HAMDEN, CT- The Quinnipiac Bobcats Women’s Hockey team trailed after one period but exploded in response to win 5-1 in action Saturday night afternoon up on York Hill.
“It’s always a battle every night in the ECAC, and I think that happened today,” Quinnipiac Head Coach Cassandra Turner said. “Brown came out hard in the first period. I think we did a lot of good things to respond and started to hit our flow offensively. So a lot of good things, and a lot of things for us to work on as we approach this week.”
Brown opened the scoring by taking advantage of a power play. Leah Olson teed up a shot from the center point, it bounced off QU goaltender Sydney Rossman, but Bridget Carey swiftly put in the rebound that bounced to Rossman’s left at 14:48. Maddie Woo also picked up an assist. The Bears would exit the period with a lead, but that would not last long.
In the second Kristen Tamberg launched the puck at Brown goalkeeper Monica Elvin. It bounced off and back to her. She shot it a second time, this time, the rebound went to Melissa Samoskevich who knocked it over the Elvin at 1:11. An additional assist went to Nicole Kosta. As that goal was being announced, Emma Woods and Tamberg helped set up Nicole Connery who got it past Elvin again at 1:25.
“We really try to push out what just happened and keep the momentum,” Tamberg explained. “We also want to realize, one goal is not going to win us the game. We have to keep going. We need to clear it out of our head and work our hardest to get another one.”
The Bobcats weren’t done however and they proceeded to attack again. The puck was in front of the net, when Emma Woods backhanded it to a streaking T.T. Cianfarano who launched it over a falling Elvin at 2:02. An additional assist went to Nicole Connery.
The scoring settled down for a little while, however Katie Lynch of Brown hit Raquel Pennoyer into the boards, which sent Pennoyer to the locker room status unknown. The subsequent five minute major gave QU some more chances.
The Bobcats struck gold quickly as T.T. Cianfarano passed it across the goal mouth to Lindsey West who scored easily, with an additional assist going to Nicole Connery.
“We’ve been working hard all season on the power play, getting passes through and working around. Trying to find each other on the back door and up high and getting shots to the net,” West explained. “I drove to the net and had my stick on the ice. Had an open net, slid it right in.”
The Bobcats would not score again during the major but seconds after it ended Mackenzie Lancaster fought for the puck in the Brown corner and won, getting it over to Taryn Baumgardt who sent it to Emma Woods behind the net, Woods returned the favor by moving out from the back and passing to Baumgardt who was right in front and beat Elvin.
“We started the season asking our defensemen to be more involved in the offense,” Turner stated. “They’ve been building gradually with that and today it kind of hit a peak. To have three of our defensemen (West, Baumgardt, & Tamberg) make key plays on goals. That’s what we want. It was a key to our game today. It’s something we talked about before the game. We wanted our D getting involved in the offense. We wanted to be smarter in our shots from the blue line, and better in jumping into play at the right times, and they did that very well.”
On why the team had such a good second period as compared to the first Turner ventured she thought it was “the way we were pressuring the puck with our sticks, our details with that was the first part that was creating turnovers for us in the second period. We talked about making the goalie make a second save. We wanted to create second shots, we wanted to take away the goalies eyes as much as we could and play a little grittier offensively. That’s been our key all year, when we have games when we get a little more explosively offensively, we’re tougher at the net and we’re willing to go into those tough areas.”
The third was scoreless, though Elvin had a chance to shine fending off repeated QU attempts to increase the lead. QU’s defense held Brown to 2 shots in the final frame.
“We pride ourselves in our team defense,” Tamberg said when asked how the team handles defending a lead. “It’s not just the defenders, it’s our goalie, and our forwards blocking shots. That’s something we try and do the whole game. Especially when we’re up though. We love to get shutouts obviously. It’s something that we’re always focusing on.”
While QU got T.T. Cianfarano back in the lineup on Saturday, Bobcat Captain Cydney Roesler was not in the game, and Pennoyer’s injury also forced adjustments. When asked about the contributions of players during the weekend to fill in Turner gave her take.
“I continue to be impressed with our players who are ready to jump into our lineups and make plays. I think both [Mackenzie Lancaster] and [Danielle] Marmer did a really good job of that up front. Miranda Lantz as well, and Shannon [Cherpak] has been building and growing over the past year and a half and is ready for the minutes she’s playing right now.”
QU’s penalty kill surrendered only one goal on the weekend, and the power play picked up one goal total in the games.
“I’m very happy with our special teams,” Turner said. “We did give up a PK goal but it was a 3 on 5. Thought leading into that it was just a tough spot on the back door with only 3 players on the ice. Our power play, we had great looks, with 19 shots on the power play tonight. That’s what we’re looking for. We want to get some good looks, and we’re going to create opportunities for second shots and work hard to recover the puck. There were definitely good things on the power play today.”
“Our penalty kill is something we really pride ourselves on…before the game it’s a big focus so we’re always ready for it,” Tamberg added.
Quinnipiac rises to 19-1-3 (9-1-2 in the ECAC), Brown falls to 3-11-0 and 1-7-0 in conference play. Rossman finished the game with 7 saves on 8 shots. Elvin ended up with 46 saves on 51 shots.
When asked if the team approached Brown any differently than Yale the game before West didn’t think so regarding the different teams, but she did note that “We definitely had a different mindset coming in. Day 2 hockey is a big thing for us. We need to focus on our details a lot more. There’s definitely still a lot of energy in the dressing room and amongst all the players and we just know that we have to come hard and do everything we can to win the game.”
Looking to next week’s road trip to RPI and Union, Coach Turner theorized about the things the team would work on.
“I think we want to get a little more confident with what we’re doing on the breakout and being cohesive. One of the biggest things with our team is making sure we’re intense to get in position and helping one another to make good play so it’s not just one person at a time. That’s going to be a key for us in a lot of area of the ice, butespecially the breakout this week.”
Post Game Pressers:
Additional observations. (A non-comprehensive list of other plays observed during the game.)
Tamberg stole the puck in Brown zone to keep a possession going. Later, Meghan Turner stole the puck very deep and tried to line up a shot but a Brown player eventually stopped her. Also, during a power play West had knocked down a Brown attempt to clear it to allow the attack to continue.
Tamberg headed off a Brown developing attack at mid-ice and pushed the puck backed the other way. On another Brown entry West and Baumgardt teamed up to flummox it. West would prevent another Bears entry at a later time. Randi Marcon also broke up a driving Brown effort, and took it back the other way. During a later opposing breakaway Alicia Barry got in the way of a pass to end the entry. Pennoyer ended a long running visitor possession and skated it away from danger. Also, Miranda Lantz intercepted a pass in the middle of the of the ice and fed it along to start a QU opportunity.
Connery, Tamberg, and Baumgart all had blocked shots during the various penalty kills. West was among those clearing the puck. Also, during a PK, Nicole Kosta stole the puck as Brown tried to get past the blue line and it ended up with Tamberg who cleared it. Kosta would later retrieve the puck from in front of the net and dump it out.
Blocked Shots: Kelly Micholson had at least 2 blocked shot, Rachael Cholak, Hunter Davis,Samantha Swanstrom, Olson, Alli Rolandelli all at least had one. Davis also disrupted at least one more.
Cynthia Kyin stole the puck and got it out of her zone. Sam Donovan and Cara Najjar also pulled off the same type of act at various times. Also, Najjar intercepted the puck in the Brown zone and brought it out herself. Woo and Sam Donovan did similar later on. Conway intercepted a pass and brought it out and Buckholtz did so as well though she came up with an errant centering pass.
Erin Conway whapped the puck away from the goal mouth. Also, Samantha Swanstrom disrupted Kosta’s attempt to veer in on net. As QU tried to set up form the blue line, Carey poked it away and raced down into the Quinnipiac zone. Davis used her stick to knock a QU pass out of the defensive area.
Clears: Samantha Swanstrom, Abby Niewchas (from the goal mouth no less) and later another, Olson (after Elvin came up with a big save) and another clear far later, Woo stole the puck from QU after a long attack and knocked it away. Micholson, and Conway, and Cholak had clears at more distant time in the game.
Micholson, Niewchas, and Alli Rolandelli were all observed to disrupt QU attack efforts. Elvin had a ton of critical saves during the penalty kill, thwarting numerous Quinnipiac well placed shots.