No. 9 Quinnipiac women’s hockey surges to 5-1 victory in quarterfinal opener vs. No. 10 Clarkson


Connor Lawless

The Bobcats have a chance to clinch the two-game sweep over Clarkson with a win on Saturday.

Benjamin Upson, Staff Writer

ECAC playoff hockey took center stage in Hamden on Friday as the No. 9 Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team hosted No. 10 Clarkson in Game 1 of a best-of-three quarterfinal series. It was the first home playoff game for the women’s hockey team since the 2015-16 season.

In the two regular-season meetings between these teams, it was a split, with both road teams coming out victorious. Clarkson won in Hamden 3-2 in a tight bout on Jan. 8, while Quinnipiac snuck out a 2-1 overtime victory in Potsdam on Feb. 4.

Coming in, Quinnipiac and Clarkson were the No. 4 and No. 5 representatives, respectively, in the ECAC Hockey Tournament bracket. It showed on the ice early.

In a scrappy, fast-paced opening period, there were offensive opportunities that neither team converted on. The first score of the game came off the stick of Clarkson graduate student forward Kristina Schuler that dribbled past Quinnipiac graduate student goaltender Corinne Schroeder.

Just over a minute later, sophomore forward Olivia Mobley responded with a one-timer that got by Clarkson sophomore goaltender Michelle Pasiechnyk for her 15th goal of the season whichevened the score at 1-1.

Mobley understood the significance of her quick response to Clarkson’s opening score and how it energized the Quinnipiac offense.

“That was huge because after they scored, the energy kind of shifted,” Mobley said. “Coach was saying on the bench to keep the energy up, keep celebrating little things … it just so happened I was on the back door wide open.”.

Quinnipiac didn’t stop there, as it added another pair of goals in the second period, despite being outshot 14-10 by Clarkson. The Bobcats took advantage of some miscommunication by the Clarkson defense and found opportunities. The first came from graduate student forward Renee Saltness on a flick in from just beyond the blue line to make it 2-1.

Junior forward Alexa Hoskin followed it up with her fourth strike on the year to put Quinnipiac in the driver’s seat with a 3-1 advantage. Two more goals followed in the third period, by graduate forward Taylor House for her 13th goal of the season, and an empty-net goal scored by junior forward Sadie Peart, securing her 30th point this year. That mark leads all players on the roster in that category.

As for Mobley, she added onto her goal with a pair of assists, marking her sixth multi-point game of the season and a combined eight points in her last five games.

After the early score from the Golden Knights, Schroeder was stellar, recording 36 saves in the win. She has been playing well as of late, allowing just five goals combined in her last five games, a perfect time to get hot with the playoffs now underway.

Quinnipiac head coach Cass Turner emphasized the strength of the goaltending tandem of Schroeder and senior goaltender Logan Angers, who both gold GAAs of 1.5 or less.

“We have great goaltending … I don’t think we’d be here if we didn’t have the goalies that we have,” Turner said. “Their push and their battle everyday in practice and in games has been outstanding.”.

After the pair of competitive regular-season meetings with Clarkson, the Bobcats posted one of their strongest performances of the season when it mattered most. The offensive attack and puck distribution was on point as they found the net from five different goal scorers en route to the 5-1 victory.

Turner felt confident and optimistic about the strong effort put forth by the Bobcats in this opening game of the series.

“I just think they’re ready … doesn’t always mean it’s going to go our way, but I just think they have that body of experience and the confidence to go out and make plays, and they showed that today,” Turner said.

The Bobcats will look to put this best-of-three series away when they face Clarkson in Game 2 on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Hamden, with a trip to the conference semifinal game on the line. If necessary, there will be a third and final meeting Sunday at 3 p.m., also held at the People’s United Center.