by David F. Pendrys (Eyewitness account confirmed against Box Score)
HAMDEN, CT- In a wild season opener, the Quinnipiac Bobcats and Mercyhurst Lakers skated to a 3-3 tie Friday night at TD Bank.
The first period was a defensive and goalie based affair with no scoring and no penalties. The two goaltenders, Quinnipiac’s Sydney Rossman and Mercyhurst’s Sarah McDonnell, both faced threats but took care of them. Mercyhurst’s J’nai Mahadeo helped her team’s cause when she blocked a Quinnipiac attempt from close range in the goal mouth.
In period 2, things changed as Quinnipiac got their chances. After a faceoff, Emma Woods got the puck in the center and walloped a slapper while falling down past McDonnell at 2:33. Taylar Cianfarano picked up the assist.
QU went the penalty box first at 5:15 when Emma Greco went out for tripping, but Mercyhurst’s power play was ineffective.
Melissa Samoskevich picked up her first goal of her college career at 8:48 when Kristen Tamberg fed her a nice centering pass and she drilled it past the keeper.
The momentum seemed to be going Quinnipiac’s way for awhile but Mercyhurst broke that pattern. Emily Janiga got in close on the goal and shot while falling knocking the puck past Rossman at 15:55 The assists went to Mahadeo and Rachel Smith. Tamberg soon went off for hooking at 16:22 giving the Lakers a power play and they took advantage as Janiga again scored this time from Rossman’s right at point blank range. Sarah Robello and Morgan Stacey earned the assists on the 17:26 goal.
Quinnipiac survived another penalty which stretched into period 3, but the score was tied until Woods again struck. she got the puck from a rebound at McDonnell’s left and knocked it right past. Assists went to Cianfarano and Lindsey West at 6:51.
Janiga went to the box for hooking at 10:20 but Quinnipiac couldn’t capitalize. The game progressed with Mercyhurst running out of time. Late they were delayed in pulling McDonnell for the extra attacker but they finally succeeded. Lakers swarmed the net, and at 19:36 Sarah Hine received the puck right in front and knocked it in. Assist went to Brooke Hartwick.
The two teams embarked on a short overtime period, but held each other off in the process resulting in the tie.
Mercyhurst had 23 shots on goal, Quinnipiac managed 26. McDonnell made 23 saves including some great ones. Rossman made 20 saves including several big ones.
The two teams will meet again Saturday afternoon.