Springfield Cathedral hockey head coach Brian Foley tells ESPN Boston this afternoon that Panthers brother duo D.J. and Keith Petruzzelli have given verbal commitments to Quinnipiac University.
D.J. Petruzzelli, a junior forward with the Panthers, posted 4-20-24 totals last season, while Keith Petruzzelli, a freshman goaltender on the varsity program, becomes the first 1999 birthdate player in the nation to give a hockey commitment.
The date of the commitments for the Wilbraham, Mass. residents are unknown.
“D.J.’s improved a great deal,” Foley said of the elder Petruzzelli. “As a freshman, like any player, his eyes were wide-open and he was just trying to survive. Last year, he was one of our top forwards. He’s become more of a man out there this year. He’s playing with a lot more confidence and he’s working out a lot and continuing to get stronger.”
Keith Petruzzelli, already standing at 6-foot-5 (and possibly projecting to 6-9), has been the object of many Division 1 program’s attention without yet having played a high school game.
“He’s been great in scrimmages and practices,” Foley said. “He’ll have an opportunity to play. You would think someone at that size wouldn’t be so coordinated at that age, but he’s athletic. He’s got all the characteristics of a great goaltender.”
Two-year incumbent starter John Liquori (an ESPN Boston All-State honorable mention last season) was between the pipes for the Panthers in their season-opening tie against Catholic West rival St. John’s of Shrewsbury on Saturday.
Foley believes there will be a place for both players in the Panthers net this season, with his senior captain bringing along the young talent.
“It’s a friendly competition,” Foley said. “It’s not a situation where we pick one over the other.”
While there’s quite a time before either of the brothers will get to the Hamden, Conn. campus, there’s a definitely familial atmosphere among the returning Frozen Four finalist Bobcats. Quinnipiac already has a pair of brother tandems on its roster presently with Connor and Tim Clifton and Connor and Kellen Jones.
“It’s a great deal for them and great for the family,” Foley said. “They always wanted to be together at the college level going into it and it’s great to see that happen with such a great program.”