Labad scores two, Bobcats roll to Nutmeg Classic title game

Zack Hochberg

The No. 4 Quinnipiac women’s hockey team overpowered Bemidji State 5-0 in the semifinal of the 2022 Nutmeg Classic on Friday afternoon. 

The shutout victory was the Bobcats’ sixth shutout through 13 games this season while junior goaltender Catie Boudiette collected her third of the season. Boudiette saved all 18 of the shots she faced.

“Catie’s been playing really well in practice and she’s someone who’s done well in the games she’s played in as well and we wanted to give her an opportunity,” Quinnipiac head coach Cass Turner said. “She earned it and she played really well today.”

The Bobcats got the scoring going early. In the opening seconds of the contest, senior forward Sadie Peart fired a shot on net and was denied by Bemidji State junior goaltender Hannah Hogenson. Sophomore forward Maya Labad was also there to put home the rebound to give Quinnipiac the 1-0 advantage just 17 seconds in. 

The Bobcats continued to push for goals in the period but couldn’t convert on either of their power plays as they headed into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead. 

Labad’s first-period goal wasn’t enough for her. Early in the second period, she flicked a wrist shot just past Hogenson and pushed the Bobcat advantage to two.

“She just keeps getting better and better,” Turner said. “Her speed is such an asset and her overall conditioning has gotten so much better from last year, so she can sustain that at such a great level, and when she gets her chances, she’s got a nice shot, so it’s been nice to see her find the back of the net.”

The Bobcats scored another odd goal in the second period to widen their lead to three. Sadie Peart slipped as she took a shot, and collided with the end boards as the puck found the net.

Quinnipiac had made it a point of emphasis to continuously put pucks on net this season and it paid off this afternoon, especially for that goal by Peart. 

Continuing the trend of scoring goals early in the period, graduate student defender Zoe Boyd cleaned up a loose puck in the crease to give the Bobcats a four-goal lead two minutes into the third period. 

Quinnipiac scored three of their five goals today within the first two minutes of each period. 

Junior defender Maddy Samoskevich put the icing on the cake with her first goal of the season midway through the third period. 

“I’ve been working a lot on my shot this year,” Samoskevich said. “I’m happy I finally buried one.”

The Bobcats now turn their attention to tomorrow night, when they look to defend their title as Nutmeg Classic champions. 

“I think that just like competing for a championship and a trophy at the end is a good warm-up for the NCAA tournament,” Samoskevich said.

Quinnipiac will play the winner of the other semifinal match between UConn and Sacred Heart in the title game.