Quinnipiac men’s hockey seniors Bo Pieper and Kevin McKernan sign ECHL contracts

Juliana Nikac

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Quinnipiac men’s hockey seniors Bo Pieper and Kevin McKernan both signed ECHL contracts this week, making them the second and third of the five graduating seniors to do so. Forward Tanner MacMaster was inked by the Vancouver Canucks AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets this past week. Pieper was picked up by the Adirondack Thunder, the New Jersey Devils affiliate in Glen Falls, New York, and McKernan signed with the Fort Wayne Komets, the Arizona Coyotes affiliate in Indiana.

In his first year with the Bobcats, Pieper played in 38 games, racking up three goals and 10 assists for a total of 13 points. He was the only freshman to end the season with a positive plus/minus rating and ranked second in his class in points. During his sophomore year, Pieper continued to grow in his 42 games played, tallying up five goals and four assists for a total of nine points.

Pieper’s offensive game really became known during his junior season when he led the team in goals with 13 and notched up 12 assists, placing him fifth on the team in points with a total of 25. He established himself as a threat while also able to do work on the defensive side.

Pieper entered his final season with 120 career games under his belt, the second-most in NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey, and the second-longest active streak. He tallied up 11 goals and seven assists in 38 games for the Bobcats.

From his stellar defensive play to offensive breakouts, Pieper is certainly going to be a missing piece of the Bobcats’ roster next season. His on-ice dedication is a force to be reckoned with and his experience at Quinnipiac just may give him the edge in the professional level.

McKernan would become a defensive machine over the course of his four years. He slowly found his groove as a freshman, earning one goal and two assists in 26 games. The Massachusetts native shined during his sophomore season, scoring a career-high four goals and six assists as well as sitting third on the team in blocked shots with 60.

During the 2016-2017 season, he continued to shine behind the blue line while quietly racking up four goals and 10 assists. McKernan’s hard work during his first three seasons with the Bobcats earned him the honor of assistant captain for the 2017-2018 season. He played in 33 games and tallied up three goals and six assists for a total of nine points.

While his numbers did not always stand out on the scoresheet, McKernan’s work on the defensive side should not go unnoticed. He battled for the puck in the tough areas and gave the Bobcats offensive opportunities when they needed it most.

Bo Pieper and Kevin McKernan are leaving Quinnipiac with a combined 42 goals and 97 total points. They gained valuable experience while capturing the ECAC Hockey regular-season championship two years in a row during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 season as well as winning the ECAC Hockey tournament in 2016. Reaching the NCAA National Championship their sophomore season gave them a taste of that high-level of play that they will soon experience in the pros. Keep an eye out for these two to see just how much noise they will make in the future.

Follow Liz Flynn on Twitter: @LizFlynn_