Quinnipiac men’s hockey blanks Yale 4-0 in Heroes Hat game


Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn/Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network

Tom Krosnowski , Men's Ice Hockey Beat Reporter

Friday night’s Quinnipiac vs Yale men’s ice hockey game already had high stakes. For one, the Bobcats and the Bulldogs have one of the fiercest rivalries in college hockey. Adding to the drama, the teams entered Friday tied in second in the ECAC Hockey standings, each sporting a 9-4-1 conference record.

To say there was a lot of pressure on the game would be an understatement. But the Bobcats had one more reason to get up for gameday, and this one had little to do with hockey.

When Quinnipiac and Yale faced off Friday night, it was for the 17th annual Heroes Hat, an award established in honor of the brave men and women who lost their lives during the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Joseph Mascali, a father of three Quinnipiac alumni, was one of many who died in the tragedy. After the game, members of the Mascali family presented the honorary fireman’s hat to the victorious Bobcats, who kept the Heroes Hat in-house for the sixth straight year.

“It’s special,” head coach Rand Pecknold said. “We let the Mascali family come into the locker room afterwards. It’s a special moment to share with the Mascali family, and I’m happy that we won it again.”

The Bobcats have won the Heroes Hat for 15 of the 17 years since it has been established, only losing it from 2011-2012 to Yale. Though winning Friday’s game snapped a tie in the standings with Yale and leaves Quinnipiac just one point out of first place in ECAC Hockey, the impact that the Heroes Hat game has on the players and the Mascali family may be the most important aspect of the game.

“They talked about how much the Quinnipiac community means to them, and how it helped them through that time,” junior forward Nick Jermain said. “They take a lot of pride in us keeping that hat for them.”

Postgame press conferences: