The Quinnipiac University women’s hockey team ran into a buzz-saw Friday night in the form of a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of the No. 5 ranked St. Lawrence University Saints. The Bobcats (1-3-1, 0-2-1 ECAC) were bested in every aspect of the game as the visiting Saints showed why they are perennially one of the top teams in the nation.
The Saints (3-2-0, 1-0-0 ECAC) returned one of the most potent offenses in Division I. The lineup includes All-Americans Sabrina Harbec and Annie Guay, as well as six other players who scored 20 or more points during the ’06-’07 campaign.
“We were a little bit timid playing against that team,” said freshman goaltender Tia Wishart, who made her first collegiate start. “They have a lot of skilled players and they capitalize when our players aren’t in position.”
To realize the dominance SLU exerted Friday night one only needs to look at the shot totals. The Saints, who had been averaging 25.5 shots per game going into the contest, peppered Wishart with 43, compared to only 14 shots by the Bobcats.
“That was one of the most lopsided shot totals we’ve seen in a long time,” Head coach Michael Barrett said. “Our backs always seemed to be against the wall.”
St. Lawrence put the game out of reach at the end of the second period when junior Alison Domenico stuffed her second goal of the night inside the right post at the 19:59 mark to make it 3-0. Quinnipiac players were adamant the score was late but no change to the call was made. The Saints would tack on three more in the third to put the game out of reach.
The lone goal for the Bobcats came during garbage time as sophomore Kallie Flor netted her first goal of the young season making the score 5-1 at 7:57 of the third. Flor deflected a Trudy Reyns snap shot into the top right corner.
In reference to the overall performance of his team, Barrett was clear that he felt it to be no better than lackluster.
“We’re not going out as a team on a mission,” Barrett said. “This is the third game in a row we’ve come out flat and where the third period was our best.”
The team shared their coach’s sentiment.
“It’s an angry locker room,” Barrett said. “I got some looks I’ve never got before.”
The second match up of the weekend saw more of the same for the Bobcats. Another difficult opponent and another tally in the loss column was the tale as Quinnipiac dropped a 3-1 decision to the visiting Clarkson Golden Knights (5-2-1, 1-1-0 ECAC). The loss was due to another stagnant start in which QU had a meager, one shot halfway through the second period.
“This is groundhog day,” Barrett said. “We can’t just step it up in the third period. It’s too little too late.”
The Bobcats were again very reliant on their last line of defense. Jamie Miller had her fourth collegiate start Saturday afternoon and her efforts were enough to keep her team in the game. Miller was able to turn away 23 of 26 Clarkson shots.
“We’ve got two solid goalies,” Barrett said. “We’re just relying on them too much.”
The lone spark of life for the home team came 13:24 into the third period when Brandice Moniz netted her first collegiate goal. The tenacious freshman slammed a rebound past “Colesy (Cole) did most of the work,” Moniz said. “I just chipped it in.”
The goal gave the Bobcats momentum that would soon be thwarted by a Carlee Eusepi power-play goal with 3:25 to play. Eusepi’s second of the season gave the Golden Knights a two goal lead that would not be relinquished.
Coach Barrett knows a change in his team’s performance has to start with him.
“Without question, everything that is happening falls on me,” he said. “The only fingerpointing that should be going on should be pointed at me.”