Bobcats Flex Their Muscles, Score Five Unanswered to Take Game One of ECAC Quarterfinals


Photo: Kaylyn Terry

Zachary Carter

Winning hockey games has never looked easier for the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team, who scored five unanswered goals Friday against the No. 10 Clarkson Golden Knights to take a 1-0 series lead in the quarterfinal round of the ECAC playoffs.

This is the third meeting between these teams in the quarterfinal round, with the Bobcats besting the Golden Knights in 2012 and advancing in three games. More recently, Clarkson swept the Bobcats in just two games back in 2019. The two teams met Friday looking to regain some momentum with postseason play set to begin.

As the puck dropped, all signs pointed toward a game filled with energy, physicality, and aggression. Sophomore forward Olivia Mobley noted that the game’s physical nature was a large factor in motivating the Bobcats down the stretch.

“A couple of girls made some huge hits,” Mobley said. “Those moments definitely energize our bench and they’re huge throughout the game.”

For the duration of the first period, each team traded scoring opportunities back and forth with neither team able to capitalize. With 3:16 left to play in the period, Clarkson found the back of the net first. Graduate student Kristina Schuler took a pass from the right wing and fired it passed Quinnipiac goaltender Corinne Schroeder to give the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead.

A mere 90 seconds later, the Bobcats struck back. Mobley was fed a pass from forward Taylor House and deposited a one-timer securely in the back of the Golden Knight’s net with just over one minute left to play in the period. The goal was the fifteenth of the season for No. 15, and the two teams entered the locker room tied 1-1

Clarkson’s defense stifled the Bobcats early in the second period. As a result, Quinnipiac’s first shot attempt did not come for almost ten minutes.

On the first Bobcat shot of the second period, Renee Saltness took the puck just past the blue line and wasted no time finding the top shelf, splitting two defenders, and firing a bullet just out of the reach of Clarkson goaltender Michelle Pasiechnyk.

With momentum in their favor, the Bobcats looked to strike again, and they did just that, scoring their third goal of the game with 4:58 left to play in the period. Alexa Hoskin was in the right place at the right time when a rebounded shot bounced directly to her stick which she used to flip the puck over Pasiechnyk and into the net. Despite being outshot by Clarkson 23-15, the Bobcats ended the second period with a 3-1 lead.

Quinnipiac shut the door in the final period, ensuring that Clarkson had no chance to bring themselves back into the game. One minute into the period, House joined in on the scorning frenzy, chipping in a rebound for the Bobcats’ fourth goal. On the play, Mobley tallied an assist for her sixth multi-point game of the season.

To add insult to injury, Quinnipiac scored its fifth and final goal of the game with just two minutes left to play. After Clarkson pulled Pasiechnyk, Sadie Peart went coast-to-coast, maneuvering through six Clarkson attackers to score her twelfth goal of the year. Peart’s goal gave her 30 total points on the year allowing her to become the first Bobcat to tally 30 points in one season in six years.

In net, Schroeder was once again a force to be reckoned with. She tallied a total of 34 saves in the game en route to a dominant performance. When speaking about her goaltenders, head coach Cassandra Turnerput it very simply.

“We have great goaltending,” Turner said. “I don’t think we’d be here if we didn’t have the goalies that we have.”

Not only were the Bobcats able to get the win against Clarkson, but they were able to do it on their home ice. This weekend, Quinnipiac hosted the team’s first playoff series at the People’s United Center since 2016.

“It was a great moment for (our older players) and I’m glad that they were able to experience it,” Turner said. “I’m excited to hit the ice tomorrow.”

The Bobcats will “hit the ice” again tomorrow in the second game of the quarterfinal round. Quinnipiac now leads the series 1-0 and can advance to the semifinal round with another win Saturday.