New and old faces: Evaluating women’s ice hockey’s roster heading into 2022-23

Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor

Like every other winter sport at Quinnipiac, there has been significant roster overhaul for the women’s ice hockey team this spring. Unlike the other sports, however, that turnover was caused by graduation, not the transfer portal.

The Bobcats lost graduate student forwards Taylor House and Renee Saltness, defenseman Olivia Konigson and goaltender Corinne Schroeder, as well as senior defenseman Gabby Vitelli and forward Katie Huntington to the slow beat of “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Of those players, only House (16 goals, 26 points) was within the top 10 on the team in scoring this past season.

All things considered, Quinnipiac is in great shape offensively, returning its first line of rising junior Olivia Mobley, graduate student Lexie Adzija and senior Jess Schryver, who combined for 31 goals and 79 points in 2021-22. Bolstering that forward core are rising seniors Sadie Peart and Alexa Hoskin, along with rising junior Nina Steigauf, who boasted point totals of 33, 21 and 25 respectively this past winter.

The Bobcats will miss House’s net-front awareness and knack for scoring clutch goals, but with a forward core led by eight upperclassmen, someone is bound to step into that role moving forward.

Coming into the fold on offense are freshman Sami Bowlby and Madison Chantler.

Bowlby, a product of Burnsville High School in Minnesota, is a fast skater with good hands and a solid passing sense. She supports the puck well as the third woman in but isn’t afraid to drive to the net herself.

Chantler plays a similar style of game, a dynamic skater who’s strong on her stick and good at dishing the puck. She’s a hard-nosed competitor who doesn’t shy away from physical play and works hard to make plays happen.

Rumors have swirled regarding the possibility of Harvard forward Dominique Petrie landing in Hamden for her fifth year, but given that the Bobcats currently have 27 players rostered, the same number as last season, it would appear unlikely at this time.

On the defensive end, losing Konigson may not seem like a massive blow to this roster on paper. But the Minnesota native and team captain was a bonafide leader in the Quinnipiac locker room and also served to solidify the Bobcats back end.

The Bobcats will look to counter that loss with the continued growth of rising graduate students Zoe Boyd and Courtney Vorster as well as rising juniors Kendall Cooper and Maddy Samoskevich. The four each posted double-digit point totals in this most recent campaign, but will be called upon to do more on the defensive side of the ice and maintain a blue-line presence that prevents odd-man rushes.

Boyd, one of two returning alternate captains, may also be called to take a larger leadership role come next season.

While they lost Konigson and Vitelli, Quinnipiac is bringing in top-end blue-line talent in freshmen Tiana McIntyre and Zoe Uens.

McIntyre is a quick thinking pass first defenseman who moves the puck well up ice and does well to get her stick in lanes to break up plays. Her presence in the offensive zone is something that will develop in her time with the Bobcats, as McIntyre tends to to get caught pinching from time to time, leading to easy breakouts or odd-man rushes for opponents.

Uens hails from Belleville, Ontario, as does Alexa Hoskin. The 5 foot, 9 inch Kingston Jr. Ice Wolves defender is great at standing up rushes in the neutral zone and is able to utilize her smooth skating and concrete passing ability to invigorate the rush north to south.

Aidan Sheedy

Despite the big-name skaters moving on, the biggest absence for the Bobcats comes between the pipes. While 2021-22 was Corinne Schroeder’s only season with the program, it was her goaltending that propelled the team to new heights.

The Boston University transfer opened her season by scoring the first-ever goalie goal in Division I women’s hockey and her legacy in Hamden only grew from there. Schroeder finished the season with a .951 save percentage – a program record – and led Quinnipiac to its first NCAA tournament win – a 4-0 shutout over Syracuse – which she followed with a 73-save performance in a double overtime loss to the eventual national champion Ohio State.

While Schroeder had a fantastic season, she shared the starting load with rising graduate student Logan Angers, who had an excellent year in her own right, and will backstop the Bobcats in 2022-23.

Angers posted an 11-2-1 record while earning top 10 marks in the NCAA in both save and winning percentage.

The Winnipeg native is one of four goaltenders Quinnipiac has rostered for next season, joined by rising junior Catie Boudiette and incoming freshmen Tatum Blacker and Lucy Phillips.

Boudiette played the role of a bonafide backup during the 2020-21 season, posting four shutouts in as many starts while facing 52 shots. She took a step back during this past campaign, however, only seeing 10 shots in 40 minutes of action, two of which she allowed.

Standing at 5 feet, 6 inches, Blacker is not physically imposing in the net. What she lacks in height is made up for in positional excellence though. Blacker does well to cover her posts and play out of her net on odd-man rushes. When she does give up goals, however, it’s often up high due to her height. Her rebound control also presents a slight concern.

Phillips has a larger presence in the crease at 5 feet, 10 inches, possessing impressive recovery skills on second and third chance opportunities. She actively uses her stick to poke check and shovel the puck away from the blue paint and is also a skilled playmaker that can effectively move the puck up ice.

Carrying four goalies is unusual, but not unheard of, especially given that the NCAA doesn’t set roster limits. It’s unlikely either freshman sees significant playing time this season, but having depth at the position gives head coach Cass Turner and the rest of the staff options if the Bobcats top two begin to struggle.

Though the Bobcats have lost significant talent, they’ve made up for it with developing returners and talented incoming freshmen. It’s always hard to move on, but this roster is primed for success come fall.