015, respectively, but no team has ever won four. 

Quinnipiac achieved that three-straight distinction in 2023, national championship and all, but the Bobcats took advantage of their chance to make it four, knocking off the Wisconsin Badgers in the regional semifinal. The game just so happened to also be the second-straight 3-2 overtime win for the Bobcats in the NCAA Tournament. 

Quinnipiac does not play Big Ten schools very often. The Bobcats matched up with teams from the conference five times in the past three seasons — all in the postseason. Before that, there was a near 10-year gap between matchups against schools that are now members of the conference spanning from October 2012 to March 2022. Back then, the Bobcats played Ohio State, who were members of the CCHA, as the Big Ten only officially began sponsoring men’s ice hockey in the 2013-14 season. 

The only Bobcat with experience playing in both the Big Ten and the ECAC is senior forward Travis Treloar, who played for Ohio State from 2020 to 2023. He even saw his junior season with the Buckeyes end at the hands of the Bobcats in the 2023 Regional Final — the game that began Quinnipiac’s Big Ten winning streak. 

As someone who played on both sides of the aisle, Treloar knows that the hockey talent in the Midwest is more comparable to the talent in the East than some may believe.

“It’s pretty similar, both conferences have really spectacular teams,” Treloar said before the Wisconsin matchup. “I think the Big Ten may be viewed as a bit more skilled, but I think the ECAC is as skilled and as talented. So, not a big difference.” 

Other players on the roster simply take pride in their ability to compete against anyone.

“We know they have high skill, high speed,” junior forward Jacob Quillan said on March 26. “I think the way we play, we match up well against those Big Ten teams.”

Graduate student forward Zach Tupker hunts down a Wisconsin defenseman behind the net. (Tripp Menhall)

The streak itself is likely not something the team holds too much weight in. Why should it? It’s not like the Bobcats can control what teams they face and in what order. 

However, it represents a greater trend of postseason success that not many NCAA teams can say they’ve had in recent years, postseason success that can only continue under an accomplished roster like Quinnipiac’s. 

“I think, just in general, people handle the moment better,” head coach Rand Pecknold said after the win against Wisconsin. “You’ve been there before, you know how to do it, you know the adversity … I think it’s great to get players with experience and high levels all the way through but certainly once you play in the NCAA (Tournament).”

A team has not won five-straight NCAA Tournament games since Minnesota-Duluth won nine-straight from 2018 to 2021 (the 2020 tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic). 

But like all things, this streak will come to an end, as Quinnipiac will not play a fifth-straight game against the Big Ten, instead trading that in for another shot at the Frozen Four against No. 1 Boston College on Sunday. However, the moment was not lost on the Bobcats, if you were wondering. 

“We need to digest this, enjoy it for about an hour and then we’ll reload and figure out how we’re going to attack,” Pecknold said.

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About the Contributors
Michael LaRocca
Michael LaRocca, Opinion Editor
Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director
Tripp Menhall
Tripp Menhall, Creative Director

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