Meet the freshman: The new faces of the 2016-2017 Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team


Sierra Goodwill

Photo courtesy Quinnipiac Athletics 

By: Phil Akre

Losing important senior players can usually be an extremely tough task for teams to overcome. For the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team, it lost six of its own after the 2015-2016 season.

After winning 30 games in 2015-2016, the Bobcats now head into this season with six new members on the team. Despite the loss of some key players, the team isn’t thinking about what they’ll miss. Instead, they’re looking forward to the future faces of Quinnipiac hockey.

#7 Kati Tabin – Defense

Tabin, a 5-foot-8 defender, comes all the way from Winnipeg, Manitoba, after representing Team Manitoba at the 2014 and 2015 Canada Winter Games. In addition to competing the Winter Games, she was a first team Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL) All-Star in 2015.

Through three seasons with the Balmoral Hall Blazers of the JWHL, she was a force.

Tabin tallied 13 goals, 53 assists, and 66 points. As a defensive-minded head coach, Cassandra Turner will surely love Tabins versatility on the ice, and to see her develop in a strong defensive culture.

#6 Allison Roethke – Defense

Allison Roethke is a prime example of the type of player that Turner has been trying to recruit to the team.

“The most important thing to us is character. We want, and need, good people in our program,” Turner said. “We just want people who want to get better, people who are have a good knowledge of the game and are smart with the puck. Talent never trumps character.”

Roethke comes from Buffalo, Minnesota, where she was a captain of the Buffalo Bison (AHL) during her junior and senior seasons. She was a five-time all-conference selection in her career before Quinnipiac, and tallied 102 points throughout her high school career.

She is skilled on both sides of the puck and has already gotten some significant playing time this season. Look for her to have a big role early on in her Quinnipiac career.

#17 Abby Cleary – Forward

If there’s one thing Abby Cleary does well, it’s competing. She’s a proven winner, taking home championships as a member of powerhouse Shattuck-St.Mary’s U-16 and U-19 teams.

Cleary, along with Allison Roethke, has a track record of leadership, as she was a four-year team captain as a member of the Buffalo Bisons, where she led the team in scoring each season. Cleary knows what it’s like to be there in the big moments.

“Confidence is just a huge part of my game. When I play with confidence, I feel really strong out there, I feel I can do a lot more.”

Now as a member of the Bobcats, Cleary will surely have her time to shine when the lights are brightest. She’s got an incredible work ethic, and she’ll look to prove herself early on this year.

#21 Kenzie Prater – Forward

Keeping in line with the winning trend of the newcomers, Kenzie Prater is no different.

She won a gold medal as a member of the U-18 U.S. National team, and she won gold as a member of the IIHF’s U-18 Women’s World Championship team. As if that wasn’t enough, she also won two consecutive Minnesota State Championships in 2015 and 2016.

Prater has enjoyed having Emma Woods, an offensive minded player, by her side as she’s eased into the college game.

“She’s definitely a positive person,” Prater said. “She is very vocal with that positivity, and it’s very helpful. She’s always there for you, to help you after a bad shift and help you forget it. Her positivity makes it a lot easier to be more confident in yourself.”

For Prater, her focus this season is clear.

“I think my own personal goal is to just keep getting better and help the team play the best hockey we can play. Whether that is scoring, assisting, or just being out there and putting pressure on the other team. Just doing whatever I can to help the team.”

After scoring 124 points in 135 games over the last five seasons, Prater has the chance to become Quinnipiac’s next big offensive weapon.

#24 Sarah-Eve Coutu-Godbout – Forward

Coutu-Godbout comes to Quinnipiac with a track record of incredible offensive production under her belt. In 16 games played from 2015 to 2016, the forward scored 21 points.

The Quebec native was a member of Team Quebec’s U-18 team, and scored a goal for Team Canada during the world championships.

She won the Limoilou Best Sportsmanship award and earned the title of Most Improved Player while playing in Canada.

#35 Abbie Ives – Goalie

For Abbie Ives, she’s coming into the best situation she could have hoped for. She has senior Sydney Rossman, the reigning ECAC Goaltender of the Year, as a mentor. Head coach Cass Turner understands the impact this has had on the freshman so far.

“It’s been really neat to watch those two,” Turner said. “Syd has kind of taken her under her wing. Syd is teaching her, talking to her, about the expectations that our program has for the goaltending position.”

Ives has been incredibly appreciative of Rossman and the rest of the senior’s guidance.

“She’s taught me so much, and showed the ropes. She took me under her wing. Me and Abby (Cleary) are both really close with the seniors.”

Coming from Bedford Hills, New York, Ives was named the WRPDIIHL Player of the Year and a member of the 2016 MSG Varsity All-Hudson Valley Team. She’ll look to continue to grow under the tutelage of Rossman as she hopes to become the goalie of the future.