New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)

Family ties accompany St. Cyr to Quinnipiac

- By Michael Fornabaio

HAMDEN — When goalie Dylan St. Cyr was picking a place to continue his education and his NCAA hockey career, landing on Quinnipiac, his father could give him a dated perspectiv­e on one of his options. An old buddy gave him a much more contempora­ry take.

The average hockey fan is more likely to know the story of St.

Cyr’s mother, Manon Rheaume, who became the first woman to play an NHL exhibition game in 1992 when she tended the Tampa Bay Lightning goal. A local hockey fan of a certain age may remember Gerry St. Cyr, who played for the New Haven Senators of the AHL that same season.

Gerry St. Cyr’s time in New Haven came up when Dylan St. Cyr decided to join the Bobcats as a graduate-student transfer from Notre Dame.

“He’s very excited to get back here and see how much has changed,” Dylan St. Cyr said with a smile this week as the Bobcats held a preseason media session.

Quite a lot has changed since Gerry St. Cyr played at the New Haven Coliseum, earning 10 points and 195 penalty minutes (including 17 majors, fourth in the AHL) in just 40 games. Not least among those changes is that the Coliseum has been gone for over a decade.

“I was jogging his memory a bit,” Dylan St. Cyr said. “He’s just excited to see what changes have been around. It’s awhile since he’s been out here. I don’t think he’s been back since.”

Hockey took St. Cyr’s family a whole lot of places, and it has taken him a few, too. He has been to the NCAA tournament with Notre Dame. He played for the United States National Team De

velopment Program and won the Under-18 World Championsh­ip in 2017.

And back when they were teenagers, St. Cyr went to a national championsh­ip with the Honeybaked program in Detroit along with a kid named Wyatt Bongiovann­i.

“He was just a stone wall back there,” said Bongiovann­i, who’s now Quinnipiac’s captain. “I’m definitely excited to share a team with him again.”

Did the captain do a little recruiting once St. Cyr — who said, with a redshirt

year at Notre Dame and the NCAA’s extra season for the COVID-19 pandemic, he has two seasons of eligibilit­y left — hit the transfer portal? “A little bit,” Bongiovann­i said. “I took it upon myself reach out, but we’re happy to have him.”

Keith Petruzzell­i had been the Bobcats’ every-day goalie the past couple of seasons. He’s now with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. Quinnipiac expected sophomore Yaniv Perets and junior Evan Fear back, but Fear transferre­d to Northeaste­rn.

“I liked Evan a lot. I wouldn’t say it blindsided me when he decided he wanted to leave, but it

wasn’t something I was truly prepared for,” Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said.

“When he left, ‘OK, we’ve got to go get a goalie.’”

St. Cyr said he’d connected with Bobcats assistant coach Joe Dumais and was impressed for a few reasons, including the tie to Bongiovann­i.

“That was a cool connection I had where elsewhere maybe I didn’t have the same tie,” said St. Cyr, who said his parents have supported his choices along the way. “Culture, along with everything else. I was really excited when I did get that call.”

Quinnipiac’s four goalies

last season were listed at 6-foot-1 to 6-5. It has become a big man’s position since Gerry St. Cyr played in front of New Haven goalies like 5-10 Mark Laforest and 5-11 Darrin Madeley.

Dylan St. Cyr goes 5-8, 167 pounds on the roster. He may move the puck better than some of the other guys do, but he doesn’t match their size.

“Not many goalies play at 5-8,” he said. “There’s always been kind of a chip on my shoulder. It’s helped me always compete and make those second and third saves.”

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