Matthew Peca becomes first Quinnipiac player to score a point in NHL

Tampa Bay Lightning center Matthew Peca (63) skates around Montreal Canadiens center Torrey Mitchell (17) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Lightning center Matthew Peca (63) skates around Montreal Canadiens center Torrey Mitchell (17) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

(WTNH)–The Bobcats are on the board.

It was only a matter of time until one of Quinnipiac’s college hockey stars made their impact on the NHL, and on Saturday night, Tampa Bay Lightning rookie and former Bobcat standout Matthew Peca became the first to break through.

Peca, 23, earned his first career NHL point in Tampa Bay’s 3-1 win over Carolina on Saturday, assisting on Alex Killorn’s second-period goal to put the Bolts up 3-0. It was the first point ever recorded by a former Quinnipiac player in the NHL.

Bobcats head coach Rand Pecknold has built Quinnipiac into a national hockey power, with the school having made two championship game appearances in the last four years. Unlike the NBA or the NFL, it takes a little while for college hockey stars to make their mark at the NHL level, but the waiting period is now over.

Peca, who ranks sixth on Quinnipiac’s all-time scoring list, spent the last two seasons playing for the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL.

He was as good a candidate as any of the Bobcats’ recent stars to make his impact felt at the NHL level first. He likely won’t be the last, either.

Check out video of Peca’s assist below, and visit QuinnipiacBobcats.com for more.

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