HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Fans welcomed the Quinnipiac University men’s ice hockey team back to Hamden on Sunday after winning the championship title Saturday night.
The Bobcats were led by a procession of first responders. Fans, students and family greeted the team outside the M&T Bank Arena on campus.
As fans waited for the team’s arrival, they recounted the game’s highlights.
“The second we got that OT goal, nobody could believe it.” said Sam Hartmann, a Quinnipiac University graduate student. “I rose up out of my chair, I looked like I had a heart attack, I just stopped breathing.”
The energy was high at the homecoming.
“Everybody was going crazy and the energy was fantastic,” said Braiden Smith, a fan from Trumbell.
The Quinnipiac University men’s hockey team has come a long way — starting as the tournament’s underdogs and becoming winners.
“All the announcers they didn’t know us, they didn’t know who we were,” said Paige Pezzellen, a student. “We came out in the Michigan game, we beat one of the Big 10 schools. Minnesota, we beat another Big 10 school, we’re just those people.”
As Quinnipiac University took on Minnesota on Saturday night in Tampa, fans packed Eli’s on Whitney in Hamden for a watch party. Students and alumni were dressed in Bobcats gear and couldn’t take their eyes off the TV. When the Bobcats scored the winning goal, fans went wild.
“The vibes were a little low going into the third period, but once we got that equalizer, it was jumping in there,” said Gianluca Chiodi, a student. “Going into overtime, once we scored that game winner, I couldn’t believe. Best moment of my life.”
A formal celebration for the team will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at the M&T Bank Arena.