Monthly Archives: January 2007

Bud Fisher named WQAQ Athlete of the Week

Bud Fisher Named WQAQ Sports Athlete of the Week

Bud Fisher

HAMDEN — The WQAQ Sports Department has named Men’s Ice Hockey goaltender Bud Fisher its Athlete of the Week for the week ending on January 31, 2007.

The sophomore netminder christened the TD Banknorth Sports Center on Sunday by pitching a shutout against Holy Cross. Fisher stopped 14 shots to earn his second shut-out of the season and 4th of his Quinnipiac career. On Tuesday, Fisher backstopped the Bobcats to a 2-2 tie against ECAC Hockey League foe Harvard by stopping 39 Crimson shots.

Fisher has started every game Quinnipiac has played this season, and has been a major factor in the Bobcats meteoric rise into the national polls. In the latest USCHO.com/CSTV National Poll, Quinnipiac is ranked 18th in the country. The Bobcats are 1 point behind St. Lawrence for first place in the ECACHL heading into this weekend. 

Quinnipiac is back in action Friday against ECACHL and New Haven area rival Yale at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Game-time is set for 7 pm. On Saturday night the Bobcats travel to Providence, RI and the Meehan Auditorium to do battle with Brown.

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Bordieri Overcomes All Odds; Returns to Ice

Bordieri Overcomes All Odds; Returns to Ice

By Seth Rothman

January 30, 2007

HAMDEN – One minute and forty-four seconds into the ECAC Hockey League contest between Quinnipiac and Harvard on Tuesday night, something happened that many thought would never happen again.

Michael Bordieri, the 5th year senior from Rocky Hill, Connecticut, stepped onto the ice.

On November 4th, Bordieri and the Bobcats were playing RPI in Troy, NY. He was chasing an Engineer down when he slipped off his man on a check and turn buckled himself between the boards and glass on the RPI bench.

The result was a ruptured spleen and four broken ribs.

Bordieri had to have his spleen removed, and was in a hospital for 12 days before finally being discharged on November 16th. “When I’m lying in a hospital bed, I’m saying to myself ‘I am never playing hockey again.’” Bordieri, however, wouldn’t let that fate befall him.

When doctors told him his season – and thus his career – was over, he told them they were wrong. “I don’t think I’ll play professionally,” Bordieri said after Tuesday night’s game. “Knowing this was my last year after 18 years of playing hockey, I wanted to give whatever I could.”

“It was definitely a big thrill for me. This place [TD Banknorth Sports Center] is unreal; three months of watching games is tough.” Bordieri said, after the Bobcats tied Harvard at 2 goals apiece. “It was probably one of the biggest accomplishments of my career, actually, just coming back from that injury.”

Bobcats coach Rand Pecknold understands Bordieri’s importance to the team. “I thought he would give us some energy,” Pecknold said. “It’s tough coming back from an injury. He’ll be a good addition to us once we get him into some more games.”

Hockey players are known for battling injuries to play the game they love. “I think all hockey players would have done the same thing, especially knowing this might be my last season,” Bordieri said.

It takes a special kind of athlete to tell a doctor “No.” Michael Bordieri, an assistant captain on this Bobcats team, is that special kind of athlete.

Anderson, Bobcats Fall Flat Against Rival

Anderson, Bobcats Fall Flat Against Rival

By Seth Rothman

January 29, 2007


HAMDEN – Today was supposed to be a special day for DeMario Anderson. The junior forward joined the Quinnipiac Bobcats Men’s Basketball team this year after sitting out a year after transferring from NEC rival Central Connecticut State University. Tonight’s opponent? Central Connecticut State University.

So, today was going to be a day when DeMario could exact some revenge on Central coach Howie Dickenman. Anderson left CCSU due to philosophical differences with the coach, so he would have liked nothing more than to have shown up Dickenman in the second men’s game at the new TD Banknorth Sports Center.

Instead, the Bobcats shot a repulsive 20% from the field in the first half, trailing the Blue Devils 33-20. In the opening stanza,
Anderson had only 2 points on a mid range jumper made with 35 seconds left in the half. In the second half, Anderson scored 14; but most of those points were in garbage time of Central’s 65-54 win over the home-standing Bobcats.

Quinnipiac President John L. Lahey was in the house tonight. Losing is one thing; but getting blown out in your own building, during Dedication Week, by your biggest Northeast Conference rival cannot make Lahey happy.

This team has been on a long winning streak. Judging from the crowd, though, all the residents of Hamden remember is the 9 game losing streak that left Quinnipiac 2-10 to start the year.

With the new building now open, President Lahey wanted to see the building full. Instead, tonight he looked at a full student section, but outside of the student section, there were nearly more Central fans than Quinnipiac fans. That strong of an indictment on the team by its own fans cannot make Lahey happy.

The Bobcats are now 8-11 overall, but 6-3 in the Northeast Conference. A team right in the middle of the NEC conference pack (4th) usually gets more of a crowd than what this team is getting right now. But this team, with its lackluster, Jekyll and Hyde play all season long has turned off the Hamden fan base. Ultimately, that may be how this team, this season, and maybe this coach will be remembered.

The Lyle File for 1/29

BOBCAT NOTEBOOK

“Quinnipiac looks to regroup”

By:  Michael T. Lyle, Jr.

WQAQ.com Sports

            Missed layups, poor outside shooting, turnovers—even a missed dunk.

Add it all up and it proves that, indeed, nothing went right for the Bobcats in their 65-54 home loss to CCSU Monday night.  The defeat not only snapped their season-high six-game win streak, it also showed why Central Connecticut is the top team in the Northeast Conference. 

“We couldn’t get over the hump”, said head coach Joe DeSantis.  “Our performance was due to the way (CCSU) played.  They did a great job of keeping us out of our comfort zone”.    

Quinnipiac could not find a rhythm all evening.  Thanks to Central Connecticut’s swarming defense, their top two players, Adam Gonzalez and former Blue Devil DeMario Anderson, suffered off-nights.

As a result, the Bobcats shot an abysmal 29 percent from the floor, including a horrendous 16 percent from three-point range.  They also turned the ball over 14 times—       another stat that indicates the Blue Devils being one of best defensive teams in the conference.    

“We got a lot of good looks, but we couldn’t execute”, said Anderson, who paced the Bobcats with 16 points.  “They did a good job taking us out of our game plan”.    

Anderson, who also spent two years as a member of the Blue Devils, didn’t get caught in all the hoopla about playing and perhaps beating his former team, although he’ll get another chance when both schools meet again in two weeks in New Britain. 

“I take this as another game”, said Anderson.  “It’s just another step towards having a good career”.     

Gonzalez, who is rarely one for having bad nights, admitted that he felt out of synch, and after shooting 3-of-1l and scoring just 8 points, he understood why. 

“They just did a good job defensively”, said Gonzalez.  “I didn’t feel like I was contributing to the team effort.  I really didn’t feel like myself tonight”.

A Quinnipiac win would have moved them into third place in the NEC.  For now, they’ll remain in sole possession of fourth place as they venture to Brooklyn Thursday night to battle St. Francis of New York—a team the Bobcats edged out by two earlier this month in the last game ever at Burt Kahn Court.

“I’m not concerned at all”, said DeSantis.  “We’ve won six of our last seven.  We know we have a tough team to face in St. Francis.  We just have practice hard, limit our mistakes and be ready”.

The Lyle File for 1/27

BOBCAT NOTEBOOK

“After opening with a bang, Anderson looks to help keep it going”

By Michael T. Lyle, Jr.

WQAQ.com Sports

 

January 29, 2007

 

Now that they’ve christened their brand new home in winning fashion, the Bobcats can focus on their next important task: taking down the top team in the Northeast Conference.

Saturday’s hard-fought, 73-71 overtime win against Long Island University, on Victor Akinyanju’s game-winning layup with 26 seconds remaining, was a league-best sixth straight for Quinnipiac. With nine games left on the campaign, the Bobcats face another mental test when they welcome first-place Central Connecticut to their new home tonight. The Blue Devils also come in having won six in a row.

“It’s good because it keeps us believing we can win the close ones”, said head coach Joe DeSantis following the victory. “A loss wouldn’t have mattered considering we played our hearts out”.

Tonight’s contest will be meaningful for swingman DeMario Anderson. The junior guard spent his first two seasons at CCSU before transferring to Quinnipiac this season.

“It’s going to be exciting playing against my old team”, said Anderson, who chipped in 18 points in Saturday’s thriller. “It should be a fun one”.

DeSantis refused to elaborate too much on tonight’s contest surrounding Anderson, mainly because he wanted the focus to be solely on Central. But the coach was not hesitant to praise his contributions.

“Coming from CCSU, (Anderson) is one of the top-players in the league”, said DeSantis. “He’s a big-time player and a terrific kid”.

While at Central Connecticut, Anderson may have played perhaps his best season to date in the conference. As a sophomore during the 2004-05 season, he finished among the top 10 in three statistical categories, including three-point field-goal percentage and free-throw percentage—all while helping the Blue Devils qualify for the NEC tournament. He even scored a career-high 32 against Quinnipiac in the regular-season finale.

So far, Anderson has lived up to the hype on his arrival to Hamden. He’s currently second on the team in scoring (13.7) and first in steals per-game average (1.6).

And despite all the hoopla leading up tonight’s contest, DeSantis says that Anderson and the rest of his team will be ready to go.

“We have a lot of respect for (CCSU)”, said DeSantis. “Nothing will change on our end preparation-wise”. “We’re happy to be in the position we are”.

Bobcats Welcome in TD Banknorth with OT Win

Bobcats Welcome in TD Banknorth with OT Win 

By Peter D’Alauro-WQAQ

            A sold out crowd of 3,570 screaming Bobcat fans welcomed in the new TD Banknorth Sports Center by supporting the men’s team in their NEC match up against Long Island University (LIU). The new arena is a gorgeous state of the art facility highlighted by a bronze statue of a Bobcat which most fans walking in touched for good luck. It must have worked because the Bobcats, despite losing a 10 point lead to LIU at half-time, were able to notch a victory 73-71 against the Blackbirds of Long Island. The first half was dominated by Quinnipiac as they shot fifty seven percent from the field and held Long Island to thirty two percent shooting en route to a 40-30 first half lead. This was one of the best defensive efforts put forth by the Bobcats all season. Coach Joe DeSantis gave his thoughts on the defensive effort by his team. “I felt our defense really won the game. We had one stretch where we gave up a lot of three’s. I thought it was a great team effort on both ends of the floor, but I thought defensively we really stood out.”

            The lead that once was as large as fourteen points was eventually lost by the Bobcats as LIU took a 53-52 advantage with 12:32 remaining in the second half. That lead grew to four, but a timely three-point field goal by senior guard Adam Gonzalez, who has quietly become the leader of this basketball team gave the Bobcats the lead back in what would be the first of many clutch plays for the dynamic guard. The lead changed hands numerous times and the game ended in regulation tied up at sixty five a piece after Adam Gonzalez stepped back court on an inbounds pass. Entering the overtime, the Bobcats needed a spark to change the momentum and they got it from transfer guard DeMario Anderson who chipped in with eighteen points, including 14 in the second half and over-time. The game was tied at 71 when Adam Gonzalez, yet again made a clutch play as he found big man Victor Akinyanju for the go ahead lay-up with 27 seconds remaining in the overtime. Gonzalez pumped his fists in celebration after his key assist. LIU had 3 different tries to tie the game but the defense, as it had all game, prevailed and the Bobcats welcomed in the TD BankNorth arena with a victory against the feisty Blackbirds. Dynamic guard James Williams was held to 21 points on 6-18 shooting. Bobcats head coach Joe DeSantis, in an emotional post game press conference, showed his appreciation for the new arena and discussed what it meant for not only himself and his basketball team, but the university as well. “I think it may be the greatest thing that has ever happened to me, basketball wise. To know about all the time and money that went into building this place by TD Banknorth, the Lenders, John Lahey and Jack McDonald. To reward them with a win in the first game here is just great.” When asked if he had thought about the Central Connecticut game on Monday, DeSantis replied with a humorous remark. “It’s too early for that; I still need a slice a pizza and a cup of coffee.” He can certainly enjoy that beverage and meal, as I’m sure many Bobcat fans did Saturday night.

Bobcats Criss-Cross the Crusaders

Bobcats Criss-Cross the Crusaders
Offensive surge powers QU to first-ever win at the TD Banknorth Sports Center

By: Chris Lopresti
WQAQ Hockey Beat Writer

January 29, 2007

HAMDEN, Conn. – As Judy Garland once said, “There’s no place like home!” Wizard of Oz references aside, Sunday’s 7-0 triumph over Holy Cross marked a special occasion for the Quinnipiac Men’s Hockey program. Playing their inaugural game at the TD Banknorth Sports Center, the Bobcats showed why they, in part, are well worth the $52 million investment made by the University to build a new facility.

The program has come a long way since Rand Pecknold took over as the head coach in 1994. Over the course of 13 years, he has taken his team from the depths of Division III hockey to the spotlight of the ECAC. Entering Sunday’s action, the Bobcats found themselves ranked 20th in the country with a first-round playoff bye well within their grasps.

That sort of success is what convinced the University to upgrade from the cluttered confines of the Northford Ice Pavilion. Yesterday’s official transition into the new building marked a new chapter for the hockey program and for the University as a whole.

The arena itself is a majestic site but the atmosphere surrounding the game was electric. 3,000 or so screaming fans, a National Anthem performance by John Amirante and a ceremonial puck-drop by Hall-of-Famer Gordie Howe were just a few of the things that made this game special.

A sea of gold shirts, the freshly painted sheet of ice, a beautiful scoreboard, luxury boxes; every aspect of the experience had a professional feel to it. Then there was the game itself…

To no one’s surprise, the Bobcats came out flying in the first period and never let up. For a full 60 minutes, they out-hustled, out-hit, out-scored and brutally out-played an overmatched Holy Cross team.

That being said, the entire arena grew restless with anticipation for a time, as the game remained scoreless into the 2nd period. Finally, 6:27 into the second frame, a Matt Sorteberg wrist shot from the right point found the back of the net, Quinnipiac had its first goal in their new home and the fans broke out into hysteria!

They would have much more to cheer about, however, as special teams became the focal point of the contest. With Mike Atkinson serving a 2-minute hooking call, the Bobcats went to work on the penalty kill. However, it looked like Quinnipiac had the advantage as Eric Lampe (3 goals in 23 career games) took the puck from inside his own blue line, stick-handled through the Crusader defense and beat Ian Dams with a deke to the backhand; 2-0 Quinnipiac on a short-handed goal.

Not to be outdone, Lampe’s line-mate Dan LeFort (3 goals in 65 career games) got a long pass from Reid Cashman up the right wing, coasted in on net and put the puck top shelf over Dams for the second short-handed goal in just 31 seconds. In the blink of an eye, all of the momentum belonged to the Bobcats and the game was, in essence, OVER!

Bryan Leitch would add his eighth goal of the year just 1:11 later, Bud Fisher made 14 saves for his 12th win of the season, and when all was said and done, seven different players lit the lamp for QU (including four goals by special teams) in a shutout romp.

The University, the coaches, the players and the fans could not have asked for a better house-warming gift. A win was the perfect way to christen a new beginning for Quinnipiac Hockey and that’s exactly what occurred. The Bobcats have a beautiful new home where they will play for many years to come. If Sunday’s outcome is any indication of what the future may hold for this program, then there truly is “no place like home!”