Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey squeaks by Union 2-1 on Friday

A defensive battle comes down to the wire as Mobley’s sixth goal makes all the difference

Ethan Hurwitz, Contributing Writer

Senior forward Lexie Adzija (left) celebrates with sophomore forward Olivia Mobley (right), who scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Union. (Alex Bayer/Chronicle)

The Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team continued its unbeaten streak against the Union Dutchwomen on Friday night, outlasting its ECAC opponent by a score of 2-1. 

On paper, this game was slated to be a blowout. The Bobcats (8-0-2) came into this game ranked No. 8 in the country, while Union (2-8-1) was still searching for its first conference win. The visitors held their ground, with sophomore goaltender Olivia Rinzel having one of her best games in her collegiate career. The same can be said for Quinnipiac senior Logan Angers, as she was able to maintain her rebounds and limit the damage to only a single goal. 

Quinnipiac women’s head coach Cass Turner credited Union on the gritty performance that they gave on Friday. 

“Union, they battled. We have one of the strongest leagues in the country and they showed that,”  Turner said. “They gave us a game today…regardless of the score, we have to play hard and hungry.” 

The first period did not amount to much, as the first 20 minutes went by in a blur and both teams went back into the locker rooms tied at one. Junior winger Sadie Peart recorded three shots in the first frame and forced a couple of turnovers in the process. 

Only two minutes into the second period and Union was the first to score, with freshman center Ashley Adams firing a shot from the right faceoff dot past Angers and for her first goal of her college career. Playing in her 12th game of the season, she boosted her point total up to three, as the Dutchwomen took a 1-0 lead. 

The second period went back and forth for a solid six minutes. Every Quinnipiac shot was stopped by Rinzel until graduate center Taylor House found the back of the net after some nifty passing by the Bobcats. House and her teammates celebrated the goal, but it was cut short as the referees decided to go to the replay monitor and make sure the goal was not kicked. Not to be denied, House’s fifth goal of the campaign stood and the game was even. 

Union has drawn many penalty calls throughout the season with 48 power plays coming into tonight’s matchup. That was something they did consistently, as well as Quinnipiac. Each team racked up four minutes in power play time in the first two periods, topping that off with three combined penalties in the final five minutes. 

The third period started just like the first two, as the Bobcats stormed out of the locker room and forced pucks deep into Union’s zone. House was able to draw a penalty late in the game and laughed about it after the win. 

Sophomore forward Olivia Mobley’s game-winning goal made her tied for the second-most goals on the team (six). (Alex Bayer)

“I did see her kind of back up into me, I committed to go through her,” House said. “I saw her line me up … smart play.”

In the final 90 seconds, a pass from senior center Lexie Adzija went to a wide-open sophomore forward Olivia Mobley in the slot. Mobley one-timed it in to give the Bobcats their first lead of the night. 

Mobley explained how her game-winning goal came to fruition.

“I positioned myself to get a shot on net, and it worked out,” Mobley said. “I had a slow start and as the game continued, the chemistry started to flow. After the first period, we shifted our focus back to the basics.”

A reason for why the game was so low scoring may have been the absence of leading goal-scorer junior forward Alexa Hoskin. Leading the Bobcats with seven goals on the season, she was not out on the ice today, but they found a way to scrape across a few goals. 

Turner praised the team’s depth in the way the team was able to overcome Hoskin’s absence and still manage 38 shots on net. 

“We have an amazing privilege of getting everyone’s best games…we had to fight hard to win,” Turner said. “She’s (Hoskin) a dynamic player and we are able to fight and keep putting pucks on net.”

That depth was evident as the Bobcats were able to total four assists tonight, coming from graduate winger Renee Saltness (third of the season), junior defenseman Kate Reilly (second of the season), sophomore defenseman Kendall Cooper (fourth of the season) and Adzija (eighth of the season). 

Turner also mentioned how adjustments paid off throughout the game.

“We shuffled our lines around in the middle of the game, and it got people more comfortable in their positions,” Turner said. “Once we got back to that, I think it helped us create a lot more.”

Quinnipiac has now won three in a row and has moved to 9-0-2 overall. Its third win in ECAC play has pushed the Bobcats into first place in the conference as November begins. They get ready for a home game against RPI tomorrow at 3 p.m., as Quinnipiac heads into that matchup 21-13-2 all time against the Engineers.