Quinnipiac picks up where it left off yesterday, defeats Sacred Heart 9-1

Renee Saltness and Kenzie Hauswirth both had multi-goal games, and 11 Bobcats tallied a point

Matt Nygaard, Staff Writer

The Quinnipiac women’s hockey team has scored 15 goals in the 120 minutes played so far this season. The Bobcats built on the success of yesterday’s 6-1 win, defeating the Sacred Heart Pioneers 9-1.

“We were a lot better without the puck today,” said Cass Turner, Quinnipiac head coach. “Holding them under 10 shots, that’s an important piece of something that we wanted to accomplish. It’s a good win and a good motivator as we get ready for conference play.”

Sophomore forward Kenzie Hauswirth netted the first goal of the season and the Bobcats first of the day less than five minutes into the first period. In 2019-20, as a freshman, she had five goals and two assists in just 17 games before a season-ending injury.

Senior forward Renee Saltness added another goal late in the first period and had a pair of assists in Monday’s game as well.

“We’re very detail-driven,” Saltness said. “Every practice, every game. So just coming out every practice and take it seriously, and we’ll be good for January.”

The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team has scored 15 goals in its last two games. (Contributed by QU Athletics)

Saltness tallied her second goal of the game with nine minutes remaining in the second period. Sophomore forward Alexa Hoskin and senior forward Taylor House assisted on both of Saltness’ goals.

Through two periods, it was 3-0 Bobcats, with Sacred Heart junior goaltender Frankie Sanchez keeping the Pioneers in the game. She had 62 saves in yesterday’s game and stood on her head with 38 saves through two periods today despite giving up three goals.

Less than three minutes into the third period, sophomore forward Sadie Peart began an avalanche of goals for Quinnipiac. Saltness got her third point of the day with the assist on that goal. Two minutes later, junior defender Courtney Vorster got her first of the season, already tying her total from last season. House got her third assist on that one.

House then got her fourth point of the day by getting involved in the scoring. She had a wrist shot from in front of the blue-line that blew by Sanchez’s arm. House finished the day with a goal, three assists and a team-high 13 shots on goal.

“It’s always good to get that first goal off your shoulders and out of the way,” House said. “I do always enjoy moving the puck and just finding open space, and it did happen today that I had a lot of space to shoot too.”

The Pioneers got on the board after that with eight minutes left in the game. Freshman forward Paige McNeil scored her first collegiate goal, while sophomore forward Cass Nevers and sophomore forward Alexa Ocel had the assists.

Turner said yesterday that she was happy with the win but wanted to see some improvement on the defensive end, and she saw just that today. Despite allowing the same amount of goals, the Bobcats gave up just eight shots.

“Making sure that we’re stick on stick and defense is truly when you don’t have the puck all over the ice,” Turner said. We were really thinking about how we wanted to deny the middle of the ice on our forecheck, how we wanted to challenge good gaps in the neutral zone with our ‘D’ and forwards being ready to pick up those pucks to transition. That led to a lot less zone time in our zone.”

After allowing one goal, the Bobcats continued to score. Junior forward Lexi Adzija had a close shot from the side of the net that nearly went in, but the puck bounced off the post just inches away from the goal line, and senior forward Taylor Girard put in the easy rebound.

Hauswirth joined Saltness as a multi-goal scorer to make it 8-1, continuing to display her offensive ability. The Pioneers seemed out of gas with how much time they spent in the defensive zone the last couple of games.They faced 68 shots yesterday and 61 today.

Senior forward Brooke Bonsteel put in the final goal and her first of the season to assure the 9-1 victory. Eleven out of 15 Bobcats recorded a point in today’s victory. Senior captain and forward Olivia Konigson did not play after yesterday’s injury.

“I know our team knows what it takes to play conference games,” Turner said. “They’re really excited about that. We feel we played well, but it is clear to us and clear to them that we can be better. We want and need to be better to beat the top 10 teams in our conference. They’re ready to go to work and have a good week of practice before they have a bit of a break.”

The Bobcats are looking at a lot of time off for the holiday break and are back in action Jan. 9, at Colgate.