QU women’s ice hockey at critical turning point after a 1-2 road trip and recent slide in national rankings


Alex Bayer

Quinnipiac’s struggles have led to a bad start to 2022

Cameron Levasseur, Associate Sports Editor

The Quinnipiac women’s hockey team looked like a national powerhouse out of the gate this season. The Bobcats started the campaign on a 13-game unbeaten streak en route to a 15-1-2 record at the new year and were dominating the pace of play every time they took the ice.

But 2022 has been unkind to Quinnipiac thus far, as it has only managed four wins in 11 games and were swept by St. Lawrence on the road this past weekend.

The three-game weekend slate started with a trip to Potsdam to face a No. 10 Clarkson team. Anytime these two squads meet it’s bound to be a close game, and this contest was no exception.

Quinnipiac jumped out to a one-goal lead early in the first period thanks to a tally from graduate student centerman Taylor House, but 54 minutes later that was all the Bobcats had contributed to the scoreboard. With a Golden Knights goal just minutes into the third, the two sides headed in overtime knotted at one.

The road team would grit out a win in overtime on a point shot from junior defenseman Courtney Vorster that was tipped home, but an uninspiring third period that saw the Bobcats generate almost no quality scoring chances left a lot to be desired.

Saturday and Sunday the Bobcats stayed in the Empire State for back-to-back bouts with St. Lawrence, who needed six points to leapfrog Quinnipiac for fourth in the ECAC Hockey standings. It got all six.

The Saints battled to 2-1 and 5-1 victories, handing the Bobcats their worst margin of defeat since Jan. 9, 2021.

This team has not looked like the squad of a month and a half ago, and with the postseason on the horizon, it needs to pick up some slack in a number of areas if it’s going to go on a deep run.

Uncharacteristic turnovers and unpolished defense highlight
Quinnipiac’s woes. (Alex Bayer)


First and foremost, Quinnipiac’s inability to break the puck out of its own zone was the thing that stuck out the most this weekend.

All year long, this team has played lockdown defense, and these past few games were no exception. They were constantly getting in lanes and disrupting plays, but the issue began when they tried to get the puck up ice. The Bobcats forced passes up the boards and across the middle, which were promptly picked off and shoved back down their throat.

Quinnipiac needs to settle down more on the breakout and control the pace of play, which was a staple of its game over the first half of the season.

The Bobcats also had an uncharacteristic number of turnovers in bad areas, both close to the net and on the offensive blue line. A cough-up behind the net on Friday led to Clarkson’s tying goal, and an errant pass on offense the following afternoon gave St. Lawrence a breakaway chance that it buried.

Offensively, Quinnipiac managed minimal high-quality opportunities. The Bobcats lacked sustained pressure in the offensive zone, and even when they held their opponents in their own end for long stretches, they struggled to generate second chances and rebounds.

They played a rather undisciplined game over the weekend, racking up 10 penalties, a substantial amount for a team that prior to Friday was third in the NCAA, averaging under 2.5 infractions per game.

A bright spot for the Bobcats, however, was their shorthanded play, as they killed off all 10 opportunities down a player.

Seven points out of first in the ECAC Hockey standings, Quinnipiac has five games left before the playoffs begin, two of which are against top-four teams in the conference. The regular season title is not out of reach, but the Bobcats will surely need to win out to have a chance to claim it.​​ That will be a difficult task given that they’ll stay on the road for their next three contests.

While it has dropped a spot in both national polls once again this week, Quinnipiac is in no way out of the running for a national title come mid-March. This team has all the talent to make a postseason charge, it’s just a matter of whether these players can settle back into playing their game over the next few outings. In the words of great American poet Marshall Mathers, it’s up to the Bobcats whether they’ll “capture it … or just let it slip.”