The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey program enjoyed a historical moment on Oct. 30 with a victory in the Nutmeg Classic. The Bobcats tied Yale 2-2 and defeated UConn 3-2 in a great weekend of women’s hockey.
The Bobcats began the tournament trailing by two goals in the third period against Yale. Freshman forward Antoinette Maldonado then assisted senior forward Kathryn Dallimore with a power play goal to trim Yale’s lead to 2-1.
Freshman forward Hayley McMeekin then scored a shorthanded goal with just over five minutes left in regulation. Fellow freshman Forward Elyse Cole was credited with an assist.
After a scoreless overtime period the teams participated in a shootout to determine placement for the next round of the Nutmeg Classic. Freshman goaltender Connie Craig made four saves in the shootout while Maldonado and McMeekin scored two goals each to win the shootout for the Bobcats.
The game went down as a tie in the ECACHL standings, but the shootout was used to determine placing in the Nutmeg Classic. Entering the game, Yale had been ranked tenth in the USCHO Poll.
“The fact that we are getting better every day has given us more confidence and while we started off slow against Yale in the first period, the fact that we played so well in the second and third and came out on top really boosted confidence for Sunday against UConn,” Quinnipiac head coach Michael Barrett said.
The Bobcats struck first in the title game as McMeekin scored with the help of an assist from freshman forward Jennifer MacLean.
“We came out on fire,” Barrett said.
In the second period, junior forward Natashia Pellatt and junior defender Jackie Kendrick assisted junior forward Ashley Jaffray as Quinnipiac opened up a two- goal lead.
MacLean then scored a power play goal for the Bobcats as the team took a commanding 3-0 advantage. Sophomore defender Karrah Stephen and McMeekin were credited with assists on MacLean’s goal.
Two UConn goals in the third period cut the Quinnipiac lead to a single goal, but the Bobcats held on to earn the win. Beating UConn, which was ranked 10th in the USA Today/ USA Hockey Magazine Poll, to earn the Nutmeg Classic Trophy represents a landmark moment for Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey program.
The team experimented with new lines in the tournament as players who normally play forward switched to defense. The new look paid dividends for the team.
“The whole team responded well and it gave us our best two team efforts so far this year,” Barrett said.
McMeekin was named the ECACHL’s Rookie of the Week for the second consecutive week. Her efforts against Yale and UConn also earned her MVP honors in the Nutmeg Classic.
Craig’s contributions as goaltender earned her a spot on the ECAHL honor roll. She stopped 30 out of 32 shots against Yale, and 18 out of 20 against UConn in securing her first career win.
Quinnipiac is 2-5-3 after suffering back-to-back defeats against Harvard and Dartmouth last weekend. Nevertheless, the team hopes that the momentum and experience from the victory at the Nutmeg Classic will carry over to the rest of the season.