HAMDEN, CT- In their fourth meeting of the season, the Quinnipiac bobcats defeated the Yale Bulldogs 1-0 on Friday night. The decider was a goal from Melissa Samoskevich a little over two minutes in. Nicole Kosta came from Yale goalie Hanna Mandl’s left and shot it, bouncing the puck off the keeper and right to Samoskevich who knocked it to the right of the netminder. An additional assist went to Meghan Turner.
“I love playing with Kosta and Brownie,” Samoskevich said in post game. She credited Kosta with getting in on the net and noted she “just tapped it in but it was good to get up on them early.”
“I think that was key,” Quinnipiac Coach Cassandra Turner said in reflection on the early goal. “We talk about our first three shifts after key moments. That to us was getting our first goal. Our record when we get that first goal is pretty good over the last few years. So it’s our kids focus on. It’s something that is important to us as we approach each game.”
After that the game would actually become a defensive slugfest, though Quinnipiac had the advantage through much of the first taking 9 shots and allowing Yale only 4. Yale gained momentum in the second and let loose 15 shots while allowing on 4.
“I think we were passive in the second period,” Turner explained. “I think that’s one of the only periods where we didn’t have a shot…honestly I’m glad it kinda happened. I’m glad that we have that in our repertoire, it turned out in our favor because we can learn some things from that I think we were letting them dictate the play. Yale has some players with some good skill, and there is no question that whenever they come to our rink and they play Quinnipiac that they want to win and they showed that in the second period today.”
“I think since we played them so many time. When you go into the locker room between periods there’s a little bit of fire in there,” Rossman suggested in her comments. “You want to come out stronger in the next period. Especially since we scored so early. They just had that drive to get back.”
In the third with Yale desperate and QU trying to put them away the Bulldogs put up 10 shots and QU 7. Yale pulled Mandl with about 1:50 left but Quinnipiac held the the Bulldogs off to obtain their fifteenth win of the season. Samoskevich recounted that with a 6 on 5 “you need to make sure you don’t panic at all. You just have confidence in your line mates and your teammates, and we got the job done.”
QU rises to 15-1-3 total and 8-1-2 in the ECAC. Yale drops to 4-9-1 and 3-3-1 in the ECAC.
“We’re happy with a win today. It’s always interesting when you come back from break and you have almost a month off hockey,” Turner recapped. “Our third period was our best period today. We had a lot of players step up to make plays when we needed them too. In big moments. There are some areas we’re really going to work to improve and look to build as we progress forward. But we got the win, and we did some things that we wanted today.”
Both teams had their offensive chances, but the defenders either kept the teams from setting up well, or stood in the way of the eventual outcomes. Part of this was shown in Quinnipiac posting 14 blocked shots and Yale having 13.
QU’s Sydney Rossman made 29 saves to shut out the visitors, tying a career high in the process. She was called upon to make critical saves including on Yale’s Hanna Astrom during a penalty kill in the second period.
“I felt good,” Rossman mused when asked about her performance. “Obviously…Yale, it’s the fourth time seeing them this year. It’s always a pretty competitive game, just because there’s a lot of shots. I think it helped me stay in it more. It was pretty fun game to play in.”
Yale’s Mandl had to make several major saves, and also faced credible threats from multiple Quinnipiac shooters including a solid try from Raquel Pennoyer. In the Yale goalie had to dive to make a save on Nicole Brown when the dangerous Bobcat stole the puck deep for excellent position. Mandl would end the day with 19 saves.
Quinnipiac played the game without T.T. Cianfarano who is at U.S. National Team training camp. Yale was missing Phoebe Staenz who is at the Nations Cup in Germany representing Switzerland.
“When you’re going to miss a player like T.T. Cianfarano, you’re going to need a practice environment where kids compete every single day and work hard to get better,” Turner outlined. “That’s what we do and so for Danielle Marmer and Mackenzie Lancaster to play good minutes for us today and be able to step in and make the plays we need them to make that’s because of how commit in practice and how our team competes in practice.”
When asked about going into the game without a key component, Samoskevich said that “I knew that coming into play, we didn’t need to worry about that because we had four solid lines ready to go out and take it to them.”
Post game pressers:
Additional Notes: (Not comprehensive at all, just some bits from what was observed.)
There were many steals, but Emma Greco stole a stolen puck back, Raquel Pennoyer had steal at mid ice, and Melissa Samoskevich stole it and got it out.
Randi Marcon, Danielle Marmer had at least one blocked shot, and Cydney Roesler and Emma Greco deflected Yale attempts too.
Roesler cleared it form the goal mouth during one play, and Kristen Tamberg harassed Yale’s Janelle Ferrara on a zone entry leading the Yale player to lose it.
Tamberg was a noticable defensive presence at even strength and on the power play.
Alicia Barry hustled to keep the puck in the Yale zone to elongate the QU possession. On another try,
Baumgardt stole the biscuit to keep it in, then Lindsey West later poked the puck from outside the blue line to keep it in, though nothing came of it. Alicia Barry held it in the zone and that lead to a shot in the third. Also in the third, Samoskevich fed Kosta nicely but the shot went wide.
Penalty Kill and Against the Extra Attack
Kristen Tamberg had multiple clears during the first penalty, Taryn Baumgardt also knocked it away. Emma Greco and Nicole Connery fought with Yale to get it out of the end too. Emma Woods would skate it out after another Yale attempt.
In the second penalty of the game, Nicole Brown would clear it, Tamberg would whap a puck out of the defensive area too. In the third penalty of the game Woods would earn a short handed try but Yale broke it up. Brown would recover the puck and skate near the Yale zone. After the Bulldogs finally got back into the QU zone, the Bobcats would clear it, and and upon Yale’s return Brown blocked the shot and shot the puck away to wrap things up.
During the Yale’s 6 on 5 advantage, the Bobcats largely kept their opponents from setting too much up, Tamberg had a blocked shot and Brown cleared it too.
Brittany Wheeler, Eden Murray, Taylor Marchin all had steals. Murray, Janelle Ferrara, and Julia Yetman also stole the puck in their end to start bringing it out. Yetman had a few of these. Mallory Souliotis also recovered a puck in the zone, and Kaitlin Gately stopped a Quinnipiac entry cold with a steal.
Krista Yip-Chuck and Jamie Haddad each were had to clear the puck out of in front of the goal area. Ferrara also stole the puck from a QU player as they tried to center themselves. Murray also intercepted a first period QU centering pass to flummox that effort. Marchin in the 2nd disrupted a Quinnipiac setup behind the Yale net. When Woods broke in for a short handed attempt it was Marchin who broke it up.
In the second Ferrara blocked a well struck puck and was momentarily injured, though she would return. Martini blocked at least two shots during the game including one late as QU was trying to add insurance goals. She would disrupt other Bobcat tries. Haddad also stood right in the way of a point blank slapper.
Yale had an effective penalty kill during their only penalty in period 2. Astrom, Murray, and Kaitlin Gately all combined to get the puck away from their end at one point. Later Ferrara cleared it and Murray raced into the Yale zone to disrupt a QU exit. Monaghan replaced her in that role, and Haddad joined in to keep the pressure in the Bobcats side. When QU returned to the attack, Monaghan had a blocked shot and Marchin wound up the penalty kill with an interception.
Yale did not have too much success on the power play, though in the second, Mallory Souliotis put in extra effort to keep a puck from crossing the blue line. Also Mandl skated far out from the net to pass the puck up and actually caught QU in a line change, though the Bulldogs could not capitalize.
Emily Monaghan had a steal in the QU zone to prolong a Yale attack. Later Ferrara had a good effort to get a zone entry and a possible chance. Ferrara also stole it in the Quinnipiac area leading to more opportunities.
In the second, Astrom got in the way of an opposing pass at mid-ice to start a drive. Later she would use a really nice move to get into the zone. Murray would also find herself snatching up a puck in the center of the rink during the second frame.
During the third, Ferrara used hustle and skill to steal the puck from a Bobcat in the opposing zone and keep the possession going, resulting in two more Bulldog shots.