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College Hockey:
Quinnipiac’s top line back to its old ways

PITTSBURGH — It hasn’t really mattered what lineup combinations Quinnipiac has used this season. The Bobcats have done one thing all season: win.

That’s why the lack of points by the trio of Matthew Peca, Connor Jones and Kellen Jones earlier in the year wasn’t that much of a concern, although coach Rand Pecknold said he did break them up in an attempt to get each player going.

“They were getting a lot of good looks,” Pecknold said. “Their points weren’t were they needed to be. And then we had a couple of injuries. We took Matthew off the line for a little while and kept winning. And then we put Matthew back on the line and we kept winning.”

Peca and Connor Jones each missed several games in the fall due to injuries. Freshman Travis St. Denis took Peca’s place on the top line for a stretch following the holidays, with Peca sliding down to play with Jeremy Langlois on the second line.

“I had the opportunity to play with Jeremy, so it didn’t really bother me that we weren’t together,” Peca said. “But as of late, it’s good to be back to our old ways.”

Those old ways include plenty of points. The trio factored in six of the Bobcats’ nine goals in the East Regional in Providence, R.I., including Peca’s natural hat trick in a span of 3:12 against Union that helped send Quinnipiac to Pittsburgh.

But it’s more than just scoring that defines the Bobcats’ top line. Pecknold praised the trio’s defensive play and shot blocking following the win against the Dutchmen.

“Even with the offense they provide, they set the pace for us and that’s how we want to play,” Pecknold said following Wednesday’s practice. “That line is a great energy line for us.

“I think ultimately when we’re at our best is when those three are playing together.”

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