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Bobcats prepare for crucial ECAC weekend
As the weekend draws closer, the importance of the games only grows. The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team faces off against two ECAC rivals, Cornell and Colgate.
The games are crucial in determining the final standing in the conference and have serious playoff implications. Cornell is five points behind Quinnipiac, Colgate is two.
Junior forward Matthew Peca sees the weekend as an opportunity to learn from their mistakes.
“I think we gotta be better. We’ve passed up I think three Saturday night games in a row,” he said. “Obviously you can’t look ahead, but we need to play two full 60-minute games this weekend. Points are pretty valuable this time of year, so we can’t drop any games.”
What may be more important to this team, statistics aside, is the departure of their senior class. Saturday night’s Colgate game is Senior Night, when captain Cory Hibbeler, assistant captains Connor and Kellen Jones, Brooks Robinson, Jordan Samuels-Thomas and Zach Tolkinen will be honored.
The class of 2014 had a long resume of accomplishments: two 100-point scorers and a trip to the national championship in the spring of 2013.
Head coach Rand Pecknold praised the work of the seniors.
“Great guys really, they’ve done a lot for our program,” he said. “It’s going to be a pretty big hit we’re going to take. But, you know, we’re going to have to figure out a way to move on.”
A cornerstone of the program moving forward is Peca, who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the seventh round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He, however, doesn’t see himself as the only leader on this team.
“You know, Sam Anas has played a big part on this team, a lot of sophomores have come out this year, Soren Jonzzon, Michael Garteig,” he said. “You look for players like that to step up when seniors leave.”
The season does not end for the Bobcats on Saturday. They travel to play St. Lawrence Feb. 28 and Clarkson March 1 before the playoffs start.