Quinnipiac women’s hockey dominated in quarterfinal victory. What’s next?


Connor Lawless

The Bobcats rose from No. 9 to No. 6 in the latest USCHO poll after sweeping Clarkson.

Cameron Levasseur, Associate Sports Editor

Quinnipiac women’s hockey has 16 wins over Clarkson in program history. Of those wins, two were by four or more goals. Both of those came this past weekend, as the Bobcats steamrolled the Golden Knights on back-to-back afternoons to claim a spot in the ECAC Hockey semifinals.

In what historically has been an incredibly tight matchup, Quinnipiac skated the three-time national champions into the ground. This bodes well as the Bobcats attempt to run the gauntlet to a conference title next weekend.

Eighth-seed Princeton topped regular-season champion Harvard in three games, so the semifinal and championship games will take place at Ingalls Rink in New Haven on March 4 and 5, since Yale is the highest seed remaining.

The Bobcats will face third-seeded Colgate in a one-game playoff Friday night with a berth to Saturday’s championship on the line.

The Raiders, who finished the regular season with a 26-7-1 record, will not be an easy out by any stretch. They split the season series with Quinnipiac, falling at home in late November before earning a hard-fought overtime victory in Hamden a month ago.

The latter game was perhaps one of the toughest the Bobcats have played all season, as junior winger Jess Schryver acknowledged following the loss.

“I feel like we haven’t battled this hard in a game yet this season, so even though we lost this game we got a lot out of it,” Schryver said in late January.

Colgate possesses a deadly offense, averaging 4.0 goals per game, good enough for third in Division I. It’s led by sophomore forwards Kalty Kaltounova and Dara Greig,     as well as junior forward Danielle Serdachny, who have combined for 142 points on the season.

Quinnipiac put up big numbers on the scoreboard this weekend, but it’s difficult to expect that same level of production to stay consistent throughout the playoffs. In order to win this game, the Bobcats are going to have to shut down the Raiders’ top two lines.

Graduate student goaltender Corinne Schroeder will be a big part of making that happen. She’s been a brick wall between the pipes as of late, allowing only three goals in her last five starts. Four of those starts were against ranked opponents.

The Bobcats’ defensive core has also been doing a great job of limiting quality scoring chances in recent games. They’re clogging up the center of the ice and getting sticks and bodies in lanes, causing most shots to come from the perimeter of the zone.

If Quinnipiac makes it past Colgate, there will still be one of Yale or Princeton standing between the Bobcats and the ECAC Hockey trophy.

The Bulldogs have a strong attack, but they’ve struggled against the Bobcats this season, suffering three straight losses while being outscored 10-4. Come championship Saturday, it’s Princeton who poses the bigger threat to Quinnipiac’s title hopes.

Tigers’ senior goaltender Rachel McQuigge stifled the Bobcats in November, posting a 37-save shutout to hand them their first loss of the season. She’s struggled since then, as Princeton crashed and burned into the final spot in the conference tournament. However, McQuigge submitted three strong performances to down Harvard in the quarterfinals. The Bowmanville, Ontario native is in great form, which could be bad news for Quinnipiac.

Junior forward Maggie Connors, the Tigers’ leading point-getter, is a dynamic goalscorer and electric skater who can turn the tide of a game at a moment’s notice. She did it in Game 3 against the Crimson and also scored the lone tally in Hamden back in the fall.

The Bobcats have a chance to leave New Haven victorious and earn automatic qualification to the NCAA Tournament. But in order to do so, they need to continue to play strong defensive hockey and get timely goals from their forward core.