Schroeder, Samoskevich lead No. 4 Quinnipiac women’s hockey to 1-1 draw at No. 1 Wisconsin

Michael LaRocca, Associate Opinion Editor

Graduate student goaltender Corinne Schroeder finished with a season-high 41 saves in Quinnipiac’s 1-1 tie with Wisconsin. (Jack Spiegel)

After spending Saturday’s game shaking off the rust that comes with a month-long break, Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey entered Sunday ready to battle with Wisconsin for the second straight day. The No. 4 Bobcats (15-2-3, 7-1 ECAC Hockey) matched the No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers (18-1-3, 13-1-2 WCHA) stride for stride in their afternoon game, playing through regulation and overtime to a 1-1 tie. 

The first period was a more refined version of Saturday’s contest. Both teams used the initial 20 minutes to learn how each other would approach the game from an offensive and defensive standpoint. 

The tentative strategy led to a speedy and scoreless period, allowing the goaltenders from each team to show the 2,273 fans in LaBahn Arena why they are some of the best at their position in the NCAA. Quinnipiac graduate student goaltender Corinne Schroeder and Wisconsin fifth-year goaltender Kennedy Blair combined for 25 saves in the first period alone, preventing any major scoring opportunities for either side.

The major revelation to come from the first 20 minutes was Wisconsin’s sloppy play throughout this matchup. The Badgers gave the Bobcats two power play chances, but Wisconsin’s third-ranked penalty killing percentage (.932) stifled Quinnipiac’s ability to score on these opportunities. 

Unlike Saturday, the Badgers were the ones to draw first blood after Wisconsin freshman forward Sarah Wozniewicz snuck a shot past Schroeder 2:06 into the second period to take a 1-0 lead. 

Quinnipiac showed improvement from Saturday’s game by the way it handled the deficit. While the Bobcats on Saturday seemed to be flustered by the Badgers’ offense, their defense today settled down quickly and ensured that no more damage would be done for the rest of the contest.

With Schroeder holding down the fort in the Bobcats’ defensive zone, her teammates had her back late in the second period. With less than two minutes until intermission, Quinnipiac sophomore defender Maddy Samoskevich found an opening in Blair’s net and sent a shot through to tie the game at one. 

The third period was an extremely defensive 20 minutes of hockey. There were only 13 total shots on goal, 10 of which came from Badgers skaters. Scoring opportunities were hard to come by, and no team broke through on any they created. The game remained deadlocked at one as it entered a five-minute, three-on-three overtime period. 

Wisconsin dominated the extra frame as it outshot Quinnipiac 9-2 over those five minutes of play. The Badgers erupted in that time, aggressively sending shots Schroeder’s way, but she never wavered. The Manitoba, Canada native stopped all nine Wisconsin shots, forcing the Badgers to keep trying until they succeed, or make a mistake. 

The latter arose 2:33 into the frame when referees called Wisconsin fifth-year forward Daryl Watts for cross checking, which put Quinnipiac on the power play for the fourth time that afternoon. The Bobcats dominated possession in Wisconsin’s zone on the man advantage, but never found the back of the net. Wisconsin killed off the penalty and the remaining time left, leaving this game without a winner. 

Schroeder was the true star in this meeting of top five teams, finishing the game with 41 saves and keeping victory within reach for the Bobcats throughout all 65 minutes. Her five goals allowed over the weekend may have dropped her save percentage to second in the nation (.957), but her performance on Sunday exemplified why she should be in the conversation for this year’s Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, recognizing the best player in NCAA women’s ice hockey. 

Quinnipiac will look to recapture its momentum in the ECAC Friday, Jan. 7, when the Bobcats return to the People’s United Center to take on St. Lawrence at 3 p.m EST. Having proven themselves once again against a top team in the country, Wisconsin will try to keep up its success Monday, Jan. 10, when it faces Division III University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in a home exhibition game at 7 p.m. CDT.