Women’s hockey tames Brown Bears

Matthew Ruffini

The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team defeated Brown University in comeback fashion, 7-5, on Saturday at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Quinnipiac bounced back after a tough loss to Mercyhurst and a frustrating tie to Yale on Friday night.

“This weekend was huge and this game is very important to us going into these tough road games,” sophomore Hayley McMeekin said after the victory.

Both Quinnipiac and Brown came into the contest with nine points, tied for ninth in the ECACHL. With two important conference games coming up for the Bobcats against St. Lawrence and Clarkson, a loss to Brown could have really hurt the team’s chances of making a strong run to finish the season.

The first period was filled with a lot of scoring chances and power plays for both sides. The Bears were able to prevent the Bobcats power play from gaining any momentum. Brown also had shorthanded scoring chances early in the period. Both goalies were very active from the start and kept their teams in the game early on. Quinnipiac play was very sloppy in its own zone and Brown was able to generate a lot of its offense off Bobcat mistakes.

“We played sloppy and had bad turnovers,” Quinnipiac head coach Mike Barrett said.

Brown scored at the 10:50 mark on an even-strength goal by Savannah Smith. The Bobcats were quick to respond with a goal by sophomore Elyse Cole. She was able to catch the Bears defense playing too aggressively and scored on the breakaway. That was one aspect of the game Barrett was pleased with. “Three-on-three breakaways were huge for us,” he said.

Brown was quick to fire back as Kathryn Moos scored on the power play. A minute later the Bobcats answered when McMeekin scored the first of her two goals. The first period ended tied 2-2.

The second period started with a bang as the Bears scored right off the faceoff on another defensive mistake by the Bobcats. The momentum was clearly with the Bears at the start of the period as they were able to kill off multiple Bobcat power plays. Brown added another goal and seemed to be cruising to victory at 4-2.

Shortly after Brown scored its fourth goal, the Bobcats took a timeout and that’s where Barrett said the game changed in Quinnipiac’s favor. “After the timeout we rallied back and stayed focused,” he said.

“We picked up our play, we had lost our momentum, so we had to get it back,” Cole said after Brown scored its fourth goal.

The Bobcats played more aggressively after the timeout and were able to score when Antoinette Maldonado redirected the puck into the goal to pull the Bobcats to within one at 4-3.

The Bobcats then went on a scoring spree which would give them the lead for good. McMeekin scored her second of the game, Cole added her second and Kristin Emerick also scored before the end of the period. The second period ended with the Bobcats leading 6-4. The Bobcats and Bears both added one more goal in the third period to finish the scoring.

“This was a must-win game, a huge victory,” Barrett said.