Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ciao, Bobcats!

Rand Pecknold has been putting off an overseas trip for a few years, but decided there's no time like the present. Quinnipiac is heading to Italy and Switzerland Saturday for 10 days of touring, practice, a couple of games and some really great food. It's a great opportunity on many levels, not the least of which is a week of NCAA-approved practices prior to the trip. Here are a few notes and quotes from a practice session at High Point Solutions Arena.
  • The NCAA allows these trips once every four years. But while other sports, like basketball and soccer, are allowed to bring their incoming freshmen, hockey can not. So to fill the hole (Quinnipiac has 11 incoming freshmen) the Bobcats are bringing five graduated seniors from last winter who haven't signed pro contracts yet. For Kevin Bui, Russ Goodman, Clay Harvey, Reese Rolheiser and Loren Barron, it's a chance to don the gold-and-blue sweater a few more times.
  • Barron and Goodman are expected to sign deals in the coming weeks, meaning 8 of 11 from the Class of 2013 will be playing some level of professional hockey in the fall.
  • Quinnipiac is planning another European adventure to Sweden and Finland in the summer of 2017.
  • Pecknold said he's interested to see how the role players from last season -- those expected to play a larger role this winter -- perform in Europe. Goaltenders Mike Garteig and Jacob Meyers will have a chance to make an impression on the hole left by Eric Hartzell. They'll have an early jump on incoming freshman Brady Rouleau, who will soon join the mix to replace the Hobey Hat Trick finalist.
  • Connor Clifton made the cut at the U.S. world junior evaluation camp in Lake Placid, the only ECAC player in contention to make the roster. Clifton, another incoming freshman, is expected to be an impact player when he arrives in Hamden.
  • Quinnipiac lost a big chunk to graduation. But with a dynamic offensive core, led by Matthew Peca and the Jones' twins along with Jordan Samuels-Thomas, and some promising young talent, the Bobcats aren't looking at this as a rebuilding season. "Now, the focus is on Philly. We're trying to figure out what we have to do this year to get back to where we were last year," captain Cory Hibbeler said. "It's not going to be the same team. We know that. But we are confident in the group we have that we can make our own destiny here."
Here's a copy of the itinerary for the trip. Like me, you can peruse it and curse the fact that you'll be stuck home while the Bobcats are basking in the beauty of Lake Como and dining on bucatini so perfect it brings tears to one's eyes.


Day 1: Aug. 11, Sunday
Arrive in Milan. Bus to Como and brief tour of Como City center.
Bus to Hotel for check-in. Free afternoon to relax or discover Como. Afternoon departure for short
practice and welcoming dinner for all at restaurant overlooking Lake Como. Return
to hotel. Optional information session after dinner with Brad and staff. Free night
Day 2: Aug. 12, Monday
Breakfast. Free morning. Afternoon departure for brief tour of Lugano, Switzerland
.Freetime to discover this beautiful Lake and town center. Late afternoon departure
for Challenge Cup Series game against Swiss Pro Team.
Pasta dinner after the
game for players and staff
Return to hotel and free evening.
Day 3: Aug. 13, Tuesday
Free morning. Early afternoon departure by boat for Bellagio and
opportunity to see Como's world famous Villas including Villa Olmo, Villa
Balbinello, Villa Oleandra (George Clooney). Brief guided tour of Bellagio, optional
swimming, and free day. Early evening return by boat to hotel. Dinner for all at
restaurant on Lake Como. Free evening.
Day 4: Aug. 14, Wednesday
Breakfast. Morning departure for Zurich (3.5 hrs.). Guided tour of Zurich and free
time to explore Switzerland’s most cosmopolitan city. Late afternoon
departure for game against Swiss Pro Team. Return to Como
free evening.
Day 5: Aug. 15, Thursday
Breakfast. Free day to enjoy Lake Como or take an
optional day trip to be announced
and free evening.
Day 6: Aug. 16, Friday
Morning departure for Milano and guided tour of 'Il Duomo' (Cathedral),
world’s most famous shopping district Via Montenapoleone, and Castello
Afternoon departure for Bassano Del Grappa and hotel (3.5 hours).
Free time and early evening departure for Asiago and Challenge Cup Series game
against Italian U26 National Team*. Dinner after the game for players/staff. Return
to hotel and free evening.

Day 7: Aug. 17, Saturday
Breakfast. Free morning. Team Lunch for players and staff
. Afternoon departure for
Challenge Cup Series game and post -game dinner for players and staff with
opposition players. Return to hotel. Free evening.
Day 8: Aug. 18, Sunday
Breakfast. Check out and early morning departure for Rome (circa 7 hrs). Check
- in to Hotel and free evening
to enjoy Rome by Night!

Day 9: Aug.19, Monday
Breakfast. Morning guided walking tour of Rome and free day to enjoy the Worl
d's Greatest City!

Day 10: Aug. 20-21, Tuesday/Wednesday
Breakfast. Free day to enjoy Rome and Closing Dinner for all to be announced.
Wednesday morning departure for Rome airport. Arrivederci!!!
The game dates and venues might be subject to change and
thus the Itinerary will be modified.
**Possible daytrip to Venice
for Parents, Alumni, Fans and Supporters.


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