By David F.P. [Modest Image Gallery]
NEW HAVEN, CT- In the second day of competition at the Nutmeg Classic, the Quinnipiac Bobcats and Sacred Heart Pioneers met in the consolation game after both losing their opening round matches the night before. The result would be a blowout for QU as they carried the day 11 to 1 sending 65 shots on net to SHU.
The majority of the game was played in the Sacred Heart defensive zone, even when Quinnipiac was penalized as it turned into an onslaught quickly. However despite the lopsided score, both Sacred Heart goalies, Emily Siira and Raelene Sydor collectively combined for over 54 saves in the effort. For Quinnipiac Victoria Vigilanti had only 5 saves but only faced 6 shots before Amanda Nagel relieved her as the outcome of the game seemed less in doubt. Nagel faced 5 shots and had 5 saves as well.
Period one opened with a back and forth, though Quinnipiac did a remarkable job keeping the puck in the SHU zone by intercepting passes and clearing attempts. Bethany Dymarczyk, Heather Hughes, and Kallie Flor had opportunities early on as did a Breann Julius on a wraparound, and Jordan Elkins had a shot which missed the mark. At the 7 minute mark in the period QU had 7 shots to Sacred Heart’s 1.
Sacred Heart had a great opportunity when Kate Dunlop passed it to Brittany Hartman in the center but Vigilanti came up with a big save to block it. Later on Kelsey Britton ended up in front of the net but her shot popped over the net, and Stacey Kmill had a chance as well. For SHU Lauren Fontaine had a shot which was saved.
The first penalty came at 9:06 when Felica Vieweg was called for interference. Sacred Heart went on the power play, however QU largely kept the Pioneers on the defensive though shorthanded, an Flor even got a shooting opportunity.
The penalty was killed and Hughes had a wraparound try as well. At the 13 minute mark QU had 10 shots to Sacred Heart’s 3. Siira came up with a pair of saves when Kelley Davies sent one on net, and then the rebound was shot as well. Later Flor took a shot during a Bobcat 3 on 1, but the SHU goalie stopped that as well. More shots would follow including some point blank attempts.
At 16:13 Quinnipiac’s efforts finally got them on the board when after a few shots Kristen Eklund got it past the keeper assisted by Chelsea Illchuk and Hughes. At this point Quinnipiac lead 1-0 and had 14 shots to Sacred Heart’s 3.
To add insult to injury Nicole Palazzo went in the penalty box for tripping at 16:36. Sirra came up with saves all the same to multiple attacks by Hughes, however at 17:56 Breana Burton scored the power play goal assisted by Flor. The shots on goal ratio was 20 to 3 at that point as well.
Quinnipiac kept up the pressure and a Kate Wheeler shot hit the post, but at 18:58 she got it in the net assisted by Perry. The score was 3-0. The period ended soon afterward shots were 21 to 3.
Period 2 opened with Quinnipiac on the offensive again though not totaling many shots. Tara Kent was called for tripping at 3:01 and the Bobcats went on the power play, including a close shot from Breehan Polci. Lauren Fontaine managed a short handed try for the Pioneers as well, and the penalty was killed. Wheeler went in the box for checking at 6:52 and Sacred Heart attacked with the man advantage. Palazzo took a shot, and Lauren Fontaine sent the puck into a corner of the net past Vigilanti from deep in the zone for a goal at 7:40 assisted by Hankins and Palazzo. At this point the score was 3 to 1 and the shots on goal 24 to 6.
Quinnipiac struck again with a 3 on 1 and Husar sent the puck over the goalie into the net at 10:00 to expand the lead to 4-1. She was assisted by Polci and Dymarczyk.
Lauren Fontaine went in the box at 10:03 for tripping and Hughes pounced knocking a rebound into the net four seconds later assisted by Dymarczyk and Duffy. Wheeler, Elkins, Julius, and Illchuk added more chances soon afterward. With 6 left in the period Quinnipiac had 30 shots to Sacred Heart’s 6. With the lead at 5 to 1 late in the period Quinnipiac swapped goalies bringing in Nagel.
Dymarczyk was called for cross checking at 15:28 giving Sacred Heart another power play. Palazzo came up with a shot but Nagel saved it. Janine Duffy and Illchuk participated in a short handed try as the Bobcats killed a lot of time and spent almost none in their own zone. The penalty was soon killed. Wheeler and Illchuk had their chances but were stopped by Siira as well. Lauren Fontaine came up with a shot for the red and white but for no avail.
With the period close to ending shot the puck close, Husar got the rebound and shot it, but it was also saved, but Eklund got the next rebound and shot it in thus Husar and Flor picked up assists. The horn blew with the score 6 to 1, shots 36 to 7.
Period three had nearly just begun when Polci sent the puck through the goalies leg for another goal to make it 7 to 1 at 1:42. She was assisted by Vieweg Sydor came in for Siira soon after at 3:59. Wheeler scored not long after at 5:33 assisted by Burton. The score was 8 to 1, shots on goal was 43-9.
Quinnipiac not surprisingly kept up the pressure. Caitlin Gottwald came up with one of the few shots for the Pioneers in the period but with no points.
The next hammer fell at 10:28 when Flor sent the puck to the upper left corner of the net assisted by Melissa Perry and Evelina Husar. Plenty more Quinnipiac opportunities came and went. Another penalty followed at 12:54 on Hughes for tripping. The Bobcats had numerous short handed chances during the penalty as once again they spent very little time defending their net. The penalty passed and Quinnipiac went back on the attack including a 2 on goalie effort but the attack went over the net. At 16:33 the tenth goal came when Hughes got the puck in the center and backhanded it to the left side assisted by Eklund and Duffy. The shots kept coming and in the closing moments of the game at 18:34 Eklund put in a rebound assisted by Hughes and Duffy.
Dunlop even picked up a high sticking penalty at 19:23 and the game came to a close.
Just a note. While the report does focus on offense a lot, it is due to the difficulty of tracking key defensive plays as easier as offensive opportunities in a fast paced game. The defense’s role is critical it’s just harder to keep track of. These reports reflect the best I can do to keep up with the numerous things going on in a hockey game.