Princeton Tigers end Quinnipiac women’s hockey team’s 13-game unbeaten streak


Alex Bayer

Quinnipiac’s 13-game unbeaten streak ended on Saturday after a 1-0 home loss to Princeton.

Cameron Levasseur, Staff Writer

Princeton junior winger Maggie Connors notched the lone goal for Princeton on the power play as the Tigers snapped Quinnipiac’s 13-game unbeaten streak 1-0 in Hamden on Saturday.

After the women’s hockey team claimed victory with three unanswered third-period goals on Friday, Princeton came out the following afternoon and established a harder forecheck from the opening faceoff, heavily pressuring the Bobcat defenders on dump-ins.

“They dumped a lot of pucks in,” Quinnipiac head coach Cass Turner said. “I think they got to a place where they figured that was their best attack, just to dump the puck in and force us to break out.

A majority of the Bobcats’ offense on the afternoon was also based on dump-and-chase play, generating opportunities by winning puck battles behind the net and throwing the puck into the slot area.

One of those chances came late in the first period when graduate student centerman Taylor House fed sophomore winger Nina Steigauf just outside the crease, but her shot met a wall named Rachel McQuigge.

McQuigge, a senior Ontario native, recorded a career high 37 saves in the Tigers’ shutout win, besting her total from Princeton’s double-overtime season-ending loss in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals two years ago, which was also against the Bobcats.

Outshooting the Tigers 13-4 in the opening frame, the best chance of the period for Quinnipiac came on the power play. Quarterbacking the umbrella, senior defenseman Courtney Vorster ripped a shot on net that couldn’t be jammed home in a furious net-front scramble by four crashing Bobcats, as McQuigge was quick to jump on it.

Still battling power play woes, Quinnipiac couldn’t get it done on the man-advantage once again Saturday, now 0-7 in its last four games after failing to convert on two opportunities against Princeton. But while it can’t seem to find their scoring touch right now, both units showed promise in the offensive zone.

“We were solid on the power play today,” graduate student defenseman and captain Olivia Konigson said. “Although we didn’t put it on the net, I think we had good movement, great support, and we had good chances on it.”

While the Bobcats couldn’t score with a man up, the red-hot power play of the Tigers proved to be a difference maker.

Once again from the quarterback position, sophomore defenseman Stef Wallace fired a low shot on Quinnipiac graduate student goaltender Corinne Schroeder, the rebound landing softly on the stick of Connors. She slotted the puck into the empty right half of the net for her team-leading sixth goal in as many games this season midway through the second period.

The smooth skating of Connors provided the bulk of Princeton’s offense in the afternoon, recording four of the Tigers’ 18 shots and setting up many more as she facilitated the flow of the game from the right wing.

Trying to respond, Quinnipiac mustered a strong attack in the dying minutes of the period. Mcquigge saved a high-quality shot off the stick of senior centerman Lexie Adzija, which was set up by sophomore linemate Olivia Mobley channeling her inner Gustav Nyquist and circling the entire offensive zone before feeding Adzija above the hash marks.

Despite out shooting Princeton by five in the final frame, the Bobcats couldn’t find a way to get on the board in this one. Several excellent chances, including a breakaway for Mobley minutes into the period, were met by the Tigers’ goaltender with equal gusto.

With the clock ticking towards zero and an extra attacker on the ice, a last ditch effort to pound one in at the net mouth had the Quinnipiac bench jumping. Ultimately the official waved ‘no goal’ and their comeback attempt fell mute, being shutout at home for the first time since Nov. 20 of 2018 against Merrimack.

“I think it just didn’t go our way today,” Turner said. “You see this in sports like hockey, you see it in soccer. You can totally outplay a team and not win, and I think the message to our team is we take pride in the process and playing the game the right way and it just didn’t fall for us today.”

While disappointing, Saturday’s loss did nothing to dispel the confidence of the Bobcats in the midst of their hottest start in team history.

“We’re confident going into each weekend,” Konigson said. “I think good teams are going to have bumps in the road and we expect to keep pushing forward and just use it to get better.”

Next weekend kicks off a period of heavy travel for Quinnipiac, heading into central New York to do battle with Cornell and No. 5 Colgate. The Bobcats will not play at home again until the new year, facing off against St. Lawrence on Jan. 7.