Women’s ice hockey topples Connecticut in opener

Michael Hewitt

Behind goals from three left wingers, Quinnipiac opened up its season with a 3-0 win over the Connecticut at High Point Solutions Arena on Saturday night.

Nearly halfway into the first period, freshman, T.T. Cianfarano notched the first goal of her career, as well as Quinnipiac’s first of the regular season, to make it 1-0 Bobcats.

“It’s definitely one to remember, but without the help of my teammates, it would not have happened,” Cianfarano said. “All three lines played well and everyone worked together.”

Nicole Brown and Nicole Connery each scored a goal in the second period, pushing Quinnipiac’s advantage to 3-0.

“I’m proud of our team. I was really happy with our performance tonight,” Quinnipiac head coach Rick Seeley said.

All three Bobcats’ lines scored during the game. Seeley was impressed with the depth and chemistry.

“The three top lines are really clicking,” Seeley said. “All three lines should threaten every night. I don’t remember any game with three lines producing. The [goals] were not flukes. The goals were a result of good effort, good long shifts, and good puck movement.”

Quinnipiac outshot the Huskies 67-21 for the night. The Bobcats had 36 shots on goal to Connecticut’s nine.

Senior goaltender Chelsea Laden recorded her tenth career shutout, and said after the game that enjoys watching her teammates keep the puck in the attacking zone.

“When I’m watching my team produce in the offensive zone and see them working hard, it’s easy to stay focused,” Laden said. “When it is my time to produce I have to be ready.”

Laden finished the game with nine saves. Her counterpart, Elaine Chuli had 33 saves.

Seeley was also happy with the performance from his defense.

“I’m thrilled with the effort of the defense,” Seeley said. “The energy of our defense was great. We got the puck back pretty quick in our zone. When you dominate, you start looking at the 6 shots [UConn had] and say they could have had none, if we played better.”

Still, Seeley thinks there is room for improvement.

“[We] mishandled the puck a lot,” Seeley said. “We had a lot of opportunities to get to openings that we didn’t take advantage. As the lines play together more, we should be able to exploit those opportunities. “

Quinnipiac looks to build on its first win of the season on Oct. 11, when the Bobcats visit Penn State.

Quinnipiac’s next home game will be October 17 against Maine.