Cait’s Column: With Quinnipiac’s weekend sweep came an attitude shift

Bobcats head into their upcoming road trip with a new sense of purpose

By on February 8, 2018

Richie Petrosino | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
“We got really fired up for that game (against Clarkson) and that’s what we need to bring to every single game from here on out.”

The difference four days can make.

On Tuesday, Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey head coach Rand Pecknold said that his team’s 5-3 loss to Princeton was right up there in terms of most the disappointing performances of his 24-year career in Hamden.

However, following his team’s first weekend sweep (and home wins) since Nov. 17-18 this past weekend, Quinnipiac’s overall team mood has vastly shifted.

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
From freshman goalie Keith Petruzzelli getting his first win since Oct. 20 against Northeastern to freshman Matt Forchuk earning his first multi-point game of the season to the dynamic duo of freshman Odeen Tufto and senior Tanner MacMaster extending their respective point streaks.

Almost everything went right for the Bobcats these last two games.

The negativity surrounding a team that failed to meet expectations now seems to be in the rearview mirror and a more positive attitude has taken over moving into the final few games of the regular season.

“I thought the guys were ready,” Pecknold said. “We played with a lot of passion, a lot of care and it’s nice to get the sweep at home this weekend.”

Justin Cait | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
While beating then-No. 3 Clarkson was an impressive feat for this Bobcat team, that shift was truly evident in its game against St. Lawrence on Saturday.

For the majority of the season, Quinnipiac has been a team that competed for mediocrity, but this weekend proved different.

“We knew we had to play great hockey to beat [Clarkson], but even better was that we didn’t play down the next night,” junior captain Chase Priskie said. “Just because a team isn’t ranked as high, we still brought the same compete level, battle level, went out and got two wins on the weekend which was huge.”

The ability to stay composed in a game against a lacking team like St. Lawrence, following arguably the biggest win of the season, shows a newfound maturity within this group.

Now going into a weekend on the road against two teams (Yale and Brown) that the Bobcats have beaten by a combined of 8-0 this season, every member of this team knows how important these two games really are.

Will that same mindset found this weekend stick? It sure does look like it. But with an inconsistent bunch it just as easily could collapse as the majority of the season has gone.

“I know the first part of this year hasn’t been the best,” senior forward Bo Pieper said. “But it seems like we’re getting it going and everyone’s pretty excited about it.”

For the Bobcats, it’s the beginning of the end to 2017-18 regular season. It should be an intriguing finish to say the least.

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About Justin Cait

Web Director
Quinnipiac men's ice hockey writer
Journalism major / Sports Studies minor
Junior, Class of 2019
Twitter: @justin_cait
justincait.com