Deja vu for Quinnipiac as it ties Merrimack for the second time this season

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Deja vu for Quinnipiac as it ties Merrimack for the second time this season

Sierra Goodwill

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Photo courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Matt McAuliffe

After the first meeting between Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey and Merrimack College Warriors in the Nutmeg Classic ended in a 2-1 shootout loss for the Bobcats, Quinnipiac had revenge on its minds heading into this game in North Andover, Mass.

Although the score was different, the result remained the same; a 2-2 tie. Freshman forward Kenzie Prater and senior captain Emma Woods scored the goals for the Bobcats on Friday night.

The game was a back and forth battle, tied 1-1 after the first period, 2-2 at the end of the second period and stayed that way until the end of regulation. The shot total was nearly as close as the final score as the Warriors outshot the Bobcats 19 to 18.

Head coach Cassandra Turner was disappointed in her team’s offensive showing.

“We didn’t generate as many opportunities today, I thought we had chances to get the puck on the net and we either weren’t ready to shoot or we missed the net.  [Merrimack] did a good job getting in shooting lanes, that was the biggest difference. When we played them in the Nutmeg the shots were really out of balance in favor of us, and today we got outshot.”

Two players who were locked in from puck drop were Prater and Woods.

“Kenzie and Emma, they both battle,” Turner said. “They pride themselves in those little physical battles and looking to win pucks and they did that today.”

Prater and Woods were constantly physical on the fore check and were always looking to win or contest on pucks against the boards. Unfortunately for Quinnipiac, no other skater was able to perform with the same aggressiveness on Friday night.

This was the Bobcats’ final non-conference game of the regular season, but the road ahead is going to be a challenge as Quinnipiac still must face the top two teams in in the Eastern College Athletic Conference in St. Lawrence ( Feb. 10) and Clarkson (Feb. 11). The regular season ECAC title is not out of reach for the Bobcats, but the results of these matches could very well make or break their chances.

“We’re in a place right now where we have to figure out how to play our best hockey through an entire game,” Turner said. “We have flashes of really great opportunities, but when we break down, we break down, and we have to figure out a way to grow up pretty quickly to be able to beat some of the conference teams we have coming up.”

The next game for Quinnipiac is at the High Point Solutions Arena against the Princeton Tigers on January 31 at 12 p.m.