Langlois Has Quinnipiac at Top of the Class
by Mike McMahon/Staff Writer
See all of CHN's Tournament coverage: articles, brackets, history and more.
PITTSBURGH Quinnipiac senior forward Jeremy Langlois was lighting the Eastern Junior Hockey League on fire in 2008. As a result, swarms of NCAA coaches were practically falling over each other for some much-coveted face time with the Arizona native.
When it was all said and done, he had offers on the table from Cornell and New Hampshire. He picked ... Quinnipiac?
Even though their record was a respectable 18-18-5, at the time, the Bobcats were coming off their worst season since making the jump to Division I and their worst overall record since the 1994-95 season. On top of that, they hadn’t made the NCAA tournament since their years in the MAAC.
UNH was in the midst of an eight-year NCAA streak and had won Hockey East in two of the previous three seasons. Cornell had made the tournament in three out of the previous five years and were perennial contenders in the ECAC.
The EJHL Most Valuable Player and scoring champ chose the Bobcats, in large part because of head coach Rand Pecknold and a program that he saw as being on the brink of superstardom.
In Thursday’s semifinal, Langlois scored his 100th career point, a goal, helping the Bobcats beat St. Cloud State, 4-1, in the national semifinals.
“A large part of it for me was the coaching staff I was going to play for,” he said. “Rand did a great job recruiting me and showing me the new rink and how beautiful it was. But, for me, the most important thing was feeling comfortable and knowing that I would contribute right away and Rand told me not only would I contribute, but I’d have the chance to come in and make an impact.”
Langlois had 20 points as a freshman, 23 as a sophomore (including 18 goals) and 26 points (17 goals) as a junior. This season, the senior has 31 points, including 13 goals.
Langlois is just part of what has evolved into the best recruiting class in Quinnipiac’s history.
Fellow senior Ben Arnt also scored in Thursday's win, and Eric Hartzell, who barely played as a freshman, is a finalist for the Hobey Baker, which will be awarded Friday.
“Their freshman year, right out of the gate, I knew they were special,” Pecknold said. “We were 12-1 and at the time we had 13 freshmen in the lineup. It wasn’t all them, we had some older guys, but I knew right then that they were going to be good.”
He continued, “It’s just an awesome group with great character. In today’s day and age, a lot of people want to do the right thing when someone is watching them so they’ll get that pat on the back. These guys, these seniors, they do what they’re supposed to do when no one’s watching, too. They’ll help that little old lady across the street even if no one is watching because they don’t want that pat on the back. They’re just a great group of guys. They’re special; they’re the reason we’re here.”
For Langlois, some of his junior teammates may have snickered when he made his commitment, but he’s the one laughing now.
“I knew this was a program just waiting to break out,” he said. “My class is a great class, I love these guys, so what we’re doing as seniors, it’s just cool to be doing what we’re doing.”