Sacred Heart wins first ever Connecticut Ice tournament

Christian Gardecki, Sports Editor

Announced early last year, SNY (Sportsnet New York) announced they would be starting an all-Connecticut college hockey tournament, similar to the style of the Beanpot, which is a tournament between the four Boston schools (Northeastern, Harvard, Boston University, Boston College). The tournament in Connecticut is called Connecticut Ice, and was played at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on January 25-26.  The event featured the UConn Huskies, Quinnipiac Bobcats, Yale Bulldogs and host Sacred Heart Pioneers.

The tournament featured eight homegrown players from Connecticut, including Quinnpiac’s Daniel Winslow, Nick Jermain, Joe O’Connor, UConn’s Adam Karashik, Sacred Heart’s, Colin Bernard, Mike Lee and Yale’s Phil Kemp. Prior to the college games beginning on Saturday, there was a high school hockey doubleheader on Friday featuring the Guilford girls’ team against West Haven/Sacred Heart Academy, and following that Notre Dame-West Haven boys played against Notre-Dame Fairfield team.

In the first game on Saturday, the Quinnipiac Bobcats sneaked by the UConn Huskies in the first game of the day by a score of 3-2. And then, Sacred Heart powered past Yale 6-2. Hamden’s Mike Lee scored for the Pioneers in an impressive win for the program. 

Heading into the finals, Sacred Heart had never won any championship, while Quinnipiac has become one of the best teams in the state over the last few years, appearing in two NCAA Frozen Fours in the last 7 years. Sacred Heart was hungry to get the championship. They impressed and defeated the Bobcats 4-1. This was a landmark moment for the Pioneers program as they have never won any sort of championship in hockey. The Pioneers were ranked #20 in the country at the time as well. SNY is hoping this becomes a tradition in Connecticut just like the Beanpot in Boston.