No. 3/4 Quinnipiac’s comeback effort falls short against No. 2 Yale


Daniel Passapera

Junior forward Olivia Mobley (above) notched her 13th goal of the season in the loss.

Zack Hochberg, Staff Writer

HAMDEN, Conn – The No. 3/4 Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey team couldn’t come back from a three-goal deficit, falling to No. 2 Yale 4-2 in the Battle of Whitney Ave Saturday afternoon.

The Bobcats didn’t look like a team that had lost only three games all season early on. Quinnipiac was sloppy in transition, consistently turned the puck over on its end and was out-hustled.

Quinnipiac’s issues getting the puck out of its zone ended up costing the opening goal. After a turnover, Yale senior forward Clair Dalton beat Bobcats’ graduate student goaltender Logan Angers on a back-hander, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.

Yale continued to force the Bobcats to play out of their comfort zone, striking for another goal five minutes later.

The Bulldogs forced the Bobcats to collapse onto the far side, exposing the middle of the ice, where senior defender Emma Seitz was left all alone. Angers never had a chance to stop it and the Bulldogs took a 2-0 advantage.

As Quinnipiac continued to struggle to play its brand of hockey, Yale continued to play the way it wanted to. The Bulldogs, once again, forced a bad turnover by the Bobcats as they were trying to clear the puck, allowing freshman forward Caria DiAntonio to unleash a shot from the point that got past Angers.

The mistakes Quinnipiac made in the first period are typically damaging against average teams, but against the No. 2 team in the country, it cost the Bobcats the game.

“We didn’t have the start we needed to win today,” Quinnipiac head coach Cass Turner said.

Once the Bobcats came out for the second period, they looked like a completely different team.

Quinnipiac got back to playing the type of hockey that has led them to a top-five ranking in the country. The Bobcats were effective in creating chances in front, keeping Yale away from Angers with its puck-movement improving.

Albeit those improvements, Quinnipiac couldn’t muster a goal. Bulldogs sophomore goaltender Pia Dukaric stopped all nine shots she faced in the period, her most of the entire game.

“We certainly created some really good scoring opportunities in the second,” Turner said. “But, didn’t finish. I think because we didn’t have the kind of traffic that we needed.”

Quinnipiac’s comeback chances took a big blow when graduate student forward Lexie Adzija went flying into the padded pole near the home bench after a hard hit.

The nasty hit sidelined Adzija for the rest of the game.

For a team trailing 3-0 in their biggest game of the year, the Bobcats looked surprisingly confident heading out of the locker room for the third period.

“We hit some adversity and we saw players step up,” Turner said. “We had some players playing different positions and there was just a great belief on our bench that we could do it and we were close.”

Quinnipiac finally got on the board midway through the third. Just like Yale had done to the Bobcats in the first period, the hosts made the extra-effort to keep the puck in the zone, generating a scoring opportunity that junior forward Olivia Mobley didn’t let slip away.

Three minutes later, it was the Bobcats again. Senior defender Kate Reilly sent a laser from just inside the blue line.

The ‘traffic’ that Turner was looking for in the second period, was there for that Reilly goal.

“That shot from Kate was one of the first where we had a true screen on the goalie and it was in the net,” Turner said. “If we had done that earlier, we would have been in a better spot.”

Now with eight minutes to go and needing to tie the game up, the Bobcats hunkered down, continuing to force pucks deep into the Bulldogs zone.

However, the Bulldogs didn’t break, forcing Turner to pull Angers with two minutes to go, giving the Bobcats a six-on-five advantage and Yale an empty net to fire at.

DiAntonio stuck the dagger in the Bobcats’ hearts, breaking away from the Quinnipiac defense in the neutral zone and easily scoring on the empty net, giving Yale a two-goal lead and DiAntonio her second goal of the game.

The 4-2 victory completed Yale’s sweep of the Battle of Whitney Ave. The sweep comes after the Bobcats won all three matchups between the two teams in the 2021-22 season.

Both Quinnipiac and Yale are now neck-and-neck atop the ECAC Hockey standings, despite the latter playing one less game. Quinnipiac sits in first place with 38 points and 13-2-0 conference record. On the other hand, Yale is right behind them with 37.5 points and a 12-1-1 conference record.

Quinnipiac will be back in action on Jan. 28, when it hosts Princeton at 1:00 p.m.