Sacred Heart wins inaugural CT Ice Festival, beating Quinnipiac in title game


Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn

Highlights – Connor Ullathorne

The Rebound – Tom Krosnowski and Patrick Flatley

Story – Tom Krosnowski

The inaugural Connecticut Ice tournament has ended, but not in the way that Quinnipiac preferred. The Bobcats struggled with their consistency in all three zones in a disappointing 4-1 loss to the Sacred Heart Pioneers, which saw the unranked Atlantic Hockey school topple a nationally-ranked ECAC Hockey foe and pick up its first tournament championship in program history.

Although the Bobcats jumped out to an early 1-0 lead (courtesy of Karlis Cukste) and played with pace and passion in the first period, the Pioneers took complete control for the last 40 minutes, scoring four unanswered goals and limiting Quinnipiac’s high-danger scoring chances. Although he repeatedly praised the effort that Sacred Heart put out in the win, Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold was none too pleased with the way his team played.

“I thought the second period was atrocious, and the third period was poor,” Pecknold said. “We need to play better. We kind of stood around a lot. It was frustrating. Disappointing.”

Pecknold pointed to his team’s “immaturity” as the main culprit for their period-to-period lapses.

“We need to play a good hard 60 minutes, and it’s just a maturity issue that we’ve had all year long,” Pecknold said. “When I’ve had great teams, we’ve played 60 every night, so it’s a work in progress, and hopefully we’ll figure it out at some point. We’re getting close to playoff time.”

Although the postseason is right around the corner, the Bobcats will have to fix some key issues if they plan on enjoying a deep run. The team will have to reload quickly, as No. 1 Cornell is set to come to town on Friday to renew a longtime rivalry with valuable conference points on the line.

Players and Coaches speak on the future impact of Connecticut Ice Tournament – Tom Krosnowski

Check out the rest of our coverage from Saturday and Sunday at the Connecticut Ice in Bridgeport.