Connor Quinn ’15 has scored at least one goal in each game so far this season and sits second in the NESCAC in scoring with eight goals and five assists. Quinn scored a hat trick in Bowdoin’s 6-3 win over Colby before Thanksgiving and tied the season opener against Williams with 52 seconds remaining to keep the team undefeated. 

In the last two weeks, he grabbed a goal against Wentworth Institute of Technology and recorded two assists against Salve Regina University. He has scored in both power play and short-handed situations this season, using his speed to create breakaway opportunities even with only four Polar Bears are on the ice. 

With linemates John McGinnis ’15 and Matt Lison ’18 ranking first and fourth in scoring, Bowdoin’s front three players have been more productive than entire NESCAC teams.
Quinn started skating at age two and said he fell in love from the beginning.

“Practicing was a lot more fun than in other sports,” he said. “You think on your feet; there’s not as much set-up play. The physicality is nice too. You get to throw your body around a little bit.”

Quinn started as a defender but his high school coach moved him to forward against his wishes because he was “an offensive defenseman.” Quinn went so far as to call himself a “liability” in the position. However, his speed and willingness to fight for the puck down low made for a seamless transition to offense.

“One of the things that stands out is his puck protection in the corner,” said captain Danny Palumbo ’15. “He’s good at escaping. He likes to play in the dirty areas and he’s always in front of the net on powerplays.”

Head Coach Terry Meagher calls the ability to escape a key to being a great player and spoke highly of Quinn.

Quinn’s desire to freelance matched well with Meagher’s position-less style of hockey, and Quinn credits the system as one of the main factors that led him to Bowdoin. Meagher calls Quinn a left wing in name only because “where he lines up is not where he ends up.”

“He’s reminiscent of a few great players that have a unique style of play,” said Meagher. “You have to let them go and protect around them because they are so gifted athletically and so creative. He’s arguably one of the most exciting athletes in our league and really the East.”

Meagher noted that despite Quinn’s speed—Palumbo said he believes he could be the fastest player in the conference—many of his goals have come in situations that require reacting in front of the net or in scrums. His speed also has a tremendous impact on penalty kills. The Polar Bears play an aggressive style of penalty killing that allows Quinn to attack if he intercepts the puck in the opponent’s defensive end.

“Sometimes it can hurt, and I can get caught out of position, but I like to think my speed helps me make up for that,” Quinn said. “I’ve always been fast. I went to a few skating camps, but they say it’s not something you can coach. I guess I got lucky.”

Despite his early scoring run, Quinn acknowledges that he has not been a prolific scorer in the past. He is more than halfway to his scoring totals from last year with only a quarter of the season’s games played.

“Coming into the season, I wanted to be a goal scorer. I haven’t really been a goal scorer in the past,” he said. “Playing with [McGinnis], who’s a playmaker, makes my job a lot easier.”

Quinn also returned to playing rugby when he arrived at Bowdoin, which he had played through high school but given up temporarily to go to prep school for hockey. It is almost unprecedented for a varsity athlete to take on a club sport, particularly one that meets regularly and involves significant contact. 

Quinn has been a consistent contributor to Bowdoin Men’s Rugby during his time at Bowdoin, and Meagher said he has always embraced the contributions that rugby has brought to his style of play in hockey. 

“It’s not common throughout the game to have a player with such a unique style,” Meagher said. “Most players pass the eye test, they’re just a little better, a little stronger, a little faster, but conventionally. His is an unpredictability, in a good way.”