Bragging Rights Acquired: Quinnipiac Blanks UConn 2-0 and Wins Connecticut Ice Championship


Photo: Kaylyn Terry

Shawn D'Aversa

On a cold Sunday evening in Bridgeport, the Connecticut Ice tournament concluded, where the Quinnipiac Bobcats defeated the UConn Huskies 2-0. In the second year of the event, the Bobcats took home the Connecticut Ice Trophy for the first time, becoming the “Kings of Connecticut.”  

Bobcats goaltender Yaniv Perets earned MVP after stopping all 29 shots thrown his way in the championship game. By doing so, Perets collected his ninth shutout of the season, a new single-season record for a Quinnipiac goalie. Additionally, the tandem of Perets and Dylan St. Cyr have 12 shutouts on the year, tying the record for the most shutouts for a team in a single season in NCAA history. 

Through the first 40 minutes of play, there were chances on both sides of the ice, but the game remained scoreless as Perets and UConn goalie Darion Hanson did not surrender any goals. 

It wasn’t until the 7:11 mark of the third period that a team cashed in on the scoresheet, when Quinnipiac forward Desi Burgart finished off an odd-man rush on his backhand. Burgart drove the net hard on a fortuitous bounce for the Bobcats, after Ty Smilanic forced it into the slot. Brendan Less also picked up a secondary assist on the play. 

“Every game was tight, every game was close,” Burgart said about the Connecticut Ice tournament. “It goes to show that there’s some great hockey in Connecticut and there’s no reason people shouldn’t be coming to watch every game.” 

For those who did watch, they saw Ethan de Jong pot an empty net goal for the Bobcats with 39 seconds to play, giving them a 2-0 lead and putting the game away. 

With the 2-0 shutout victory, the Bobcats collected their 12th shutout in 25 total games played thus far, officially tying the NCAA record for shutouts in a season. 

“We’ve been working hard all year for this,” Perets said. 

While Quinnipiac adds a trophy to the collection with this victory, more work is needed to be done if the Bobcats wish to win a national championship. This was Perets’ first tournament-style game as a Bobcat as St. Cyr got the start against Sacred Heart on Friday, and Perets rose to the occasion.  

“It’s nothing new, he’s already shown it all year,” head coach Rand Pecknold said about Perets’ play. “Really high goalie IQ, great compete level, and he’s calm. He excels in the moment.” 

Pecknold will rally his troops back into battle on Friday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. from the People’s United Center to take on Union and attempt to build off their tournament victory.