“Battle of Whitney Ave.” goes Yale’s way 4-1


Steven McAvoy

With the ECAC Hockey regular season entering its final weekend, the Bobcats faced off against the Yale Bulldogs in the second leg of the “Battle of Whitney Avenue.” Sitting at sixth in the conference and right on the Bulldogs’ tails, a win for the Bobcats would have meant a tie for the No. 5 seed. Prior to this one the Bobcats took Game 1 of the season series, a 3-1 win at the Ingalls Arena in New Haven.

Instead, it was the visiting Bulldogs who emerged victorious 4-1 over the Bobcats on Friday night in Hamden. Quinnipiac was without leading point-getter Lexie Adzija, but it didn’t matter for the team’s leading goal scorer Sarah Eve Coutu-Godbout. The senior forward found twine only two minutes into the second period to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead, however the Bulldogs were able to recover quickly.

Almost halfway through the second, Yale sophomore Claire Dalton deked the Bobcats’ defense, flipped to the backhand, and sent a shot top shelf past Abbie Ives to knot the game at one. After Dalton’s goal, Yale didn’t look back. The team potted three straight goals (one more in the second & two in the third) to hand the Bobcats their second consecutive loss, splitting the season series.

Despite the loss, Quinnipiac head coach Cassandra Turner said they need to brush the dirt off and keep moving forward.

“I think we have an opportunity to learn and grow,” Turner said. “I believe firmly in the process and if this is what we need right now, then it’s what we need right now, but we have to respond.”

The biggest story for the Bobcats tonight was at the faceoff dot. Quinnipiac went 17-59 from the faceoff circle (28%), their worst mark of the season by far, and it helped the Bulldogs turn defensive zone wins into goal opportunities.

“We haven’t been good in general at faceoffs recently, so we’re definitely at a space where we want to get better,” Turner said. “It’s not just the center winning the draw it’s all five people who need to be ready to make the right play in the moment, and that’s a step we need to take.”

The 4-1 loss puts Quinnipiac in a sticky situation. With Colgate’s win over Union, the Raiders have jumped the Bobcats in the conference standings by one point. On top of that, St. Lawrence took down Dartmouth 3-2, putting the Saints just two points below the Bobcats for the seventh seed.

Turner acknowledged that her squad needs to rebound Saturday, and they certainly do. Quinnipiac draws a favorable matchup against Brown, but a loss to the Bears may mean a tough journey through the ECAC Hockey tournament. QU may be the tenth-best team in the nation according to the USCHO poll, but it is never easy playing teams like Cornell, Clarkson, or Princeton when they’re in playoff mode. Quinnipiac still has a lot to prove, and that starts with a successful season finale on Saturday.