Pecknold and Lipkin Get the Nod for Team USA


Credit: QU Athletics

Aiden Barrett, Beat Reporter: Quinnipiac Men's Ice Hockey

Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey head coach Rand Pecknold will be the bench boss at the 2023 World Junior Championship for Team USA. Dartmouth head coach Reid Cashman and Western Michigan head coach Pat Ferschweiler will join him as assistants. Jared Waimon will be in charge of the goaltending while Shawn Roche has been named the video coach someone who has worked closely with Pecknold.


Cashman played for Pecknold and the Bobcats from 2004-2007.


“It’s an honor to be asked to lead this team,” said Pecknold.


Pecknold has been with Quinnipiac since 1994 turning them into a Division I program in just his fifth season.


Pecknold has made himself one of the college coaching elites. His resume speaks for itself. The Bobcats main man in charge has won ten conference championships, two frozen four appearances, and he became the 19th coach in men’s Division I history to coach 1,000 games. The Bobcats currently sit as the number two team in the country.


Even for its smaller size, Pecknold has turned Quinnipiac into a recruiting powerhouse. They seem to put together rosters every season that are a threat to not only make the tournament but do damage in it in the past decade. The University has put together teams that saw a blue line holding the names of Devon Toews, Chase Priskie, and Connor Clifton.


The Bobcats are in prime position again this year to make a run at the tournament as they are top three in both goals for and goals against. They are one of two teams to sit top ten in both categories.


Pecknold takes over for Nate Leaman who led Team USA to a gold medal in 2021 in a stunning win over team Canada led by current NHL stars Trevor Zegras, Cole Caulfield, and Spencer Knight.


“Summer we had our camp together,” said Pecknold. ”Both coaching staffs shared a locker room so there was a lot of professional development between the two staffs. He’s been a great resource, obviously, he won gold two years ago.”


This year there is a new group of players mixed together as every player from the 2021 squad has aged out.


It only takes a quick glance at this roster to be able to tell that they are going to be one of the top transitional teams in this tournament. Just start with the defense as they have three of the most elite puck-moving defenseman for their age group in Luke Hughes, Lane Hutson, and Seamus Casey. Then combine that with speedy forwards Logan Cooley, Cutter Gauthier, and Dylan Duke this team will be one of the tougher teams to play with.


This is the type of play you see a lot when you watch Pecknold teams at Quinnipiac. Defensemen who can move the puck up ice quickly and effectively and use their wingers for outlet passes to attack the blue line with speed.


One player who is most familiar with Pecknold’s play is former 70-point getter of the USHL Sam Lipkin. Lipkin is a first-year at Quinnipiac and a seventh-round draft pick of the Arizona Coyotes in 2021.


The 19-year-old has been on a tear as of late with the Bobcats over a point-per-game player with 19 points in 18 games and playing first-line minutes as the season has gone on. Lipkin had a 5-point outing in his most recent game for Quinnipiac against Union.


The first glimpse of in-game action for Team USA will be Monday, Dec. 19, at 6:00 p.m. est. against Finland.