Quinnipiac defeats UConn 3-2 in Nutmeg Classic consolation game

Kriby Paulson and Tyler Brosious

Photo: Quinnipiac Athletics
Photo: Quinnipiac Athletics

The Quinnipiac Bobcats found themselves in another tight contest this afternoon as they came out of the locker room tied at two goals apiece with the University of Connecticut to start the third. That’s when Melissa Samoskevich lined up for the face-off.

The puck dropped to start the third and Samoskevich received the puck from her line-mate Emma Wood as she began to streak to the right of goaltender Annie Belanger skating hard around the net. Gathering herself on the opposite side, Samoskevich smoked her 11th shot of the game beating Belanger from the left face-off circle to give Quinnipiac the 3-2 lead just 18 seconds into the final frame.

“Very relieving,” Samoskevich said about netting the game winner. “I knew that it would help if I just kept shooting. Our line just kept getting pucks on net and that was really just a focus for this weekend.”

Quinnipiac held strong in the third period and after a key blocked shot by defenseman Kati Tabin with 10 seconds left in the game, held on to defeat UConn 3-2 in the consolation game of the Nutmeg Classic making Samoskevich’s fifth goal of the season the game winner.

“They care about each other, there is no question,” Quinnipiac head coach Cassandra Turner said. “The first thing [Kati] Tabin said in the locker room was ‘Alicia [Barry] has made huge plays for me when I made mistakes, I’m excited I was able to make that for her today that’s kind of the mindset of Quinnipiac Hockey.”

After not being able to find the back of the net until the beginning of the second period during their opening round loss to Merrimack College yesterday, Quinnipiac wasted little time getting on the board against UConn.

Less than five minutes into the first period, Taryn Baumgardt retrieved a pass from Tabin and rifled one on net finding the twine for her third goal of the season and giving Quinnipiac a quick 1-0 lead.

Seven minutes later Kenzie Lancaster, who already had one assist on the day, won the face-off to Randi Marcon who retrieved the puck and shot one on net. The puck ricocheted off UConn defender Lexi Lersch and past goaltender Annie Belanger to give Quinnipiac a 2-0 lead halfway through the first period.

However, the two goal lead did not last forever.

Late in the first period, UConn cut the lead in half when Jaime Fox rifled one from the point. The shot was snapped down and deflected by Leah Lum, beating Sydney Rossman to cut the Quinnipiac lead to one as the teams entered the first intermission

The Huskies tied the game up early in the second period when they found themselves on the power play. Kayla Mee threw the puck on net, leading to a scrum in front of Quinnipiac goaltender Sydney Rossman. Lum, who already with one goal on the day, took the puck and found a wide open net to the right of Rossman who could not find the puck with the traffic in front to tie the game at two.

For Quinnipiac, the win was a well-needed response after a loss in a shootout yesterday.

“We are proud of the way we responded after yesterday,” Turner said. “We want to be a consistent hockey team. We were a lot closer to that today.”

Quinnipiac will return to action next weekend when it heads west to New York to face Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference foes Union and Rensselaer at 6 p.m. and 3 p.m. respectively.