by Tim Rosenthal/Staff Writer
Head Coach: Rand Pecknold
2006-07 Record: 21-14-5 (10-8-4 ECAC); ECAC Tournament Runner Up
Key Returnees: Jamie Bates F SR., Ben Nelson F SR., Matt Sorteberg D SR., Dan Lefort D SR., Bud Fisher G JR., Dan Henningson D JR., Andrew Meyer D JR., David Marshall F JR., Bryan Leitch F JR., Chris Myers F JR., Brandon Wong F SO., Greg Holt F SO., Jean-Marc Beaudoin F SO.
Key Losses: Reid Cashman, Michael Bordieri, John Doherty
Even though Quinnipiac did not win its conference in 2006-07, the Bobcats made a lot of noise heading into this upcoming season — and nearly stood everything on its ear.
"It was a breakthrough year," said head coach Rand Pecknold about last year's Bobcats, which came a few minutes away from an ECAC title. "I was excited with the results and a top 20 finish."
After the opening weekend at North Dakota, where the Bobcats got decimated with a combined score of 10-3, the Bobcats went 8-2-4 through December.
The team played sub-.500 hockey in January and February. The record at the end of the regular season was 16-13-5.
Enter the ECAC tournament. After a hard fought sweep of Union, the Bobcats would go into the hostile environment of Lynah Rink in Ithica to face Cornell. The Bobcats shut out the Big Red the first night and then earned a hard-fought, victory the next night to complete the sweep. The final victory came against ECAC regular season champion St.Lawrence before losing to eventual champion Clarkson, who came back from two goals down in the third to win.
"I was impressed with the play of the league," Pecknold said. "We have good coaches and teams challenged each other each and every night."
Now a look ahead into 2007-08. The Bobcats should be one of the favorites in the conference with a strong core of players returning.
Quinnipiac will be led by senior forward Jamie Bates, who was an assistant captain last year. Senior defenseman Matt Sorteberg and junior defenseman Dan Hennigson will serve as the assistant captains.
"I think we have great leadership potential in those three guys," Pecknold said about the captains.
The three captains will look to help the small class of 2011 this season.
"I like the class," Pecknold said. "I am hoping for the same this year. The TD Banknorth Sports Center helped a lot with for this year and future years. It's a great campus with great hockey."
For this upcoming year Pecknold has a couple of goals in mind.
"Our next step is to sustain last year's results as well as maintaining our presence as a program." Pecknold said about a program which will play just its third season in the ECAC.
If last year was a step forward for the program, then this year, with a full season at the TD Banknorth Sports Center, there should be a lot of buzz around Hamden, Connecticut.