Craig comes up big in goal for women’s hockey

Andy McDonough

The Quinnipiac women’s hockey team battled Colgate to a 1-1 tie in a hard-fought defensive match up Friday night at the Northford Ice Pavilion.

Quinnipiac fell behind by a goal after Colgate center Becky Irvine scored on a power play with 4:04 remaining in the second period. Irvine was assisted by forward Allison Paiano and defender Tara French.

The Bobcats responded only a few minutes later as forward Antoinette Maldonado scored an unassisted even strength goal with 1:48 left in the period. It was the fifth goal of the season for the freshman, who is second on the team in both goals and total points.

The third period and overtime period passed without any scoring from either team. In the closing moments, junior forward Ashley Jaffray made a superb defensive play to secure a tie for the Bobcats.

The tie came in large part thanks to excellent defense and goaltending for the defensive-minded Quinnipiac team. Freshman goaltender Connie Craig played a superb game in stopping 43 of the 44 shots that came her way.

Craig’s play has surpassed all possible expectations for a first-year goaltender. She was both the ECACHL’s Goaltender of the Week and the runner-up for the’s National Defensive Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 28.

Craig has put up solid statistics throughout the season with a .906 save percentage and a 3.01 GAA entering Friday’s game.

“She’s come up big for us time and time again,” Quinnipiac head coach Michael Barrett said.

Colgate’s goaltender Brook Wheeler stopped 24 shots.

The Raiders outshot Quinnipiac 44-25 and were able to kill each of the four power plays that they faced. During the last of these power plays in the overtime period, Colgate was able to hold the Bobcats without a shot on goal.

With the tie, Quinnipiac’s record went to 6-7-3 overall and 2-4-2 in ECAC play. Colgate left the Northford Ice Pavilion at 7-4-3 overall and 4-0-1 in the ECAC.

While a team never leaves the ice truly satisfied without a win, Friday’s tie represented an achievement for Quinnipiac as it was able to defend its home ice and earn a point against one of the top teams in the ECAC.

“It was a huge point,” Barrett said. “We play to win, but we want to come out of the weekend with as many points as we can get.”

Cornell 1, Quinnipiac 0:

Craig had another strong game in net for the Bobcats, turning aside 19 of 20 shots.

But Flora Vineberg made 27 saves in goal for Cornell to record the shutout and Brianne Schmidt scored the only goal of the game on a power play in the first period.

Quinnipiac finished the weekend having not1 allowed an even strength goal in 191:05.

The Bobcats host Maine on Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (4 p.m.) at the Northford Ice Pavilion.