There isn’t a lot that Rand Pecknold hasn’t seen or done in his 29 years behind the Quinnipiac bench, but coaching the United States team to a bronze medal at the 2023 World Junior Championship was a totally new experience.
“Trying to throw 25 players together, from all different programs, coaches and styles. Jam them together and get six practices and then we’re playing Finland in an exhibition. I’ve never done anything like it,’’ Pecknold said on Monday, the same day that his Bobcats (17-1-3) took over the No. 1 slot in both national college hockey polls.
“You have to prepare completely differently, you have to choose what you want to cover and what you want to coach. Every drill you run in practice has so much value, as opposed to when you’ve got the whole month of September to get ready for your first game on Oct. 1. It was great. I really enjoyed it. I think I’m a better coach from going.”
Pecknold was impressed — and who wouldn’t be — by the talent, top to bottom, of the U.S. team.