Quinnipiac records first weekend sweep of conference play with 2-1 win over RPI

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Naomi Grey

Saturday was a great day to be a Quinnipiac Bobcats fan, as a win from the women’s ice hockey team topped off a 4-0 day for Quinnipiac athletics.

Rugby, volleyball and men’s basketball all recorded wins just hours before the women’s ice hockey team finished strong over the Rensselaer Engineers, winning 2-1 at the Frank Perrotti Jr. arena.

Aside from putting a lid on the winning sweep for the athletic department, the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team managed to pull out its first weekend sweep of conference play.

Things got off to quite the slow start as both teams remained stagnant on the offensive side, which could have been a result of being the second game of the weekend.

Both Quinnipiac and RPI entered Saturday’s game coming off ECAC matchups from the night before. However, both team’s defenses remained present in the opening period as they held each other to just six shots a piece and zero goals.

Most of the action from the first moments of the game came from the four power plays,  as both the Bobcats and Engineers had two players sent to the box in the first 20 minutes.

The Bobcats had just one extra trip to the box than RPI throughout the game, but managed to finish 5-for-5 on the penalty kill and improve their success rate to 92% for the season.

Taylor House

While neither team found success on the power play for the day, moments after Quinnipiac’s third man up opportunity freshman forward Taylor House delivered her third goal of the year and second of the weekend.

House corralled a rebound and sent the puck straight to the back of the net to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead near the midway point of the second period.

The Bobcats would hold onto a 1-0 lead for over six minutes, until the Engineers Jaimie Grigsby broke away and tied things up with just 19 seconds to go in the period.

This was the second time this weekend the Bobcats gave up a game changing goal with under a minute to go in a period, however head coach Cassandra Turner says she was pleased with the way her team overcame those setbacks.

“It is not okay to give up goals in that time frame of a game and they know it, they owned it,” Turner said. “I think we need to find a way to make those changes as we move forward but what I like is that they came out and every single one of those players were ready to play in that next period and didn’t live in that past moment they lived in a new moment.”

Aye Aye, Captain

With the game all tied up, it didn’t take much for Bobcats’ captain Melissa Samoskevich to execute for the second time this weekend and close things out.

Nearly halfway through the third period Kenzie Lancaster found Samoskevich in the center of the ice to dish in the wide-open shot past RPI goaltender Lovisa Selander. The junior captain’s goal gave the Bobcats a 2-1 lead.

Samoskevich took a backseat in regards to scoring for the first month of play, but has now recorded 5 goals in just seven days quickly becoming the Bobcats leading goal scorer.

The junior says the chemistry with her linemates is the reason behind her success.

“Playing with (Raquel Pennoyer) and (Kenzie Lancaster) helps a lot,” Samoskevich said. “We support each other and I think I so happen to be the lucky one to put the puck in the net. I mean they’re granted chances just as much as I am too, so I think our line is clicking pretty well.”

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This victory moves the Bobcats to  7-1 at home, and although they continue to find their success on their home ice, they will be challenged to turn around their 1-5 away record in the coming weeks as the Bobcats won’t play again in Hamden until early December.

“I think we got to find ways to make sure our routine is what it is when we’re at home, you know, to have that consistency and to be confident in someone else’s building and how to manage all those outside distractions,” Turner said. “With a young group, it sometimes takes time and I think we’re ready to take that step.”

The Bobcats begin their seven game road stand next week in New York, with matchups against Clarkson and Saint Lawrence.

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