Quinnipiac dominates Sacred Heart 6-1 in Cass Turner’s 100th career win

Bobcats began the season in mid-season form despite ending the game with eight injured players

Matt Nygaard, Staff Writer

Cass Turner spent 287 days at 99 career wins, but got her 100th career victory today after the Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team defeated Sacred Heart 6-1.

The Bobcats (1-0-0) were dominant in the out-of-conference tilt against the Pioneers (0-1-0) at the Frank Perotti Jr. Arena in Hamden despite starting the game with six skaters and one goaltender out due to injury/illness.

“As a coach you want to win them all,” Quinnipiac head coach Cass Turner said. “When it becomes 100, you think about the games you could have won that would have gotten us here faster, but I guess that is what makes us all competitive. If you think about that first year (2015-16) with 30 wins, there were a lot of great players and phenomenal staff that have been a big part of getting our program to where we are now. So yes, it is special and something we’ll definitely celebrate.”

Sophomore defenseman Kate Riley scored the first of six goals for the Bobcats just seven minutes into the game by tucking in a rebound from junior forward Lexi Adjiza on the right side of the goal. Junior forward Katie Huntington had the other assist.

Head coach Cass Turner celebrated her 100th career win against Sacred Heart on Sunday. (Contributed by QU Athletics)

Adzija made it 2-0 after getting another close shot opportunity, starting off her junior season with a goal and an assist 10 minutes in. Senior forwards Taylor Girard and Laura Lundblad had the assists.

Since she is now an upperclassman, Adjiza said she wants to take more of a leadership role on the team.

“I think I learned from the leaders ahead of me,” Adzija said. “It is the same expectations for myself as a player from when I was a freshman and sophomore, but again, we have amazing people that I’ve been able to learn from. I think it’s just a confidence thing. I understand the system, I know what to do now, and it’s just playing and having fun.”

Huntington was another major contributor to the game, notching the first goal of her Quinnipiac career and an assist as well.

“Relief,” Huntington said with a laugh. “I was just so excited, it is an exciting moment when you get back on the bench and all my teammates are just as excited for me. We’re just happy to be back on the ice, it feels great.”

There was a scary five-minute pause in the game when Quinnipiac senior defenseman and captain Olivia Konigson was hit into the boards by Sacred Heart freshman forward Anna Klein after chasing a puck into the left corner. Klein received a five-minute major, and Konigson was helped off the ice and did not return.

Quinnipiac made it a 4-0 lead in the second period when freshman forward Nina Steigauf got her first collegiate goal in her first career game, and junior defenseman Courtney Vorster got her second consecutive assist.

In her first game since 2018-19, Bobcats senior forward Renee Saltness joined the goal-scoring party with her first of the season, wrapping up the second period. Senior forward Grace Markey and sophomore forward Sadie Peart had the assists on the play.

Markey got involved in the scoring spree as well in the third period, potting one home to give the Bobcats a 6-0 lead.

Quinnipiac did squander one late goal, the lone blemish on defense today. Sophomore forward Sophie Lupone scored for the Pioneers, while sophomore forward Cass Nevers and junior defenseman Kennedy Spiering had the helpers.

Turner thought there were a few things to clean up on defense but was proud of her team overall, especially with how many players were out.

“We came into this season saying this is the deepest lineup we’ve ever had, and the most talented lineup we’ve ever had,” Turner said. “So, I get really excited for what our group could look like at full strength, and there’s no question that we expect to compete for championships, the ECAC (Hockey) is going to bring that competition every single day. We’re excited to get better to get to a place where we can win a championship.”

Same time, team and place tomorrow, as the Bobcats are set to face off against the Pioneers once again at 3 p.m at the Frank Perrotti Jr. Arena.