The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team fell to the defending national champion University of Wisconsin Badgers, 3-0, Friday night. The game marked the first time a Quinnipiac sports team opened its season against national champions and a team ranked No. 1 in the country during preseason. In her Bobcat debut, goaltender Laura Brennan had 15 saves. The Badgers’ first goal came at 7:35 in the first period off the stick of Bobbi-Jo Slusar and Wisconsin took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
At 12:39 of the second period, Badgers’ Jinelle Zaugg scored on a 5-on-3 advantage.
The Badgers’ Kyla Sanders scored her first career goal at 1:05 in the third period to wrap up the scoring.
“Every [Wisconsin] player from beginning to end is big, strong and fast. If there is a short player out there, she is strong and fast too. There is not a weak link on the ice,” Quinnipiac head coach Michael Barrett said. “If you go out to play against them and match lines, you are going to have to do your absolute best to contain that line and survive. You can’t expect to compete line for line with a team with that much depth.”
Even with the loss, the Bobcats held the national champions to just 18 shots on goal. “These are the teams who we aspire to be. I don’t think it was a fluke that we held them to just  shots. I don’t think a lot of other teams can do that against this talented of a team, so I am very proud of that,” Barrett said.
“I thought that we played up and down with them pretty well at even strength. I felt we had as many scoring opportunities as they did and maybe more, so that score could have been different after the second period,” Barrett said. “We are a pretty young team, so all in all, I was pleased with the way we played. We saw a lot more good than bad tonight.”
Assistant captain Ashley Jaffray played in her 100th game, becoming the seventh Bobcat to reach that milestone.
Before the game, the Badgers had a ceremony where they lifted their 2006 NCAA Championship banner.
“We intentionally watched that banner ceremony because that is where we want to be some day,” Barrett said.
On Saturday night, the ‘Cats fell to the Badgers 5-1. Brennan made 33 saves in net and Karrah Stephen tallied a shorthanded goal for Quinnipiac.