Quinnipiac Men’s Ice Hockey Returns to Action Monday vs. Sacred Heart


Photo: Liz Flynn

Patrick Flatley

Season Preview – Forwards

Season Preview – Defense

Season Preview – Goaltending

Story by Patrick Flatley 

No, you are not dreaming. Hockey is back in Hamden.

It feels like a lifetime ago when the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team dominated Yale in the 18th annual Heroes’ Hat game back in early March right before COVID-19 shut the world down.

It’s been a long nine months and with one postponement already under our belt, we are finally here.

The #10 Quinnipiac Bobcats are set to open their season Monday against the Sacred Heart Pioneers for the first of two back-to-back games.

Sacred Heart comes into this series with a 1-1 record after splitting two games with Holy Cross last weekend. The Pioneers went 1-6 on the powerplay and 3-4 on the penalty kill in those two games. Senior Marcel Godbout and junior Ryan Steele both had two goals and an assist for three points to start the season.

Sacred Heart got the better of Quinnipiac in the last meeting as the Pioneers beat the Bobcats 4-1 in the Connecticut Ice Tournament.

According to Quinnipiac Athletics, the Bobcats have a 23-8-4 record all-time against Sacred Heart including seven wins in the last nine games between the two teams.

A lot of household names have left the Bobcats since the sudden end to the 2019-2020 season as you won’t see the likes of Nick Jermain, Alex Whelan, and Karlis Cuskte.

But with Odeen Tufto having the “C” stitched into his jersey, the Bobcats are a new, hungry team.

Standout forward Wyatt Bongiovanni will be looked on to continue to carry the fill the back of the net and help lead the young forward group as an assistant captain.

On the back end, Cuskte’s departure leaves a big gap for junior Peter DiLiberatore to fill as he will be the go-to man on the blue line. The Vegas Golden Knights draft pick will be the other assistant captain along with Bongiovanni.

You can’t talk about draft picks without mentioning Quinnipiac’s most anticipated new recruit. First year Ty Smilanic joins the Bobcats after being selected 74th overall by the Florida Panthers in the 2020 NHL Draft. Smilanic is the highest Quinnipiac draft pick to date and will look to slide right into Rand Pecknold’s system.

It may look different with no fans or student section in the crowd at the People’s United Center, but hockey is hockey.

Sit back and enjoy it Bobcat fans. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.