The Quinnipiac men's ice hockey team will host Acadia for an exhibition game on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 4 p.m. at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn. Live video will be available at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.tv while live stats and audio will be available at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.
Quinnipiac's first action of the 2011-12 seasons comes a few days after the Bobcats were projected to finish sixth in the ECAC Hockey Coaches and Media Associations Preseason Polls. Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold will return for his 18th year with the Bobcats with the hopes of improving on last year's 16-15-8 mark. Last season, the team's 15th consecutive non-losing season, the Bobcats advanced to the ECAC Hockey Tournament quarterfinals for the sixth time in as many seasons. Quinnipiac is the only team to win an ECAC Hockey Tournament series in each of the last six years.
This year's team will resemble the 2010-11 version, as Quinnipiac will look to replace just five players from last year's team, only one of which saw regular playing time in Zach Hansen, who is playing professionally with the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL. The Bobcats bring back nine of its top 10 scorers from a year ago - including the top seven. Senior captain Scott Zurevinski (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) will lead Quinnipiac this season after posting a team-high in points a year ago. Linemates Connor and Kellen Jones, twins from Montrose, British Columbia, made an immediate impact upon touching down in Mt. Carmel, both hitting the 20-point mark in their first season of college hockey. 2010-11 Most Valuable Player, and 2009-10 Rookie of the Year, Jeremy Langlois (Tempe, Ariz.) has established himself as an offensive force in ECAC Hockey and will look to build on that in the upcoming year.
On the blueline, Loren Barron (Glendora, Calif.) led all Bobcat defensemen in scoring last year while also becoming the first defenseman since Cashman to lead the team in assists. Assistant captain Mike Glaicar (Kamloops, British Columbia) will be looked upon for veteran leadership while Zach Davies (Smithers, British Columbia) and Mike Dalhuisen (Nymegen, Holland) also return to the Bobcats' d-corps.
In net, Pecknold has the luxury of carrying two battle-tested goalies in Dan Clarke (Belleville, Ontario) and Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, Minn.). Clarke had one of the all-time great seasons for Quinnipiac goalies in 2009-10 while Hartzell had a career-year in 2010-11. Both have shown signs of brilliance between the pipes, and will likely push each other moving forward.
The Bobcats will welcome four freshmen to the roster this season, in Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario), Bryce Van Brabant (Morinville, Alberta), Jack Callahan (Red Bank, N.J.) and Dan Federico (Acton, Mass.). In addition to the first-year players, the Bobcats will add Jordan Samuels-Thomas (Windsor, Conn.), who transferred from Bowling Green after leading the team in scoring for the past two seasons and will join the team in 2012-13. Peca was named at the top forward at the RBC Cup Championship last season, and was highly recruited by several major junior teams. Van Brabant is a big, physical player while Callahan and Federico will add depth to the forward and defenseman spots, respectively.
Quinnipiac opens the regular season next weekend, Oct. 7-8, when it travels to Columbus, Ohio to take on Ohio State University in a two-game series. The Bobcats will play at home for the first time this season on Wednesday, Oct. 12 when they host Holy Cross at 7 p.m. at High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn.