Schroeder helps No. 7 Quinnipiac women’s hockey begin ECAC Hockey playoffs with sweep of No. 10 Clarkson

Milton Woolfenden, Staff Writer

The Bobcats will play in the ECAC Hockey semifinals for the first time since the 2015-16 season. (Connor Lawless)

Break out the brooms, it’s a sweep.

The Bobcats playoffs couldn’t have started better. With a 4-0 win Saturday over the Golden Knights, the Bobcats have punched their ticket to the ECAC Hockey semifinals for the first time since the 2015-16 season.

Right off the first faceoff, you can tell Clarkson was hungry for the first goal. Within the first minute of the game, the Golden Knights had four shots on Bobcats graduate student goaltender Corinne Schroeder before the Bobcats were finally able to clear the puck. 

“I really enjoy teams that shot a lot, especially from one side,” Schroeder said. “It just gives me confidence and helps me get settled.”

Quinnipiac had no problem shooting the puck, but it struggled to find the net. 

The Bobcats didn’t register their first shot on goal until seven minutes into the period by way of graduate student forward Renee Saltness. 

By the halfway mark in the period, while the pace of play stayed the same, the teams’ transitioned to dump-and-chase hockey.

With 2:28 remaining, Golden Knights sophomore forward Florence Lessard fired a shot past the stick of Schroeder off the pipe. As the puck fell to the ice, it started rolling toward the red line, but Schroeder fell on it, ending the scoring threat.

Going into the locker room while the Bobcats held the advantage in faceoffs won, 14-8 they found themselves being outshot by the Golden Knights 24-17, and 14-6 for shots on goal.

Three minutes into the second period, Bobcats sophomore forward Olivia Mobley had a breakaway, skating at full speed toward Golden Knights graduate student goaltender Amanda Zeglen. 

Unfortunately for Mobley, Golden Knights junior forward Stephanie Markowski chased her down and knocked the puck off her stick.

Just before the halfway mark in the second period, after a poorly timed line change, Golden Knights forwards Jenna Goodwin and Caitrin Lonergan had a two-on-one but fortunately for the Bobcats, Goodwin’s shot missed the net.

With 8:16 remaining in the period, Bobcats junior forward Alexa Hoskin fired a slapshot from the face-off dot. Unable to control the rebound, sophomore defender Maddy Samoskevich snuck the puck just over the left pad of Zelger, giving the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.

“It’s a little bit of weight off your shoulders to get the first goal,” graduate student forward Taylor House said. “It really opened up the floodgates for us and really gave us that extra bit of confidence to keep going.”

Entering the third period, Mobley only needed 45 seconds to score a goal off the left post and in. This gave Mobley her fourth point in as many games.

After Mobley’s goal, it was clear the Golden Knights were starting to feel time, and possibly their season, winding down.

With 12:55 left, freshman forward Maya Labad intercepted a Golden Knights pass off the boards. Labad fed the puck to House in the slot, who put it past Zelger’s right pad, extending the Bobcat lead to three.

“They’re (House & Mobley) both dynamic offensively, incredibly skilled, fast, but detailed,” Bobcats head coach Cass Turner said. “They’re both incredibly important to the depth of our offense.”

Then with 4:55 remaining, sophomore forward Nina Steigauf redirected a shot from sophomore defender Kendall Cooper up over the right shoulder of Zelger, making it 4-0 Bobcats.

This would prove to be the final nail in the Golden Knights’ coffin, bringing their season to a close. The win gave Schroeder her fifth shutout of the season, stopping 39 Golden Knights shots.

With this win, the Bobcats get an extra day to recover both mentally and physically before going into the semifinals next weekend.