Women’s hockey earns NCAA Tournament berth

Quinnipiac faces Syracuse in regional matchup


Aidan Sheedy

Graduate student goaltender Corinne Schroeder was named ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Month for February after posting a .96 goals against average with a 6-1-0 record in seven games.

Peter Piekarski, Sports Editor

Even though Quinnipiac did not advance to the conference championship this past weekend, it still has the most important games of the season rapidly approaching.

During Sunday night’s tournament selection show, the Bobcats landed in a tough part of the NCAA bracket, facing off against Syracuse on March 10, in Columbus, Ohio, where the winner will go on to play No. 1 Ohio State.

Quinnipiac enters the tournament coming off of an emotional loss to Colgate in the conference semifinals.

Though Syracuse finished the season strong, going 9-1-2 since the start of 2022 and winning a CHA championship, the Orange struggled mightily against ECAC Hockey opponents. In 10 matchups against Quinnipiac’s conference, Syracuse posted a 1-6- 3 record, including the exhibition game against RPI.

Syracuse’s sole win came against Union, which finished the season with a 5-28-1 record.

It’s been a tale of two seasons for the Orange, who dominated their conference play, but performed poorly against the out-of- conference portion of their schedule. Syracuse finished atop the CHA conference with an 11-4-1 record, but only a 4-6-5 record against non-conference teams.

The statistical splits for Syracuse are not captivating. Looking at goal-scoring, the Orange could not score efficiently at five-on- five. A team that just won its conference championship finished with a negative five-on-five goal differential, scoring just 54 goals while allowing 61.

Senior goaltender Arielle DeSmet has been the backbone of Syracuse all year, finishing the year with a .939 save percentage and a 1.99 goals against average. But her play slipped in games outside of the CHA. In 11 games, DeSmet produced a .921 SV% and 2.46 GAA. However, against CHA teams, DeSmet’s line was significantly better with a .953 SV% and a 1.64 GAA.

Syracuse’s production against non-conference opponents also was minimal. In 15 games out of conference, it scored just 29 goals or 1.9 goals per game, but surrendered 39 goals or 2.6 goals per game.

Even on the power play, Syracuse scored seven goals on 46 chances against ECAC Hockey teams for a 15.2% conversion rate. Quinnipiac accumulated 69 chances on the man advantage against its conference, converting 15 times for a 21.7% clip. That’s a drastic percentage difference.

Graphic by Cameron Levasseur

For Quinnipiac, it’s been an incredible season as the Bobcats finished 25-9-3, their best regular-season record since their run to the Frozen Four championship in 2015-16.

The Bobcats opened their season with a 15-1-2 start, casually rising up the USCHO poll rankings in the process peaking at the No. 4 spot in the country. The second half of the season wasn’t as kind in the wins column, but Quinnipiac lost all but one game by a single goal.

Despite Quinnipiac’s impressive opening, the one series that proved it was a top contender was against then No. 1 Wisconsin, which began the second half of the Bobcats schedule.

In the first game of the series, Quinnipiac opened the scoring, and eventually held a 2-1 lead before Wisconsin scored a short-handed goal in the third period which broke down the Bobcats. The following night Quinnipiac fought hard to a 1-1 tie.

That weekend gave Quinnipiac a level of playing confidence I have not seen in my four years here.

Since the calendar flipped to 2022, the Bobcats have played nine games against ranked opponents in their conference (Colgate, Yale, Harvard and Clarkson), including the ECAC Hockey playoffs. In those nine games, Quinnipiac finished 5-4-0, scoring 26 goals and allowing 17 against.

The biggest piece to Quinnipiac’s success is its goaltending. Contributions from graduate student Corinne Schroeder and senior Logan Angers provide the Bobcats a one-two punch in the crease on any given night.

Over the entire season, the two goaltenders combined for a 1.43 GAA, a .944 SV% and nine shutouts. Just looking at the nine-game stretch against the four ranked opponents, Schroeder and Angers’ cumulative GAA was 1.91 and their SV% was .946 (Schroeder started eight of the games).

Quinnipiac and Syracuse experienced radically different seasons. What does that mean for the Bobcats’ regional matchup?

It means that Quinnipiac has the advantage in almost every aspect on the ice. However, the regional final matchup is not as desirable for the Bobcats, as Ohio State holds a notable edge in almost every major team stat category.

But one game at a time, as the Ohio State matchup only matters if Quinnipiac wins Thursday against Syracuse.