Quinnipiac women’s hockey sweeps weekend series against Saint Anselm

Cameron Levasseur, Staff Writer

Senior forward Lexie Adzija had two assists on Saturday night, her fourth and fifth of the year. Photo from Daniel Passapera

After falling 4-3 to Quinnipiac in the series opener last night, St. Anselm ended up on the wrong side of a 5-0 trouncing despite coming out aggressive to start Saturday’s game.

The Hawks, in their second full season as a Division I team, played a defensive-focused brand of hockey, rarely generating sustained zone time, but they aggressively pursue the passing lanes with the hope of creating odd-man rush opportunities. This strategy worked for them early, producing three early point-blank chances, two of those, including a breakaway, coming on the penalty kill.

Unfortunately for St. Anselm, those would be the last chances they mustered for a long time, only registering a single shot over the next 35 minutes. The Bobcats poured on an offensive onslaught, outshooting the Hawks 28-4 in the first two periods and holding a 2-0 lead entering the final frame.

After being held scoreless in the first period, the first goal of the game for Quinnipiac came off the stick of none other than junior winger Sadie Peart. She rifled one home from the left side three minutes into the second period for her third goal of the weekend and sixth in as many games this season.

Junior center Alexa Hoskin scored a goal against Saint Anselm junior goaltender Allie Kelley, who transferred from Quinnipiac last year. Photo from Daniel Passapera

“Sadie is doing so well,” Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey head coach Cass Turner said. “To see how she finished her first year: best plus-minus on the team, second in points, I mean, she really is someone who wants those key moments and wants to make plays and she’s ready to do that so I couldn’t be more excited for how she’s playing.”

The Bobcats solidified that lead later in the period when a sky-high rebound off a backhand shot landed on the stick of junior centerman Alexa Hoskin, who spun around and laid one on the ice into the back of the net before St. Anselm junior goaltender Allie Kelley had time to react.

Kelley, who transferred from Quinnipiac to become the starter for the Hawks in the offseason, stood on her head for the first two and a half periods of this game, saving 41 shots before three Bobcat goals in under two minutes midway through the third chased her from the game.

“We were really close because she was also in my class,” Hoskin said about Kelley. “It was pretty bittersweet playing against her, I’m just happy that she’s being successful where she is and that she’s happy where she is.”

Sophomore winger Olivia Mobley scored the first of those three goals on the powerplay after senior forward Lexie Adzija dropped the puck on a platter in the low slot for an undefended shot that found twine.

“As soon as I saw Lexie get the puck, I started to go to the net because more often than not it gets to the net,” Mobley said. “So I figured, you know, start skating and hopefully the puck will either bounce out or go in or an opportunity will come and fortunately it did.”

The Bobcats struck again less than a minute later, as sophomore defenseman Kendall Cooper scored her first goal of the season in a net-front scramble that had already seen Kelley register at least two saves.

Capping off Quinnipiac’s scoring for the night was freshman forward Veronica Bac, who beat out a St. Anselm defender with an escape turn and fired from the top of the left circle to make the game 5-0.

With the game out of reach, the Bobcats held the Hawks at bay for the final eight minutes to close out the game and start the season 6-0-0 for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign, in which one win was an exhibition game. The 6-0 regular season start is the first in the team’s history.

“We’re really happy with the weekend,” Turner said. “To have two wins, but to play the way we did in the third and honestly most of the day today, I thought everybody stayed really committed to the things we wanted to do on offense … I think our team is in a good place, they feel confident and I think they’re hungry now to continue to attack the season.

This coming Friday, the Bobcats will hit the road for the first time this season facing the Providence Friars in an afternoon showdown.