Bongiovanni, Metsa, and de Jong: Up to the Task


Photo: Olamide Gbotosho

Aiden Barrett

The Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team named their captain for the 2021-2022 season, senior Wyatt Bongiovanni. He will be joined by seniors Zach Metsa and Ethan de Jong as assistant captains. 

Bongiovanni was the unanimous vote by the team for the vacant captaincy after senior Odeen Tufto graduated. 

Bongiovanni missed 20 games this past season but still found a way to hit the back of the net five times along with three helpers in the nine games he played. The junior forward also scored a crucial goal in the ECAC Hockey Championship game after a 20-game absence. 

Bongiovanni is no stranger to playing a big role with the club as he started the season on the top line with Tufto and first-year Ty Smilanic. 

The winger will take these experiences with him as he will have the “C” sewed onto his jersey for the 2021-2022 season. 

A player who may have taken the biggest step forward this past season will also have a bigger leadership role. Metsa lead all Bobcat defenseman in assists (21) and points (26) and was also named a finalist for ECAC Hockey Defensive Defenseman of the year.  

Metsa has shown growth in every season since coming to Quinnipiac. The defenseman has improved in points every year and has really tightened up his defensive game resulting in bigger minutes in Head Coach Rand Pecknold’s lineup. 

Metsa’s strong play really put the Bobcat’s defense over the top in the conference with an already stout defense.  

Look for Metsa to take control as the quarterback in that top power play unit after defenseman Peter DiLiberatore signed his entry level contract with the Vegas Golden Knights. 

Reigning ECAC Defensive Forward finalist de Jong will serve as the second assistant captain. De Jong was one of Quinnipiac’s top snipers, scoring 14 times which is tied for the team lead in goals with Smilanic.  

De Jong almost doubled his point totals from a season ago in five less games, putting him second on the team in scoring (29) behind Tufto (47). 

Tufto broke defenseman Reid Cashman’s university assist record (125) including 39 this season playing on a line with de Jong. 

De Jong is poised for a big season year as he is now the highest point getter left on the team.  

Success in hockey has become the norm at Quinnipiac. After a strong 17-win season and a bid to the NCAA Hockey Championship Tournament Pecknold’s squad was not content.  

The Bobcats have qualified for the tournament in five of the past eight times it has been held.  

With multiple players leaving, Pecknold will look to a group that has played together since their first year to be the leaders in Quinnipiac ultimate goal. A National Championship.