Quinnipiac Men's Ice Hockey Picked 8th In ECAC Hockey Preseason Polls

The Quinnipiac University men's ice hockey team was picked to finish eighth out of 12 teams in both 2010-11 ECAC Hockey Preseason Polls, one voted on by the ECAC Hockey head coaches and one voted on by the media. Both polls were announced at the 2010 ECAC Hockey Media Day, held at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., which will also serve as the site for the 2011 ECAC Hockey Championship.

In both the coaches' and media poll Yale was the top pick, followed by Cornell and Union. In the coaches' poll, Rensselaer took the fourth spot, followed by Colgate in fifth, Dartmouth in sixth and Harvard in the seventh spot just ahead of the Bobcats. St. Lawrence, Princeton, Brown and Clarkson rounded out the field. Yale claimed 11 of the 12 first-place votes in the coaches poll, with Cornell claiming the remaining first place marker.

In the media poll, Colgate was picked fourth, followed by Rensselaer, Dartmouth and St. Lawrence ahead of Quinnipiac. Princeton, Harvard, Brown and Clarkson filled the remaining spots. Yale received 25 first-place votes, Cornell and Colgate both received two while Union claimed on first-place vote.

Quinnipiac University Men's Ice Hockey Head Coach Rand Pecknold returns for his 17th season behind the Bobcats bench following a 2009-10 season that saw the Bobcats reach new heights. Last season, Quinnipiac won 12 of its first 13 games, cracking the Top 10 in the national polls en route to its highest ranking of all-time, 4th in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls.

Quinnipiac's early-season success featured wins against nationally-ranked Ohio State on the Buckeyes' home-ice to open the season before running its record to 12-1 through its first 13 games. Included in the run that culminated with the No. 4 ranking were wins against nationally-ranked UMass and Cornell, including Quinnipiac's second win in their last three regular-season games at Lynah Rink. The Bobcat line-up featured a pair of early-season nationally-ranked scoring leaders in Brandon Wong and Eric Lampe, as well as the AHCA National Player of the Month for November in goalie Dan Clarke. Quinnipiac hit a lull over the middle part of the season, before clinching home-ice advantage for the ECAC Hockey First Round for the fifth consecutive year, while also extending their streak of Quarterfinal appearances to five.

When the dust settled, Wong was signed by the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League, while Lampe and Jean-Marc Beaudoin landed in the East Coast Hockey League, with Lampe lacing them up for the Florida Everglades while Beaudoin helped the Bakersfield Condors to their league championship for the first time in program history. Recently, Wong signed with the Hartford Wolf Pack and Lampe signed with the Syracuse Crunch. In addition to his team's success, Pecknold won his 300th career game as the Bobcats clinched their ECAC Hockey First-Round series.

FORWARDS

With the loss of Wong, Lampe and Beaudoin, as well as seniors Mike Atkinson and Greg Holt, the Bobcats will look to replace over 450 career points and close to 200 career goals. Junior captain Scott Zurevinski decided to stick around for his junior season in Hamden after several offers from NHL teams. Zurevinski was the only underclassman in the Bobcats' regular rotation to reach the 30-point mark and ranked second among all QU skaters with 16 goals. For his career, Zurevinski has tallied 27 goals and 21 assists for 48 points through two seasons.

Team Rookie of the Year Jeremy Langlois showed signs of brilliance last year and will be looked upon to continue his growth as a scorer in the Bobcats' line-up. Last season, Langlois led all freshman with eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points. Sophomore Yuri Bouharevich will add to the Bobcats' scoring punch after missing the second half of the season to an injury. In 20 games last season, Bouharevich scored four goals and assisted on eight more for 12 points. Junior Spencer Heichman (3 goals, 1 assist) will look to rebound from last season when his numbers dropped from a promising freshman year (4-11). Second-year skaters Russell Goodman (2-3, 19 games), Ben Arnt (2-4), Reese Rolheiser (4-4) and D'Arcy Oakes (5-6) will be looked on to contribute.

The Bobcats add several promising players to their offense, highlighted by the Jones brothers, Connor and Kellen, who was selected in this past season's NHL Draft by the Edmonton Oilers. The twin brothers electrified the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) last year, leading the Vernon Vipers to their sixth Coupe RBC National Championship.In addition to the Jones', Pecknold has also brought in Corey Hibbeler from the United States Hockey League's Lincoln Stars, Brooks Robinson from Fort MacMurray of the BCHL and John Dunbar from the Calgary Canucks from the Alberta Jr. Hockey League (AJHL) to add to the Bobcats depth on offense.

DEFENSE

The Bobcats will bring back five players who played no fewer than 36 games last season on the blue line. Leading the defensive core will be senior assistant captain Zach Hansen and junior assistant captain Mike Glaicar. Hansen has established himself as a solid defensive presence as well as one of the top scoring defenseman in ECAC Hockey over the last three seasons. Last year, Hansen tallied three goals and 16 assists for 19 points, pushing his career total to 11 goals and 41 assists in 108 games played. Glaicar is a big, physical presence on the ice for the Bobcats and will continue to be a leader, on and off the ice.

Zach Davies had an outstanding first season on defense for Quinnipiac, scoring twice and passing out 12 assists. Davies became one of the Bobcats' top players on special teams, as his stick-handling ability made him a natural on the power play. Loren Barron played in 37 games in his first season at Quinnipiac, scoring three goals and assisting on five more from the blue line, while Mike Dalhuisen tallied a goal and six assists in 36 games played. Both are physical players on defense and add a level of toughness in front of the Bobcats' goalies. Zach Currie saw playing time in 25 games, missing time sporadically with a lingering injury that has since been remedied. Newcomer Zach Tolkinen will look to crack the Bobcats defensive pairings in his first season.

GOALIES

Dan Clarke had a break-out season earning team Most Valuable Player honors, posting an overall record of 15-15-2 with a .913 save percentage and a 2.52 goals-against average. Clarke solidified himself as one of the top goalies in ECAC Hockey after taking home four Goalie of the Week awards and was also named the Hockey Commissioner's Association (HCA) Player of the Month for November. Clarke's 73 saves against Union in the ECAC Hockey Quarters was a Quinnipiac single-game and ECAC Hockey Tournament record as well. Sophomore Eric Hartzell posted a 4-2-0 record with a 2.61 goals-against average while junior Pat McGann will both add depth behind Clarke.

SCHEDULE

Quinnipiac will face St. Thomas University of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn. The Bobcats welcome the Buckeyes on the following weekend, followed by Bentley at home on Friday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. and Holy Cross on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 4 p.m.

The Bobcats then head out onto the road for their next six games, including a two-game series against St. Cloud State on Oct. 29-30. They open ECAC Hockey play the following weekend when they travel to Meehan Auditorium in Providence, R.I. to face Brown on Nov. 5 and Ingalls Rink in New Haven, Conn. to face Yale on Nov. 6. They finish their six-game road swing against Cornell at Lynah Rink in Ithaca, N.Y. on Nov. 12 and Colgate at Starr Rink in Hamilton, N.Y. on Nov. 13. They then return home for a two-game series against Dartmouth on Nov. 19 and Harvard on Nov. 20.

Quinnipiac will then travel to the Mullins Center to take on Massachusetts on Saturday, Nov. 27 to close out the month. The Bobcats finish up the first half of the season at home against St. Lawrence on Dec. 3 and Clarkson on Dec. 4 before heading to Harvard on Wednesday, Dec. 8. The Bobcats last game before the break will be on the road when they travel to the Dunkin Donuts Center to take on Providence.

After a 19-day layoff, Quinnipiac returns to action with a two-game series against Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 30-31, with the New Year's Eve game slated for a 12 Noon puck-drop. The following weekend, Quinnipiac will host Colgate on Jan. 7 and Cornell on Jan. 8.

The Bobcats head due North for four of their next five games with a two-game series at Canisius at the Buffalo State Arena in Buffalo, N.Y. on Jan. 16-17 before heading to the North Country on Jan. 28-29 to face Clarkson and St. Lawrence, respectively. Sandwiched in the middle is a game against USA Hockey's Under-18 Team on Saturday, Jan. 22 at the TD Bank Sports Center.

February will feature four home games against Rensselaer on Feb. 4 and Union on Feb. 5 before a road contest at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H. on Feb. 11. After hosting Yale for the Heroes Hat on Feb. 18, the Bobcats will host Brown on Feb. 19. Quinnipiac finishes the regular season on the road at Union and Rensselaer on Feb. 25-26.

Once again, the ECAC Hockey Tournament First Round (March 4-6) and Quarterfinals Series (March 11-12) will be played at the Highest Remaining seed in the ECAC Hockey standings. This year's semifinals and championship game will be played at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. on March 18-19.