Quinnipiac women’s hockey skates past RPI, wins 4-0

Ryan Flaherty, Women's Ice Hockey Beat Reporter

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It wasn’t quite a sold-out crowd, but for those who attended Friday night’s women’s ice hockey game, it was certainly worth the price of admission as the Quinnipiac Bobcats (10-16-4, 7-9-2 ECAC Hockey) were fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive as they battled the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers (12-13-5, 9-8-1 ECAC Hockey) to a 4-0 win.

It was Quinnipiac who drew first blood just three minutes into the first period as Melissa Samoskevich scored her 10th goal of the year, and the Bobcats never looked back. They dominated the first period adding two more goals, one from Sarah-Eve Couto-Godbout and another from Grace Markey, to take a commanding three-goal lead after 20 minutes.

“I think that they would’ve probably had a bigger push had it stayed close for longer,” Quinnipiac Head Coach Cassandra Turner said. “I think getting out to that 3-0 lead was so important for our momentum throughout the game.”

After Quinnipiac flexed its new found offensive prowess in the first, the Bobcats then turned to their defense to shut things down. The defense turned in one of its best performances of the year holding RPI to just 14 shots on goal, the least they’ve allowed since their season low of 12 back in January.

“We fought really hard to possess the puck and after our chances pressure quickly so that, you know, even if the first person wasn’t turning the puck over the second person was in close support,” Turner said. “It’s going to be really important that we bring that same effort, energy, and detail with our sticks and that will help how we play defensively.”

Samoskevich put the final nail in the RPI coffin scoring her second goal of the night and team leading 11th of the season just five minutes into the third period extending the Bobcats lead to four. Prior to tonight’s game the senior captain hadn’t scored a goal in over a month but wasn’t concerned about the recent slump.

“I try not to focus on it,” Samoskevich said. “Cass (Turner) kind of drives the ‘do the right things and the goals will come.’ The assists before were just as good because Randi’s (Marcon) been scoring a lot of goals and whoever scores, that’s how we are going to win games.”

With the win tonight, Quinnipiac is now four points clear of a playoff spot in the ECAC Hockey standings with just three games left to play in the season. Don’t let that fool you though, this team believes they’re just getting started.

“I don’t think there’s been concern about the playoffs, if there was we worked through to really pushing to see how good we can become,” Turner said. “Nobody knows better than those girls in that locker room what the effort is that they’re putting in every single day and they believe they can win a conference championship and so does our coaching staff.”

Quinnipiac now has points in its last three games and will look to build upon their recent success as it will be back in action at the People’s United Center tomorrow at 3 p.m. to take on the Union Dutchmen on senior day.