Quinnipiac’s leaders reach milestones as Bobcats dominate Raiders 6-0


Photo credit: Quinnipiac Athletics

Jonathan Banks, Men's Hockey Beat Reporter




The last time the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team played in an NHL rink, the Bobcats were looking to cap off a memorable 30-win season with a victory in the NCAA Championship Game against North Dakota.

Amalie Arena, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, was not friendly to the Connecticut school, as the Fighting Hawks bullied the Bobcats to the tune of a 5-1 scoreline to claim the national championship.

This time, albeit in an environment with much less pressure, the Bobcats might not have won a national championship, but multiple records were still set.

Head Coach Rand Pecknold recorded his 500th career win and captain Chase Priskie notched his 100th career point, the 40th Quinnipiac player to do so.

The Bobcats pounced on the Colgate Raiders early and often to down their ECAC Hockey rivals 6-0 at the Nassau Coliseum, home of the New York Islanders.

“I thought tonight was a really good team effort. I thought the kids were focused and locked in, and the goaltending was there,” head coach Rand Pecknold said.

The story of the game for Quinnipiac, at least offensively, belonged to three defenseman. All three of these players were drafted by NHL teams. Peter DiLiberatore, a 6th round draft pick of the Vegas Golden Knights, netted his first goal of the season in the first period.

Early in the second period, San Jose Sharks prospect Karlis Cukste netted his first on the year when a wrist shot from the point evaded everyone in front of the net.

Then, just under two minutes into the third period, it was a captain’s contribution from Chase Priskie (Washington Capitals). The Florida native came into the third period with 98 career points, and started off the final frame strong when he sizzled a pass through the crease for Michael Lombardi to tap in for Quinnipiac’s fourth goal on the night.

Later on in the period, a Priskie feed found Desi Burgart who scored from close range for the first goal of his career.

In that moment, Priskie captured the 100th point of his career. Just like the true leader he has shown to be since he was named captain before his junior season, all he was thinking about was his teammate.

“Oh, I was really excited. I told him if he hit the net it was going in,” Priskie said. “I was just so happy he got his first one. Hopefully the floodgates open and we see many more of Desi [Burgart] scoring.”

Quinnipiac’s main man, who has now registered a point in 15 of 18 contests, was able to etch himself into the history books yet again.

Rand Pecknold is grateful for the man and player his captain has been throughout his time at Quinnipiac.

“He’s such a high character person. I think he had a 3.95 GPA last semester,” Pecknold said. “He’s going to graduate with his undergraduate and MBA in six years of schooling in four, you can’t say enough good things about him. He’s been a great captain, obviously having a great year. He’s been our best player this year.”

Meanwhile, Pecknold was reflective on his record-breaking night, one his family was on hand to celebrate with him.

They’ve been living vicariously through Pecknold’s storied career in Hamden.

“It’s my life. Obviously I feel very fortunate to be at Quinnipiac and the last contracts I’ve signed have been fantastic for me and my family,” Pecknold said. “It’s my life, and my family’s life, so I don’t think I’m going to do another 25 years, but I also don’t think I’m going anywhere right now.”

Priskie, Pecknold and the rest of the No. 5 Quinnipiac Bobcats will return home to Hamden next week to host the same Raiders- a team they have outscored 11-0 in both games they’ve played against them this campaign.

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