ALBANY, N.Y. – Quinnipiac men's ice hockey freshman standout Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) has been announced as a finalist for the 2012 ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Year Award. Cornell's Brian Ferlin and Harvard's Patrick McNally are the other two finalists vying for this year's award.
ECAC Hockey has honored two other Quinnipiac freshman with the Rookie of the Year award, as Bryan Leitch (2006) and Brandon Wong (2007) won in consecutive years.
Peca currently ranks fourth among all NCAA Division I rookies in points per game (0.97) after registering eight goals and 27 assists for 35 points in a brilliant first year with the Bobcats. The recipient of two consecutive ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week awards, Peca became the first Quinnipiac freshman in the program's Division I history to lead the team in points for a postseason series, putting up five points, on a goal and four assists to lead the Bobcats to a 2-1 ECAC Hockey First Round series win against Brown last weekend.
Peca recently a hand in 11 straight goals, also a program record, as he assisted on 10 straight goals before scoring on the 11th goal over five consecutive games. Peca joins Brian Herbert, Matt Erhart, Matt Craig and Bryan Leitch as the fifth player in program history to reach 30 points in his first season with the Bobcats. In addition, he is the sixth player, joining Herbert, Erhart, Craig, Leitch and Matt Sorteberg to reach 20 assists in his first season. Peca, with 27 assists, would need three more to reach Herbert and Leitch as the only freshman in Quinnipiac history to reach the 30-assist mark.
Peca is a former standout for the Pembroke Lumber Kings of the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) before being taken in the 2011 NHL Draft in the seventh round by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Peca led Pembroke to the 2011 RBC Cup National Championship, earning Top Forward honors.
Quinnipiac will take on Colgate in the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals at Starr Rink in Hamilton, N.Y. on Mar. 9-11. Bobcat fans can follow all the action live on AM 1220 WQUN, or on B2LiveTV.com.