Preview: Women’s Ice Hockey Collides with Ohio State in NCAA Quarterfinals


Photo: Kaylyn Terry

Clever Streich

On Saturday evening in Columbus, Ohio, the No. 7/7 Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team will play in the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

The Bobcats’ opponents? The No. 1/1 nationally ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, who come into Saturday’s contest with the top seed in the tournament bracket, a seven-game winning streak, and its’ second-ever WCHA conference championship.

In order to reach the Columbus Regional Final, the Bobcats dispatched the reigning CHA Conference champion Syracuse Orange 4-0 on Thursday. The shutout marked the first-ever NCAA tournament victory for the Bobcats, whose previous appearances in 2015 and 2016 led to first round exits.

Saturday’s playoff game will be the sixth ever meeting between the two programs, but the Bobcats have yet to find the win column against the Buckeyes. Ohio State holds a 5-0 all-time record against Quinnipiac, with the last meeting between the two teams coming on Jan. 25, 2020, a 3-2 victory for OSU.

Ten current Bobcat skaters were in the lineup the last time the two teams met and will surely have revenge on their minds come Saturday night. Additionally, the last four contests between the two programs since 2018 have been one-goal affairs, meaning that Saturday’s game should be close and competitive.

Since 2020, the Bobcats have turned the corner by adding new talent who are ready to take the ice for the biggest game in program history. Key among them is graduate goaltending transfer Corinne Schroeder, who has been lights out in the 2021-22 season with a .951 save percentage and 1.53 goals-against-average. The Women’s Hockey Goalie of the Year Award finalist will be the lynchpin between the pipes if the Bobcats hope to continue its tournament run.

In addition to quality goaltending, Quinnipiac’s offense has been firing on all cylinders by outscoring its opponents 15-4 in ECAC and NCAA postseason play. Leading the way for the Bobcats is sophomore Olivia Mobley, who has tallied eight points in the last four games, and graduate Taylor House, who scored the game-winner in Thursday’s shutout over Syracuse.

On the other side of the ice is a familiar face in Kenzie Hauswirth, a junior who transferred from Quinnipiac to Ohio State last season and has put up nine points in 29 games played. Other top contributors for the Buckeyes to keep an eye on are Sophie Jaques, a senior defenseman who ranks fifth nationally in NCAA women’s ice hockey scoring with 57 points in 35 games played, and Paetyn Levis, who has eight points in her last four games played.

All in all, Ohio State has the top-scoring offense in the nation, averaging 4.74 goals a game, and the fourth-best scoring defense, allowing only 1.49 goals a game. The team right above the Buckeyes are the Bobcats, whose scoring defense ranks third nationally by only letting up 1.45 goals a game.

Quinnipiac will look to pull off a massive upset against the top team ranked in the nation, with the winner securing a spot in the NCAA Frozen Four the following weekend in State College, PA. Puck drop for Saturday’s game is set for 5 PM, and will be streamed on BIG10+.