HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It was a landmark victory for the Quinnipiac University men’s ice hockey team as it clinched the program’s first national championship last week.
“You can’t put it into words how awesome it was,” said Ryan Keaveney, a junior at Quinnipiac University.
The university held a rally celebration Monday in Hamden. Now, there’s a push to a parade similar to what was done with the University of Connecticut’s men’s basketball team after the Huskies won the NCAA Tournament.
“Connecticut just got two championships in a week,” said Saliba Kaoud, a junior who traveled to Tampa to cheer on the Bobcats in the Frozen Four “When we heard we weren’t getting a parade, it was one of the most disheartening things.”
Kaoud went to Tampa with Ryan Keaveney, another junior who said he doesn’t like the decision to skip a parade.
“These students, these athletes, deserve to be celebrated for all of their hard work,” said Keaveney. “It’s disappointing, for sure.”
Quinnipiac University pointed News 8 to the statement it posted Wednesday on Twitter.
“Quinnipiac is bursting with pride on the men’s ice hockey Frozen Four championship win,” it wrote. “Our celebration was held Monday night at the M&T Arena, centered on the team and coaches, and attended by thousands of students and community members. Beyond the continued joyous mood throughout the Bobcat family, no further community-wide celebrations are planned.”
Many students, however, want a parade.
“I think it would be a very good idea, especially since this was our first time in program history,” said Samantha Gerossie, a freshman.
Hamden Mayor Lauren Garrett said plans were in the works for a parade.
“We did start with some planning, but QU has reached out and said they wanted to have the celebration on campus,” Garrett said.
She said, ultimately, it’s up to the university to make the call.
“A lot of student-athletes, a lot of the players, have taken some great opportunities for themselves to go pro,” Garrett said. “So, a lot of the athletes aren’t on campus anymore. It’s hard to have a parade without the very important guests.”
The video below aired in our 5 p.m. newscast on April 13, 2023.