Bobcats claw their way past Catamounts to sweep series

Video by: MJ Baird

Article by: Naomi Grey

The Quinnipiac Bobcats (4-2, 0-0 ECAC) completed the two-game sweep against the Vermont Catamounts (2-3, 0-0 HEA), after a 2-1 win on Saturday at the TD Bank Sports Center.

Freshman goalie Allison Small earned the start for the second game of the weekend series and was a force between the pipes.

She had 24 saves and gave up just one goal to contribute to Quinnipiac’s victory. Small shined throughout the entire game, but her biggest save came late in the third period with the Bobcats protecting a one goal lead.

The freshman dove across the crease extending her stick parallel to the ice to secure the net and stop a two on one surge by the Catamounts.

“(Allison’s) a competitor,” Quinnipiac head coach Cass Turner said. “We’re really excited to have her and excited to have her come to Quinnipiac. She had games where she had a lot of shots and games where she didn’t have a lot of shots, and through both those games she was in a position where she was making saves. And you saw that true competitive mentality in her in the third period today, she was ready to save our team when we needed her which was key.”

Vermont’s defense proved resilient, and despite a scoreless first period, the Bobcats found their answer entering the second frame.

Quinnipiac came into the middle period with a fire lit under its skates. Just two minutes into the period, a pair of freshman contributed to the Bobcats first goal.

Forward Brooke Bonsteel scored her third goal of the season, using her body to charge towards the net and slam the puck into the twine off a crisp pass from forward Laura Lundblad.

“I think I bring size to the game, so using that to my advantage is something that is really going to help me this season,” Bonsteel said. “I’ve been working on that quite a bit so driving pucks to the net and getting as many shots as I can is what seems to be working right now.”

Three minutes later, junior forward Kenzie Lancaster doubled Quinnipiac’s lead off a power play goal. The man-advantage goal was third in two games for the Bobcats, who saw 50 percentage conversion rates in each contest this weekend. Randi Marcon and Bonsteel picked up assists on the tally.

In the past two games Bonsteel has four points and has readily stepped into the big skates she’s had to fill at the forward position as just a freshman. She plays alongside two other first-year players in Grace Markey and Lundblad, and Turner thinks that lines intensity is key to their success.

“They get excited to get on the ice,” Turner said. “They love hockey and they want to try to find ways to get to the net. Brooke has done good things on the power play for us this weekend. I am excited about them going forward; they are learning and growing so quickly and that is exactly what we need at this point.”

Despite Quinnipiac appearing to have found a solution for Vermont’s dominant defense, the Catamounts responded rather quickly in the middle frame.

Junior defender Sammy Kolowrat cut the Quinnipiac lead in half, and found the back of the net for the second time this season during a power play in the period’s final four minutes.

The final frame was back and forth, but neither team capitalized on quality scoring chances.

Despite a late third period Vermont power play, Quinnipiac held on to its one goal buffer to sweep the weekend series.

“An incredibly important weekend for us,” Turner said. “We needed to grow this weekend and we needed to get a little but more grit and I think we did that. (Vermont) definitely pushed back and they played a good game and that was really good experience for us to be in a position where we needed to compete and battle right till the end of the game.”

The Bobcats head north to Boston on Tuesday to face the No. 2 Boston College Eagles.

“I think we really needed this going in to play Boston College,” Turner said. “We want to attack that game and we just talked about it: that is a game we can win. We want to believe that as we move into and we want to attack that first period.”

*This post was updated Sunday October 15 at 1:20 a.m.

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