By David F. Pendrys
HAMDEN, CT – The Quinnipiac Bobcats and Concordia Stingers met in an exhibition showdown Sunday afternoon and the result was a mighty three to three tie.
The Stingers stung QU for two goals in the first period. Claudia Dubois turned the tables on a QU power play by breaking out of her zone and outracing the defense back. She took on Bobcats Goalie Abbie Ives and launched it over the keeper into the net for the short handed tally.
Concordia struck again with 2 seconds left in the period during a power play when Brigitte Laganiere was fed the puck right dead center in front of Ives. She shot it well for the goal. An assist went to Stephanie Lalancette who set up the beautiful opportunity.
“You put that jersey on, there is a little bit of a hesitation, and I think we just needed to get our confidence going and start to get the puck on our stick and work hard,” Quinnipiac Head Coach Cassandra Turner explained responding to a reporter’s question on the first period. She went on to praise Concordia mentioning they have a “great coaching staff with Julie Chu and Caroline Ouellette. They’ve won a few medals. They certainly had their team playing hard.”
Chu, who is a familiar face in Connecticut hockey, and Ouellette are well known international players as well as CWHL stars, which is an understatement.
Quinnipiac however would respond. In the second, Sarah-Eve Coutu-Godbout was with a crowd right in front of the net and knocked it past Katherine Purchase of Concordia for the first Bobcats score. Assists went to the two Captains, Alicia Barry and Melissa Samoskevich.
“I like how we responded in the second and let only 2 shots on our net. It was a good period of hockey for us,” Quinnipiac Head Coach Cassandra Turner said post game.
Early in the third, it would be Coutu-Godbout striking again as she was in great position during another power play. She teed up a slapper past Purchase to even the score. Samoskevich picked up the assist on that goal as well.
Soon afterward QU was back on the power play and this time, Samoskevich launched a blast only to have T.T. Cianfarano deflect it from in front sending the puck in a direction Purchase was not positioned for and into the net it went for 3-2 lead. Kati Tabin also picked up an assist to Samoskevich’s third.
With the minutes ticking down Concordia needed to do something, and Laganiere came up with the answer lofting a shot from deep in the QU zone that popped over Ives off some sort of deflection and in. Marie-Pascale Bernier was originally credited with the goal but was given the assist in the final accounting.
The two teams would head to overtime but that five minute exchange would settle nothing.
Quinnipiac took 40 shots on the night, and Concordia took 24, which was a number Turner noted after the game was too high a number to allow. QU went 3-7 on the power play though gave up the aforementioned shortie. Concordia went 1 for 4 in their power play chances.
Dubois and Lalancette led their team with 5 shots a piece and the rest were spread throughout the team. For QU, Coutu-Godbout took 7 shots, and Cianfarano 6. Tabin had 4, Samoskevich had 3, as did newcomers Brooke Bonsteel, Grace Markey, and UND transfer and Finnish Olympian Anna Kilponen.
Quinnipiac blocked 8 shots on the day and Concordia blocked 10. Ives naturally made 21 saves and Purchase made 37. Ives had some great moments including when she made 3 saves on the penalty kill dealing with some point blank shots.
Turner put Samoskevich, Cianfarano, and Coutu-Godbout on the same line for the match up which puts some of QU’s fastest and most lethal skaters together. It certainly worked today.
Laura Lundblad, Bonsteel, and Renee Saltness made up an all freshman line which generated several opportunities and seemed to have great chemistry. Turner praised them specifically in the post game presser. Coach Turner also noted post game that the freshman and sophomores need to step up as there are 14 on the team. Last season Turner noted QU had “graduated a lot of leaders” and the same was true going into this season with players like Emma Woods, Taryn Baumgardt, and Sydney Rossman headed to the pros.
Speaking of the change in leadership as noted. Samoskevich picked up a C on her jersey despite being a Junior, and Senior Alicia Barry holds the other. Assistant Captaincies went to the Senior Cianfarano and Junior Randi Marcon.
“I don’t want to say it’s different than not having a C. But it’s a definitely a role that I have to take a lot more seriously and be more aware of things on the ice and things off the ice. It pushes me to become a better person not only on the ice but off the ice,” Samoskevich said of her new role.
In assessing the game overall Turner volunteered that there was “a lot of good plays, and some plays I know we can fix and improve going forward to keep those pucks out of our net. Overall we’re excited about where we are and ready to get back at it so we can beat Maine on Friday.
Noticed plays. (These are moments noted that may not make the score sheet. They are not meant to be exhaustive. With due respect to Concordia, because it was an exhibition I used the opportunity to focus on QU to get an idea of how the team was looking. Usually I try to do this for both teams.)
- Tori DeAngelis pushed Concordia out of the Quinnipiac zone at one point.
- Kate MacKenzie cleared it during a penalty kill. Later she deflected a Concordia centering pass.
- Saltness cleared the puck during a PK, and then followed up for a short handed try. Later she knocked the puck out of the goal zone averting danger to the QU net.
- Grace Markey stole it in the neutral zone and brought it into the Concordia zone for a scoring try.
- Markey, Taylor House, and Kenzie Lancaster had a fine attack sequence where they generated some quality opportunities.
- Raquel Pennoyer snatched the puck in the defensive zone blunting a Concordia attack.
- Barry cleared it on the PK and on another did the same. She had a noticed steal after those.
- Tabin cleared it on a penalty kill. At another juncture she went end to end for a scoring chance. She would also steal the puck from a Stinger player to end their chance.
- Samoskevich kept the puck in the zone during power play and later stole the puck in the Concordia zone. Much later she would rob Concordia of the disc in the neutral zone and skate in for a scoring chance.
- Cianfarano snatched the puck in the Concordia zone to start something. She would replicate this behavior several times during the game.
- Marcon got the puck in the defensive zone. She generated a scoring chance later on too.
- Shannon Cherpak pushed Concordia out of the Bobcats zone. She also would steal the puck in the neutral zone at another time.
- Brooke Bonsteel got the puck in the offensive zone.
- Lundblad stole the puck in the Stingers zone and then again soon after to keep the offensive effort going.
- House intercepted a puck in the defensive zone.
- Lancaster intercepted the puck in a defensive zone and got it out. She had a good scoring chance at a later point.
- Allison Roethke stole it in the defensive zone brought it out and got it to Pennoyer for an offensive chance.
- Markey & Cherpak combined to get it out of their defensive end. Markey also sent the puck out of the QU goal mouth during a Concordia attack.
- Lancaster snatched the puck in the offensive zone.
- Coutu-Godbout blocked a shot then took the puck all the way down for a scoring chance.
- Kilponen had a steal in the neutral zone and took it right in to lead to a scoring chance in overtime.