Quinnipiac women’s hockey started its regular season with a 5-4 win over the University of Maine Black Bears on Friday at High Point Solutions Arena in Hamden.
The Bobcats found the twine early and often, scoring the first five goals of the game, but giving up four unanswered. All four Maine goals came after the 14:51 mark in the second period.
“I think we kind of let off the gas a little bit,” Bobcats first-line center T.T. Cianfarano said. “We weren’t pressuring as much as we were in the first.”
Cianfarano picked up two goals and two assists on the night. Her line contributed to scoring throughout the night as left wing Melissa Samoskevich picked up a goal and an assist and right wing Meghan Turner registered an assist as well. That first line put home two of the Bobcats first three goals.
However, it was third-line center Randi Marcon who struck first for the Bobcats, banging home a loose puck in front 1:50 into the first period. Raquel Pennoyer and Emma Greco picked up assists on the play.
Not long after, Cianfarano tipped a shot from Samoskevich over the glove of Maine goaltender Mariah Fujimagari 2:29 into the first.
Cianfarano said getting traffic in front and looking for deflections is a major part of her team’s identity offensively.
“It’s pretty big,” Cianfarano said. “Not even just my line, but all four lines together. We work hard on it in practice.”
Working to find space in front, Samoskevich increased the Bobcats’ lead to 3-0 off a centering pass from Cianfarano 11:35 into the first. This led Black Bears head coach Richard Reichenbach to substitute Fujimagari with freshman Carly Jackson.
Jackson stopped 21 shots for Maine, allowing just two pucks past her. After Jackson came in, the Bobcats did not score another even strength goal.
However, Emma Woods drove home a one-timer from Cianfarano at the 14:21 mark of the first on the power play and Cianfarano struck again on the power play 3:40 into the second. Freshman Kenzie Prater picked up an assist on the play.
“They get excited for the little details like our faceoffs, recovering pucks, that effort, that energy,” Bobcats head coach Cassandra Turner said of her team’s power play units. “When we had the puck, and we found our ways to get the puck, we were confident and able to move it well and find those seams.”
After Cianfarano’s second goal, the Black Bears’ offense came alive.
Catherine Tufts scored a power-play goal 14:51 into the second period to swing momentum. The Black Bears tallied three more goals before the midway point of the third, two of which came off the stick of Morgan Sakundiak.
Turner called a timeout following Maine’s fourth goal.
Turner said her message for the Bobcats during the timeout was, “Take a breath. We’re a good hockey team. We’re gonna start this game right now and move forward.”
After Turner’s timeout call, the Bobcats regrouped and did not allow another goal, holding out for the victory.
The Bobcats will face the Black Bears again on Saturday at 3 p.m. at High Point Solutions Arena.
“We have to have a short memory,” Turner said. “It’s so important to reflect, but not dwell, and figure out the answers to what we need to have done differently, how to move forward from that and be ready to compete at our best tomorrow.”