First-period fury: No. 2/3 Quinnipiac beats Brown 3-1


Aidan Sheedy

Graduate student forward Lexie Adzija returned to the scoresheet for the first time since coming back from injury.

Zack Hochberg, Staff Writer

HAMDEN, Conn – The No. 2/3 Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team scored all of its goals in the first period en route to a 3-1 victory over Brown on Friday night.

Brown freshman forward Jade Iginla got the first scoring opportunity of the evening, breaking ahead of the Bobcat defense for a fast break. However, junior goaltender Catie Boudiette made the stop.

Shortly after, graduate student forward Lexie Adzija put the Bobcats up 1-0 nearly three minutes into the period. Adzija found herself with some open ice after junior forward Nina Steigauf battled through several Bears’ defenders to get her the puck.

Tonight’s goal was the 2022 Mandi Schwartz Student-Athlete of the Year’s first since coming back from an injury that sidelined her for November and most of December.

“When you get hurt it’s not ideal, especially in your fifth year,” Adzija said. “Just worked hard in the weight room to keep my conditioning up and obviously so excited to be back on the ice with my team.”

After assisting on Quinnipiac’s first goal of the night, it was Steiguaf’s turn to find the back of the net, putting Quinnipiac up 2-0 just five minutes in.

Graduate student defender Zoe Boyd fired a shot from the blueline that got redirected by senior forward Jess Schryver and ended up on Steigauf’s stick. Steigauf then quickly took advantage while Brown freshman goaltender Mégane Pilon was too close to the post trying to block Schryver’s tip-in.

Quinnipiac’s first power play of the night came when Brown junior forward Maya Mangiafico got called for tripping.

The Bobcats didn’t waste much time, as graduate student forward Shay Maloney scored, beating Pilon after a beautiful display of passing by the Bobcats. Maloney, who transferred from Brown, scored her second goal against her former school this season.

“She’s always going to have a soft spot for Brown, it’s a phenomenal place,” Quinnipiac head coach Cass Turner said. “She had a great four years there, but I know for her, whatever team’s jersey she has on, she’s ready to win.”

Following the game, Maloney was surrounded by her former teammates, who all wanted to talk to the graduate student.

Maloney’s goal came when Schryver passed the puck to Steigauf at the bottom of the near circle who then passed over to Maloney, who rifled a one-timer shot blocker side on Pilon. The assist was Steigauf’s second of the night in addition to the goal she scored earlier, extending her point streak to three games.

“Every game is a new opportunity to show what our line can do,” Steigauf said. “We’ve been playing together for over a year now, so I think we know where each other are going to be… the communication is very high between us.”

The early scoring outbursts have been quite the theme for the Bobcats this season. Quinnipiac also scored three goals in the first period their last time out in a 6-1 routover Cornell.

The Bears had their first power-play opportunity of the night when freshman defender Zoe Uens was sent to the box for tripping, but the Bobcats penalty kill was able to get the job done as the first period came to a close.

“We were super happy with how we came out in the first period,” Turner said. “We came out hard and ready to score, I think that’s a phenomenal thing for our team and something that we’re going to want to hold onto moving forward.”

Unlike the first period, the second frame had no scoring. With the Bobcats comfortably up three goals, the relentless offensive attack that showed up for the first 20 minutes, wasn’t there for the following 20.

Quinnipiac went on the power play twice this frame, but the Bears were able to kill off both of those opportunities.

The Bobcats dominated possession for a large majority of the evening, largely due to their 33-15 advantage in the faceoff circle.

The Bobcats played the same style of hockey in the third, dominating the possession of the puck, making sure Boudiette, who made 13 saves in the contest, was never too busy in goal.

However, the Bears were able to get one goal back with six minutes remaining. Iginla avenged her missed opportunity in the first period by once again finding herself alone with Boudiette.This time, she didn’t miss.

With the Bears now within two, they pressed for another goal, pulling their goaltender with 2:35 to go, but it never came, as the Bobcats came out victorious by a score of 3-1.

The win moved the Bobcats to 23-3 overall and 13-1 in conference play.

Quinnipiac will now turn their attention to a massive tilt on Saturday afternoon against No. 2 Yale.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, I know our girls have had this one circled on their calendars for a long time,” Turner said.

Face-off is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. at M&T Bank Arena in Hamden.