Bobcats reflect on Quinnipiac’s historic hockey win

October 02, 2023

Alumni attend the national hockey championship holding flags and wearing Quinnipiac shirts.

Quinnipiac students, alumni and families look back on where they were when Jacob Quillan scored the national championship-winning goal on April 8.

"As season ticket holders, our sons Brendan, '24, MS ‘25, and Devin have grown up watching Quinnipiac men's ice hockey play. To be in the stands in the Amalie Arena with the Quinnipiac community and to witness history is beyond words. We were all filled with pure excitement and emotion. The arena had such amazing energy and support for our national champions."
— Professor Patricia Kelly ‘97, ‘00, MS ‘08, MS ‘21
Electric energy at a sports bar

"I was at an alumni meetup at a sports bar in Boston. The energy was electric when the puck hit the net. Everyone was screaming, jumping and standing on tables and chairs. Half of the room didn't even realize what had happened until the replay. It's a moment I will never forget!"
Ephemia Nicolakis ‘23, MBA ‘24

Excitement in the nosebleeds

"My friends and I were gearing up for overtime, all the way up in the 300 section, and before we knew it we were screaming and falling all over each other. We couldn't even comprehend what had just happened, it was what we had waited so long to see."
— Brandon Kauffman ‘24, MBA '25

Victorious celebration at Eli's

"I’ve been to Eli’s in Hamden many times, but never have I had the experience like I did while I was there to witness Quinnipiac become national champions. The place went absolutely wild when the winning goal was scored. Some people were dancing, some got up on tables and many were high-fiving even with people they didn't know (including me!) all while the crowd broke out in a chant! It was so exciting to be there with so many Bobcats! Truly a night to remember forever."
 Pam Martinez ’86

Bobcats in the stands

"I was in the stands at the top of the stadium when Quillan scored the goal 10 seconds into overtime. I almost fell over the Gopher fans in front of me and I was jumping, screaming and hugging the people next to me. We ran down to the glass to get closer to the team and to join the other Bobcat fans who were rallying for the team."
— Jason Bupp ‘24, MBA ‘25

Roar of Bobcat Nation echoes through Arizona

Alumni, students and families stand in their Quinnipiac merchandise at a restaurant watching the national hockey championship game.

"Our Arizona Quinnipiac alumni and families gathered for the semi-final and championship games at Zipp’s Sports Grill in Tempe, Arizona. For the final on Saturday, as overtime started, I was too nervous to sit. As Quinnipiac scored the championship-winning goal,  we all bellowed out a loud cheer which drew the attention of all the other bar patrons. After high-fiving our group, I ran through the bar high-fiving everyone in the place. Even in Tempe, Arizona, the roar of Bobcat Nation was loud and proud."
— Tim Beach ‘90

Celebrating with the next generation of Bobcats

"I had finally gotten my newborn baby to sleep, right as the third period was winding down. Quietly opening snacks and refreshments, I settled in for overtime. As the puck dropped in OT, I gave one last reassuring glance at the baby monitor because I focused in on the action. Less than a minute in, "ARE YOU SERIOUS, LET’S GO," I screamed, waking the baby. Nothing but pure joy as I grabbed her out of her crib to celebrate the win with me. Magical night all around!"
- Professor James O’Connor ‘11, MS ‘19

Celebrating with friends and family

"The night that the Bobcats won the national championship, I was at my house for Easter break. My best friend from high school came over to watch the game with me. While I was happy that I had a friend to watch with, I was bummed that I wasn't able to watch the game with my fellow Bobcats in Hamden. The moment they scored the winning goal I remember jumping around my living room. My dad heard me from upstairs and came down to celebrate with me. It was a fun night!"
 Audrey Scafati ‘23, MA ‘24

A moment to be cherished forever

"I was at my house with my roommate and best friend, as well as my family. We are all huge hockey fans so the culmination of a long season coming together so well was definitely an experience I won’t forget.
— Jake Braglia ‘25, MBA ‘26

A great game for a long-time season-ticket holder

"I couldn't make the game because of family events but I could see it on television. It was a great game for a long-time season-ticket holder. Looking forward to next season! Go Bobcats!"

— Bob Passero ‘70

"Being surrounded by Bobcat supporters in the Quinnipiac skybox made the overtime victory the most exciting and exhilarating sporting event ever. It was hard to stop screaming and smiling! It was a proud night for the Bobcat Nation."
— Paul ‘71 and Nancy Smith ‘73
'I knew I chose the right school'

"I was at my roommate's house as it was Easter weekend and I wanted to spend time at home. I was ecstatic the second the puck crossed the goal line. Right at that moment I knew I chose the right school being the massive hockey fan I am."
— Jack Wayrich ’26

Amazing campus reactions

"Although it was Easter weekend, my friends and I decided to stay on campus. I was watching the championship game in my friend’s suite and remember being absolutely silent when the puck dropped in overtime. I was sitting on the edge of my seat. I was in complete shock when they scored. We all jumped up and started screaming. All the students who stayed on campus that night found themselves surrounding the Bobcat statue chanting the names of the hockey players and cheering. It was such a fun environment to be in. I come from a hockey-loving family, so I am very proud to go to a school with national champions. I look forward to cheering the team on this season, and hopefully, they will bring home another championship!"
— Elizabeth Rycharski ‘26

Embracing in joy

Quinnipiac students stand in front of the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida for the hockey national championship.

"I was in Tampa Bay, Florida, when the men's ice hockey team won the national championship in overtime. My suitemates and I flew down the day before the first game vs. Michigan. The energy in the building once they won was unmatched. I was hugging and high-fiving random strangers wearing Quinnipiac merch. All around me, people were hugging, crying tears of joy and going absolutely wild. I have never seen complete strangers all embrace each other with such happiness before."
 Mike Singer ‘24

Making time no matter what

"Despite the fact that I was traveling, I still knew I would find a way to watch the game. As soon as my daughter’s lacrosse game was over, my wife and I rushed out of there, made the three-hour drive back to where we were staying in South Carolina and made it just in time for puck drop. This team did not disappoint. I was happy and proud of what this team and program had accomplished. I spent the next three hours buried in my phone talking and texting former teammates, friends and family. I wish Coach Armstrong could have seen this!" 
— Mark Witkowski '92 (former men's ice hockey captain)

Cheering outside the nation's capital

"I spent the big night co-hosting a DC Metro game watch at Colony Grill’s Arlington location. We chose the grill since it originated in Connecticut. I was surrounded by a dozen other alums chatting when the puck dropped for OT. We were shocked and stunned at how quickly it happened — thank goodness for instant replay! We started screaming, jumping and hugging. We were all so glad Coach Pecknold got his long overdue championship!"
— Jennifer Steele ‘05

Third time's the charm

"My wife Teri and I were watching the championship game at the Stoney Creek Brewery watch party with many fellow alumni. No sooner than I commented to everyone at the table, that I hoped the third time was the charm and it was. The brewery erupted, the puck was in the net and Quinnipiac were the national champions."
— Richard ‘84 and Teri Conte ‘83

Moments at the arena

"The moment the goal was scored the entire section erupted. I jumped into the air and hugged my cousin who was sitting next to me. Everyone was hugging for that matter. It was a moment of excitement, extreme pride and relief with a few tears of joy mixed in. Then the party was on!"
— Stam Bizanis ’91

Celebrating with the Ice Cats

"I remember being in one of the boxes inside the stadium and was not looking directly at the ice, but instead side-eyeing it because I was scared of what was going to happen in overtime. I then found myself watching the screen and the ice simultaneously and just seeing the puck hit the back of the net before jumping and cheering with the Ice Cats." 
— Jacqueline Ydrovo ‘24, MS ‘25, MBA ‘25

Reconnecting with old roommates

"I was lucky enough to be in Tampa for the final game! Having gone to the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh when Quinnipiac played Yale (my husband is a Yale '96 grad), there was no way I would miss it. I met one of my Quinnipiac roommates, Gloria Cubberly DiCocco ’94, and her husband, Carl DiCocco ’94, and their daughters there. We witnessed the historic win. It was electrifying and so exciting for the entire Quinnipiac family. Regardless of your graduate year or your affiliation with Quinnipiac, there was no denying the energy in Tampa, in that arena and that ignited after. It was special to be a part of and I will never forget it!"
— Jeanna Doherty ’94

"That four-day stretch down in Tampa was the best couple of days of my entire life. Being able to experience a national championship in person and with some of my closest friends was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
— Connor Coar ‘24, MS '25

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