BROOKS, AB (November 18, 2015) – The Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) are proud to announce that 1996-born defenceman Joe O’Connor (Hamden, CT) has committed to attend and play for Quinnipiac University.
Located in O’Connor’s Connecticut hometown of Hamden, the Bobcats play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I ECAC Hockey conference, under 21st-year head coach Rand Pecknold. Quinnipiac has appeared in the last three consecutive NCAA tournaments, advancing to the Frozen Four for the first time ever in 2013, and has finished first in its conference in the regular season twice in the last three season (2012-13, 2014-15).
“I am happy for Joe; he is fully deserving of this great opportunity to play Division I hockey only minutes from home,” said Bandits head coach and general manager Ryan Papaioannou. “Quinnipiac is continuing its tremendous success this season and this is a perfect for Joe; a dream school for a local kid.
“He will undoubtedly bring an offensive element to the Bobcats upon his arrival,” he added.
O’Connor, 19, signed with the Bandits in late September of this year, after two stellar years in the American prep school ranks with Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut.
Last season, the 6’3”, 215lb defenceman was the team’s highest-scoring defenceman, fifth-highest overall scorer, and fourth-highest overall goal scorer with 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) in 28 games. The year prior, O’Connor registered 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) in 26 games, ranking eighth on the team and second among defencemen.
So far in his first season of Junior A competition, O’Connor has registered 20 points (6 goals, 14 assists) in just 17 games played. He is currently on a five game point streak and four game goal scoring streak, with 6 goals and 6 assists in that five game span.
“It’s an honour to become a part of Quinnipiac University and the Bobcats family,” said O’Connor. “I would like to thank the Brooks Bandits and Westminster School for making this dream come true.”
O’Connor is the first Bandit to commit to the Quinnipiac program. There are currently eight players on the current Bandits roster committed to an NCAA Division I school; they include, in addition to O’Connor:
• Shane Bear (University of Massachusetts)
• Kyler Nachtigall (University of Massachusetts)
• Derek Lodermeier (Army)
• Austin Wright (Rochester Institute of Technology)
• Cale Makar (University of Massachusetts)
• Parker Foo (Union College)
• Jeff Malott (Cornell University)
The Bandit organization would like to congratulate Joe on his well-deserved commitment, and looks forward to his continuing contributions to the team’s success as the 2014-15 season progresses.
(photo credit: Bruce ParkerBrooks Bulletin)