Bobcats Look for a Strong Season After Busy Offseason

Photo%3A+Olamide+Gbotosho

Photo: Olamide Gbotosho

Gage Kilborne

After losing goalie Keith Petruzzelli and captain forward Odeen Tufto, head coach Rand Pecknold decided to do something he rarely does – enter the transfer portal. 

During a press conference on Wednesday, Pecknold stated that in his past 27 years of coaching, he only had one grad transfer. This season he has five. The grad transfers Quinnipiac received are from Denver, Notre Dame, and defending national champion UMass Amherst. The transfers will help fill in some of the holes they lost last season, including former goaltender Evan Fear

Although this might seem glamorous, Pecknold was a bit nervous about the grad transfers at first. He stated that it is easier to embrace incoming first years with the Quinnipiac culture compared to grad transfers because they have their own culture they want to bring. Fortunately for Pecknold and the rest of the team, they do not have to worry about that, as the incoming grad transfers are all invested in the culture at Hamden. 

Dylan St. Cyr, former Goaltender at Notre Dame, spoke about joining the Bobcats.

“This is somewhere I wanted to go and it sounded like a great opportunity,” St. Cyr said. “I love this culture.”

Senior captain Wyatt Bongiovanni is also excited about having the grad transfers over, as they have helped with the leadership positions by providing their personal experience to the nature of the game. The captain likes how well the transition has gone due to the addition of the transfers.

“It was super smooth, these guys are eager to win, eager to learn,” Bongiovanni said. “They are getting appointed really quickly.” 

This is a great thing to hear for Quinnipiac since Pecknold had his doubts about having five grad transfers in one year. The transfers were willing to spend most of their summers in Hamden, learning how to play well with the team. They hope this has helped to strengthen the chemistry in the locker room, as well as the chemistry on the ice. 

Another big note that was mentioned throughout the press conference was how badly the team wants the national championship. Quinnipiac has been close in recent years, making it to the Frozen Four in 2013 and 2016, but ultimately losing in the national championship both times. 

With all the focus towards winning a national championship in TD Garden at Boston, the road to the Frozen Four begins on Oct. 8 vs Boston College at the Icebreaker Tournament.